Introduction To Program Evaluation Homework MAKE SURE TO ONLY INCLUDE THE EXERCISES-DO NOT INCLUDE THE EXAMPLES AND HELP INFORMATION  Exercise 1 presents

Introduction To Program Evaluation Homework MAKE SURE TO ONLY INCLUDE THE EXERCISES-DO NOT INCLUDE THE EXAMPLES AND HELP INFORMATION 

Exercise 1 presents several research questions.  Each research question contains an independent and a dependent variable.    You are only to identify the independent and dependent variables  

What are independent and dependent variables

The independent variable …is the [variable] …being manipulated.  The independent variable is also called the explanatory variable.  The resultant variable is called the dependent variable or the outcome variable.

 

IN OTHER WORDS:

Independent variable (IV): A variable that is hypothesized to cause, or lead to, variation in another variable. In an experiment, the levels of independent variables are controlled by the experimenter.  Independent variables serve as inputs.

True Independent Variable: An independent variable that permits random assignment of research participants.

Quasi-Independent Variable: An independent variable that does not permit random assignment of research participants.

Dependent variable (DV): A variable that is hypothesized to vary depending on or under the influence of another variable.  A variable observed in an experiment that is not under the direct control of the experimenter.

 

SOME EXAMPLES

A.  A study seeks to find out if listening to rap music causes teenagers to become more violent than their peers who do not listen to rap music.

 

Rap Music                                           Violence

Independent Variable (IV)                  Dependent Variable (DV)

 

Listening to rap music (IV)                            more violence (DV)

 

NOTE: Use of the term “cause” indicates direction so if IV causes a change in DV, then …

 

A. A group of researchers is interested in examining the effects of long-term poverty.  They do this by studying subjects’ physiological health and attachment to the workforce.

 

Long-term poverty                              Physiological health, Attachment to workforce

Independent Variable                                     Dependent Variable

 

Long-term poverty (IV)                                  Physiological health (DV)

 

Long-term poverty (IV)                                  Attachment to the workforce (DV)

 

NOTE: “Examining the effects of” suggests what the IV is, long-term poverty.  What they study suggests the DV

 

A. A study finds that self-esteem increases as a consequence of receiving good grades on examinations.

 

Good grades                                                    Self-Esteem

Independent Variable                                     Dependent Variable

 

Good grades (IV)                                            Self-esteem (DV)

 

NOTE: Use of the term “finds” and “as a consequence” indicates direction so a change in self-esteem (DV) as a consequence of the good grades (IV) tells us which is the IV and which is the DV.

 

 Question 1 is to identify the dependent (B) and independent (A) variables (If A then B-remember that it is not always set up this way).  

1)  Identify the independent and dependent variables in the research project statements.  

A. A study seeks to find out if trust in government is influenced by ethnicity.

DV: __________________   IV: __________________

B. A group of researchers is interested in examining voter turnout.  They do this by studying voter’s age.

DV: __________________   IV: __________________

C. A study finds that the birthrate is subject to urbanization.

DV: __________________   IV: __________________

D. A study finds that divorce rates in not effected by musical taste

DV: __________________   IV: __________________

E. According to researchers, party identification impacts most political behavior

DV: __________________   IV: __________________

Question 2 is about finding indicators-examples of variables that could represent (act as a proxy) for the concept—Do not list variables that could be possible causes (or change) in the concept.  See Appendices 1, 2, 3 under course documents as they might help.

POSSIBLE VARIABLES FROM THE STATES10 DATA SET

Educational Attainment

EDS 131 Percent of Population Graduated from High School: 2008

EDS 134 Public High School Drop-Out Rate (Inverse would be more 

appropriate—Should equal EDS 131): 2007

EDS 154 Percent of Population with a bachelor’s degree or More: 2008                

 

NOTE: EDS 131 and 154 are the most widely used measures for Educational Attainment

 

Health

HTH 100 Infant Mortality Rate per 1000 Live Births: 2006

HTH 398 Sexually Transmitted Disease Rate per 100,000: 2006 

HTH 405 Percent of Adults Who Have Asthma: 2008

HTH 510 Percent of Adults Who Smoke: 2008 (See Also HTS 421)

HTH 522 Percent of Adults with High Blood Pressure: 2007

HTH 527 Percent of Adults Rating Their Health as Fair or Poor: 2008 

HTS 422 Percent of Adults Overweight or Obese: 2008

 

NOTE; There are several questions concerning Alcohol consumption that are not necessarily good measures of health

 

Poverty

PVS 519 Poverty Rate: 2008

PVS 521 Percent of Children Living in Poverty: 2008

PVS 523 Percent of Female-Headed Families with Children Living in Poverty: 

2008

PVS 542 Percent of Population Receiving Public Aid: 2007

PVS 551 Percent of Population Receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance 

Program Benefits, 2008 

 

POSSIBLE EXAMPLES FROM THE GSS DATA SETS

Religious Commitment

RELITEN (105): Strength of affiliation  

ATTEND (104): How often R attends religious services

 

Prejudice

MARHOMO (55): Homosexuals should have the right to marry

HOMOSEX (114): Homosexual sexual relations (wrong to not wrong)

INTLWHTS (93): Scale rating intelligence for whites from unintelligent to intelligent

INTLBLKS (94): Scale rating intelligence for blacks from unintelligent to intelligent

 

Sexual Activity

PARTNERS (117): How many partners in last year

SEXFREQ (118): Frequency of sex during the last year

XMARSEX (113): Sex with person other than spouse (wrong to not wrong)

 

Family Structure

HOMPOP (19): Number of Persons in Household

HHTYPE (25): Household Type

SEE APPENDICES 2-3 TO SEE WHAT THE GSS ABBREVIATIONS STATE FOR (COURSE DOCUMENTS-PSPP DOCUMENTS)

2) Indicators are used to measure abstract concepts.  List  at least two indicators that might prove to be reliable and valid in measuring the following concepts.  Note that sometimes, social indicators can be drawn from observing people, but can also be drawn by considering distributions of resources, organizations, or other sources of data.      

A. Economic Prosperity         E.g., Gross National Product (GNP)

                                                ______________________________

                                                ______________________________

B. Family Violence                 E.g., Admissions to Battered Women’s Shelters

                                                ______________________________

                                                ______________________________

C. Consumer Cultures           E.g., New York Times Bestsellers List

                                                ______________________________

                                                ______________________________

D. Mental Health                   E.g., Survey Reports on Happiness

                                                ______________________________

                                                ______________________________

After you submit your assignment–possible answers will be made available-if you need to revise and resubmit exercise 2, explain in detail what you did incorrectly. 

Questions 3 & 4 are based on information in the readings in the text-Evaluate the arguments  

3) Researchers have found a consistent relationship between schools and crimes.  More crimes occur in neighborhoods surrounding high schools and junior high schools than in neighborhoods far away from schools.  The researchers conclude that schools cause crime and believe that this relationship may have something to do with teachers not teaching students the appropriate lessons in the classroom.  By these data, do you find this argument compelling?  Why or why not?  If not, what could explain this relationship?

4)  The U.S Department of Justice has found that of the children killed by their parents, 55% of the murders were performed by the child’s mother and the child’s father performed 45% of the murders.  A researcher uses these data to support his contention that women are more violent than men.  By these data, do you find this argument compelling?  Why or why not?  If not, what could explain this relationship?

Information for Question 1 will be useful here as well

Questions 5 requires creating a hypothesis that clearly shows the dependent and independent variable. Evidenced based research should be used to indicate a valid and reliable variable. In creating a hypothesis, I suggest an if-then statement: If A (independent variable) is present, then b (dependent variable) occurs. For example, if drug abuse among the population increases, then the number of homicides increase.    

Hypothesis: A tentative statement about empirical reality, involving a relationship between two or more variables.   A prediction about the relationship between two variables asserting that changes in the measure of an independent variable will correspond to changes in the measure of a dependent variable.   Be clear and Concise

5)  What environmental conditions influence crime (B)?  Environmental conditions in this case could refer to home environment, neighborhood environment, or more societal environment) List 2 ( AND ONLY 2 ) possible environmental conditions:

1) ____________________________________     2) ___________________________________

A.  List two hypotheses that include the two listed factors (one factor for each hypothesis) that could influence crime (If A, then B)

HR1   __________________________________________________

HR2   __________________________________________________

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