Walden University Central Tendency & Variability GSS Dataset Discussion


For this Discussion, you will examine central tendency and variability based on two separate variables. You will also explore the implications for positive social change based on the results of the data.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review this week’s Learning      Resources and the Descriptive      Statistics media program.
  • For additional support, review      the Skill      Builder: Visual Displays for Categorical Variables and      the Skill      Builder: Visual Displays for Continuous Variables, which      you can find by navigating back to your Blackboard Course Home Page. From      there, locate the Skill Builder link in the left navigation pane.
  • Review the Chapter 4 of the Wagner      text and the examples in the SPSS software related to central tendency and      variability.
  • From the General Social Survey      dataset found in this week’s Learning Resources, use the SPSS software and      choose one continuous and one categorical variable Note: this      dataset will be different from your Assignment dataset).
  • As you review, consider the      implications for positive social change based on the results of your data.

Post, present, and report a descriptive analysis for your variables, specifically noting the following:

For your continuous variable:

  1. Report the mean, median, and mode.
  2. What might be the better measure      for central tendency? (i.e., mean, median, or mode) and why?
  3. Report the standard deviation.
  4. How variable are the data?
  5. How would you describe this data?
  6. What sort of research question      would this variable help answer that might inform social change?

Post the following information for your categorical variable:

  1. A frequency distribution.
  2. An appropriate measure of      variation.
  3. How variable are the data?
  4. How would you describe this data?
  5. What sort of research question      would this variable help answer that might inform social change? 

Be sure to support your Main Post and Response Post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA Style.

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Frankfort-Nachmias, C., Leon-Guerrero, A., & Davis, G. (2020). Social statistics for a diverse society (9th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  • Chapter 3, “Measures of      Central Tendency” (pp. 75-111)
  • Chapter 4, “Measures of      Variability” (pp. 113-150)

Wagner, III, W. E. (2020). Using IBM® SPSS® statistics for research methods and social science statistics (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  • Chapter 4, “Organization and      Presentation of Information”
  • Chapter 11, “Editing Output”


Your instructor will post the datasets for the course in the Doc Sharing section and in an Announcement. Your instructor may also recommend using a different dataset from the ones provided here.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016d). Descriptive statistics [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 7 minutes.

In this media program, Dr. Matt Jones demonstrates the procedures used for central tendency and variability using SPSS software. Focus on how this demonstration might support your analysis in this week’s Assignment.

Accessible player  –Downloads– Download Video w/CC Download Audio Download Transcript 

Optional Resources

Wheelan, C. (2013). Naked statistics: Stripping the dread from data. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Skill Builders:

  • Measures of      Central Tendency for Continuous Variables
  • Standard      Deviation as a Measure of Variability for Continuous Variables
  • Measures of      Central Tendency and Variability for Categorical Variables