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Example Analysis

And welcome. In this video, I want to walk through an example data analysis. Rather than thinking about data analyses as abstractions, I want to give you a concrete example of the kinds of ways we might begin to tell a story with data. Now any time you get data, I like to think of it as a gift or package with some sort of discovery or lesson hiding inside, just waiting for us to go in and unpack it.
And once you build this basic skill set, you’ll be able to open data sets and find all kinds of lessons and stories that are hidden from view, things that other people can’t see that you’re going to be able to get the ability to see. So I want to walk through an example from my own scientific research so you can kind of see how that process might look and maybe catch a little bit of the enthusiasm for telling stories with data. So in my own research, I’ve done scientific research on how personality functions, because I’m a psychologist by training. So the question I asked from this data was, what happens to personality as we age.
And I was really interested in how our human tendency to feel remorse changes with age. One question we might ask is whether people become more emotionally mature. And we might think that feeling remorse is a sign of maturity. So one question we might have of data is, does this tendency grow with time, grow with age, as we might imagine that it does? So here is some data that I actually collected. I had a survey, 400 people filled it out. And I gave people a measure of guilt proneness. You don’t really need to know how this works. But essentially, a higher score means you’re more sensitive. You’re more likely to feel remorse. We asked people their age.
And I just looked to see if there was some sort of correlation or link between these two things. Now you don’t know how to do these analyses yet. But that is going to give you the foundation for understanding this example. So I’ve graphed the data here. Now you can see on the bottom of the screen, you have age. And going up on the screen, you have guilt. And just looking at this data, it kind of looks like there’s some sort of relationship here, like you can just kind of see that as people age, it looks like the guilt scores are going up. This kind of looks just like maybe there’s some sort of relationship here.
This is the first step of data analysis, is just to get a good look at the relationships in your sample. Now in this case, we can also do another statistical analysis, one that you might get a chance to learn in this course. In this case, we’re going to do something called a regression analysis. And that lets me draw a trend line. And we look at this trend line, we do see that there is an upward relationship. Look at that red line. As age increases, people’s personalities do tend to become more sensitive to feeling remorse. And so here now we have unpacked a story about how personality works. Indeed, people’s personalities do appear to change with age. Isn’t that interesting?
We can actually look and see this effect of maturing with age in just a simple correlation plot like this. I hope this gives you kind of a little bit of excitement about analysing data. There are stories to be told, whatever the variables you’re interested in. You might not be interested in remorse and age. You might be interested in all kinds of different things. But regardless, there are stories in the data to be told, insights like this one about any topic you might be interested in. And as long as you have data, we can find the story. So let’s go ahead and get into the fundamentals of data analysis so we can begin to unpack stories in your data.

Math and Data

In this introductory lesson, we’ll explore the basics of data set anatomy, including variables, observations, and how a “tidy” data set is organized. We’ll also look at some concrete examples of data analysis in action. Data analysis is more than just a bunch of mathematical abstractions; it has real uses in the real world.

To navigate this lesson, click through the icons along the horizontal bar above, moving in order from left to right. Start by clicking the “Example Analysis” video. Once you’ve finished each section of the lesson, be sure to take the “Lesson 1 Assessment” quiz at the very end before moving on to Lesson 2.

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Essential Mathematics for Data Analysis in Microsoft Excel

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