INTRODUCTION TO PROBABILITY THEORY AND HEALTH STATISTICS

Module 1 – Case

INTRODUCTION TO PROBABILITY THEORY AND HEALTH STATISTICS

Case Assignment

Part I (approximately 1–1½ pages, total):

Copy and paste the following examples (1-6 below), then respond by classifying each of the following variables as either: nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio. Provide a brief explanation where indicated.

  1. A researcher studying lifespan categorizes individuals into single, married, divorced, or widowed. What type of variable measurement is this?
  2. A cognitive scientist places her subjects into categories based on how anxious they tell her that they are feeling: “not anxious,” “mildly anxious,” “moderately anxious,” and “severely anxious,” and she uses the numbers 0, 1, 2 and 3 to label categories where lower numbers indicate less anxiety. What type of variable measurement is this? Are the categories mutually exclusive?
  3. A Physician diagnoses the presence or absence of disease (i.e., yes or no). What type of variable measurement is this?
  4. A person weighing 200 lbs. is considered to be twice as heavy as a person weighing 100 lbs. In this case, what type of measurement is body weight?
  5. A nurse takes measurements of body temperature on patients and reports them in units of degrees Farenheit as part of a study. What type of variable measurement is this?
  6. Patients rate their experience in the emergency room on a five point scale from poor to excellent (1 = very poor, 2 = not very good, 3 = neither good nor bad, 4 = quite good, and 5 = excellent). What type of variable measurement is this? Is the difference between a 1 and a 2 necessarily the same as the difference between a 3 and a 4? Explain briefly.

Part II: Statistics (1/2 page)

Given what you’ve learned in this module about the meaning of “statistics,” choose one of the examples from Part I (1-6), and raise a relevant question of your own that could be answered by a statistician. Then without answering your own question, explain how a pattern could be studied or a useful prediction made based on data that are to be collected.

Part III: Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data (approximately 1–1½ pages)

A health scientist wishes to measure how well participants diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are coping. Explain how a variable such as coping could be measured quantitatively or qualitatively.

Assignment Expectations

Assessment and Grading: Your paper will be assessed based on the performance assessment rubric that is linked within the course. Review it before you begin working on the assignment.

The following guidance appears only in Module 1, but it applies to the assignments throughout the course:

File format: Your work should be prepared using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel depending upon the assignment instructions. For assignments requiring video or voice recordings, use media formats that are supported by MyTLC Courses as noted in our Trident Support page.

In-text citations and references: Be sure that all information and ideas in your papers are supported by in-text citations and corresponding references at the end of the paper.

Scholarly sources: Online sources must be limited to credible professional and scholarly publications such as peer-reviewed journal articles, e-books, or specific webpages on websites from a university, government, or nonprofit organization (these have extensions .edu, .gov, or .org). Presenting consumer sources such as e-magazines, newspapers, Wikipedia, WebMD, or other commercial websites (these have extensions .com) as references is not appropriate.

Scholarly writing: Use an academic paper format, not an essay based on your opinions or experience. Avoid using the first person in writing. Synthesize what you learned from the sources you read; write papers in your own words; and cite sources within the text, as well as include a properly formatted reference list.

Use of direct quotes: Use of direct quotes should be avoided. Only use direct quotes when preserving the exact words of an author is necessary. In the rare instance that directly quoted material is used, it must be properly cited (with quotation marks and page numbers in the in-text citation); quotes should not exceed 5-10% of the total paper content.

The Writing Style Guide that is linked on the TLC Portal homepage under My Resources will help clarify expectations.

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