Unit 12

Unit 12:
How to Interpret and Create Tables and Charts
Unit 12: Assignment #1 (due before 11:59 pm Central on THU JUL 28):

  1. In this Unit, you will learn how to design and interpret tables and figures (which are also called graphs or charts). To learn why it’s important that you know how to design and interpret tables and figures:
    1. First, review from Unit 1: Assignment #6 Brooklyn College’s summary of Coplin’s (2012) book, 10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College.
    2. Second, note that on p. 9, under the heading “Communicate Well,” the skill of “Use Visual Displays” is listed, and on p. 13, under the heading, “Using Quantitative Tools,” the skill “Use Graphs and Tables” is listed.
  2. Ensure that you’ve finished collecting data on the two surveys you designed during Unit 11.
    1. Remember that you’re NOT allowed to solicit as research participants anyone you do not already know (including any students from this class who you do not already know).
    2. Remember that you’re NOT allowed to contact other instructors about administering your surveys to students in their classes.
    3. Remember that you must collect data from at least 10 participants on each of your two surveys; the 10 participants can be the same participants for both of your two surveys or some combination of the same and different.
    4. Remember that the 10 participants on each of your two surveys cannot be any of your pilot participants for that survey.
    5. Remember that the 10 participants on each of your two surveys cannot be members of your current Chat Group, although they can be members of your previous Chat Group if those students are not also members of your current Chat Group.
    6. Remember that the data from all 10 (non-pilot) participants must be complete.
      • If any of your 10 participants, for either of your two surveys, agree to complete your survey but drop out (or otherwise don’t complete your survey), you’ll need to replace those participants.
    7. If you’ve collected complete sets of data from more than 10 (non-pilot) participants, that’s fine.
      • For example, if you asked 15 participants to complete your survey, and 14 did, that’s fine. Don’t throw away (or ignore) any data! Use all the complete data you obtained
  3. To learn how to code the responses to your surveys’ open-ended items, read Infosurv Research’s (2015) article, “How to Code Open-Ended Survey Question Responses.”
    1. Note that during Step #2, you should read through ALL the responses to each of your open-ended items, not just a sample, BEFORE you start to code the responses (because your surveys’ sample sizes are small enough to make it feasible for you to read through all the responses).
    2. As Step #8 directs, you should repeat Steps #3 through #6 as many times as it takes to obtain a valid and reliable coding system for each of your open-ended items.
    3. As Step #4 recommends, make sure your final coding scheme has no more than 7 coding categories (for each open-ended item) and no coding category has less than 5% of responses.
  4. Next, count the number of responses in each of your coding categories (for each of your open-ended items) by following the example provided by the Planning Council for Health and Human Services’ (2011) handout.
    1. For each of the open-ended items in your two surveys, make a table like the example table in the Planning Council for Health and Human Services’ (2011) handout.
    2. Make sure each of your tables contains the exact wording of the open-ended item (as the Planning Council for Health and Human Services’ (2011) handout does at the top of its table).
    3. Save each of your tables as its own separate image (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png), or take a screenshot of each table.
  5. Go to the Unit 12: Assignment #1 Discussion Board and make a new post of at least 200 words in which you do the following:
    1. First, tell us how many open-ended items each of your two surveys contained.
    2. Second, describe the process you used for coding each of the open-ended items in your two surveys.
    3. Third, discuss any difficulties you encountered in coding the open-ended items.
    4. Fourth, tell us what you would do differently in a future survey to avoid these difficulties.
      • If you didn’t encounter any difficulties in coding the open-ended items, then discuss what features of your open-ended items or your coding scheme you think enabled you to avoid difficulties.
    5. Fifth, embed (not attach, but embed) the images of the tables you constructed for coding and counting the responses of each of your open-ended items.
      • The words in these tables do not count toward your at least 200 words Discussion Board post.
      • Remember to size each image correctly (no wider than 500 pixels and no taller than 500 pixels, as explained in the Course How To).

Unit 12: Assignment #2 (due before 11:59 pm Central on THU JUL 28):

  1. Good figures, charts, and graphs are informative and ethical. We will cover those two attributes later in this unit. In this assignment, you’ll learn and practice another attribute of good figures, charts, and graphs: They are creative.
  2. To whet your appetite for creative graphs, look at the following graphs that use household objects:
    1. In these two graphs, the top graph uses buttons to indicate quantity, and the bottom graph uses paint to indicate quantity.
    2. In these two graphs, the top graph uses candles to indicate quantity, and the bottom graph uses a hot dog to indicate quantity.
  3. Even without using household objects, you can use iconicity (which is a good word to learn) to create graphs. Look at each of the following graphs:
    1. This graph uses the length of elementary-school pencils to indicate the size of elementary-school classrooms.
    2. This graph uses the size of beverage bottle icons to indicate the monetary value of bottled beverage brands.
    3. This graph uses the number of Time Magazine covers to indicate the frequency with which different people have appeared on the cover of Time Magazine (through 2009).
    4. This graph arranges multiple countries’ carbon emissions in a foot-shaped graph to indicate the countries’ contributions to the global carbon footprint.
  4. Hopefully, at this point, you are inspired to be creative with your graphs.
    1. As this graph demonstrates, data analysis requires data sorting, data arranging, and data visualization.
    2. As this graph demonstrates, you don’t need fancy software to create engaging graphs; you can even hand-draw creative graphs.
  5. Identify two open-ended items from your surveys that you think will enable you to make two creative graphs.
    1. The two open-ended items can be from the same survey.
    2. Or one open-ended item can be from one of your two surveys, and the other can be from your other survey.
    3. Using the data from these two open-ended items (that you coded in Assignment #1) and using whatever medium you choose to use, create two interesting graphs.
    4. Save each graph as its own image file (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png), or take a screenshot of each graph.
  6. Go to the Unit 12: Assignment #2 Discussion Board and make a new post of at least 200 words in which you do the following:
    1. First, discuss which graphs that you looked at in this Assignment (in steps b. and c.) you liked the most – and why;
    2. Second, discuss why you chose to graph the two open-ended items that you chose to graph.
    3. Third, discuss how you created your two graphs (e.g., what medium did you use? did you use any software? etc.)
    4. Fourth, embed (not attach) the two images of your two creative graphs.
      • The words in these graphs do not count toward your at least 200 words Discussion Board post.
      • Remember to size each image correctly (no wider than 500 pixels and no taller than 500 pixels, as explained in the Course How To).

Unit 12: Assignment #3 (due before 11:59 pm Central on FRI JUL 29):

  1. Now that you’ve learned how to analyze (and graph) the data from your two surveys’ open-ended items, let’s turn to the data from your two surveys’ closed-ended items.
    1. First, review Peters’ (no date) article, “How to Design a Survey,” which you read during Unit 11
      • Remember the differences between categorical (also known as nominal) and ordinal survey items (and survey responses).
        • Remember that categorical (also known as nominal) responses are unordered CATEGORIES, such as colors or brand names.
        • Remember that ordinal responses are ORDERED, such as Strongly Agree, Agree, Neither Agree Nor Disagree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree.
    2. Second, for each of the closed-ended items on your two surveys, identify whether each closed-ended item is categorical (also known as nominal) or ordinal.
  2. Next Read Peters’ (no date) article, “How to Analyze a Survey.” Although this article is chock-full of good advice, it’s dense. You might need to read it a couple of times.
    1. At the bottom of p. 1 through the top of p. 2, Peters describes how to make a frequency table from categorical data.
    2. At the bottom of p. 2 through the top of p. 3, Peters describes how to make a contingency table from categorical data.
    3. At the bottom of p. 3 and through p. 4, Peters describes how to make a frequency table from ordinal data.
    4. Peters also mentions that you can make a contingency table from ordinal data, although he doesn’t illustrate that specific case. However, you can probably infer how to do this by looking at Peters’ example of a contingency table with categorical data and frequency table with ordinal data.
  3. From each of your two surveys, identify one closed-ended item that will enable you to make a frequency table.
    1. From the closed-ended item in your first survey that you identified, make a frequency table.
      • Save this frequency table as an image (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png), or take a screenshot of it.
    2. From the closed-ended items in your second survey that you identified, make a frequency table.
      • Save this second frequency table as an image (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png), or take a screenshot of it.
  4. From each of your two surveys, identify one or more closed-ended items that will enable you to make a contingency table.
    1. From the one or more closed-ended items in your first survey that you identified, make a contingency table.
      • Save this contingency table as an image (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png), or take a screenshot of it.
    2. From the one or more closed-ended items in your second survey that you identified, make a contingency table.
      • Save this second contingency table as an image (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png), or take a screenshot of it.
  5. Go to the Unit 12: Assignment #3 Discussion Board and make a new post of at least 200 words in which you do the following:
    1. First, embed (not attach) the frequency table you made from your first survey.
    2. Second, tell us why you chose to make a frequency table from that item.
    3. Third, embed (not attach) the frequency table you made from your second survey.
    4. Fourth, tell us why you chose to make a frequency table from that item.
    5. Fifth, embed (not attach) the contingency table you made from your first survey.
    6. Sixth, tell us why you chose to make a contingency table from those items.
    7. Seventh, embed (not attach) the contingency table from your second survey.
    8. Eighth, tell us why you chose to make a contingency table from those items.
      • The words in these tables do not count toward your at least 200 words Discussion Board post.
      • Remember to size each image correctly (no wider than 500 pixels and no taller than 500 pixels, as explained in the Course How To).

Unit 12: Assignment #4 (due before 11:59 pm Central on FRI JUL 29):

  1. Now you’re going to get more experience making charts, albeit more traditional charts than you made for Assignment #2.
    1. First, re-read from Peters’ (no date) article, “How to Analyze a Survey,” the section “How to Graph Ordinal Scale Data” on pp. 5-6. (Peters describes how to make a “Diverging Bar Chart”).
    2. Second, read an excerpt from Few’s (2004) article, “Selecting the Right Graph for Your Message.” (Few’s article describes how to make seven different types of graphs.)
  2. From each of your two surveys, identify some data that will enable you to make an interesting graph: either a “Diverging Bar Chart,” as described and illustrated in Peters’ article on pp. 5-6, or one of the other types of graphs illustrated in Few’s article on pp. 2-3.
    1. First, make a graph from data from your first survey.
    2. Second, save this graph as an image (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png), or take a screenshot of it.
    3. Third, make a second graph from data from your second survey.
    4. Fourth, save this second graph as an image (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png), or take a screenshot of it.
  3. Go to the Unit 12: Assignment #4 Discussion Board and make a new post of at least 200 words in which you do the following:
    1. identify, for each of your two graphs, what type of graph it is;
    2. discuss, for each of your two graphs, why you chose that type of graph;
    3. discuss, for each of your two graphs, why you chose the data you chose to present in that graph;
    4. explain, for each of your two graphs, how you created the graph; and
    5. embed (not attach) the images of both of your two graphs (which do not count toward the 200-word count for your Discussion Board post).

Unit 12: Assignment #5 (due before 11:59 pm Central on SUN JUL 31):

  1. We now turn to the remaining two attributes of good figures, charts, and graphs: They are informative and ethical.
  2. To appreciate how incredibly informative a chart can be, please do the following:
    1. First, look at Minard’s (1869) well-known chart of Napolean’s 1812 (ill-fated) military campaign into Russia.
    2. Second, read an excerpt from Wikipedia about this chart, including the fact that noted (modern-day) statistician Edward Tufte says that Minard’s (1869) chart “may well be the best statistical graphic ever drawn.”
    3. Look back at Minard’s (1869) chart and notice that it captures six types of data: the number of Napoleon’s troops; the distance Napoleon’s troops traveled; the direction they traveled; the temperature during their travels; and the latitude and longitude of the places to which they traveled.
  3. To look at current-day graphs that are highly informative:
    1. This graph captures multiple sources of data about dog breeds: size, type (hound, herding, terrier), public popularity, and perceived smarts. Notice that the dogs face in one direction if they’re considered clever, and they face another direction if they’re considered er … not so clever.
    2. This graph captures multiple sources of data about cooking oils: smoke point, % saturated fat; % mono-unsaturated fat; % poly-unsaturated fat; % trans fats; their Omega 3/6 ratio; and their taste.
    3. This graph captures the frequency of birthdates for each of the 365 days in the year (plus the 366th day in leap years).
    4. This graph captures not only the date of the peak cherry-blossom bloom in Kyoto, Japan, going back to 800 A.D., but also the statistical trend line derived from these data and the confidence interval of that trend line.
    5. This graph captures the ages of all Nobel Prize winners, from 1901 to 2014, and their area of expertise. The boxy-looking figures in the graph are called ‘box and whisker plots,’ which capture the mean, median, upper quartile, lower quartile, and range. If you’d like to learn how to make a box and whisker plot yourself, Khan Academy has a good tutorial.
  4. To appreciate the importance of making ethical graphs, please do the following:
    1. First, make sure you remember Chapters 5 and 6 of Huff’s (1954) How to Lie with Statistics book that you read in Unit 7: Assignment #2.
    2. Second, make sure you know that the x-axis is the horizontal axis (also called the abscissa), and the y-axis is usually the vertical axis (also called the ordinate). A mnemonic for distinguishing the x-axis from the y-axis is “x to the left” and “y to the sky.”
    3. Third, make sure you know the difference between bar charts and line charts.
    4. Fourth, watch TedEd’s (2017) video, “How to Spot a Misleading Graph.”
    5. Fifth, read through two University of Washington professors’ (2016) lecture notes, “Visualization: Misleading Axes on Graphs.”
  5. Write one five-paragraph essay supporting (with either reasons or examples) the thesis that good scientific visualizations should be informative, ethical, and creative.
    1. You may write a Reasons-style essay (“Good scientific visualizations should be informative, ethical, and creative because …”) or an Examples-style essay (“Good scientific visualizations should be informative, ethical, and creative as illustrated by …”). But it should be clear to your reader which style essay you’ve written.
    2. Make sure your essay contains all the necessary components of a five-paragraph essay (see, for example, the checklist in the Peer-Review Guidelines).
    3. Remember to synthesize psychological science rather than MadLib it. Review the Synthesizing Research cheat-sheet.
    4. If you need to attribute the source of your ideas (remember Bowdoin College’s “When to Cite” rule of thumb: “paraphrasing must always be traced to its original source”), make sure to include in-text (parenthetical) citations at the ends of your sentences and full APA-style citations at the end of your essay.
    5. Save your five-paragraph essay as a PDF, named YourLastname_PSY-225_VisualizationEssay.pdf.
  6. Go to the Unit 12: Assignment #5 Discussion Board and attach (not embed) your PDF for your essay.

Unit 12: Assignment #6 (due before 11:59 pm Central on SUN JUL 31):

  1. Meet online with your Chat Group for a one-hour text-based Chat.
  2. Prior to your Chat Group meeting, all members of your Chat Group MUST have completed Assignments #1, #2, and #3 in this Unit.
  3. In addition, prior to your Chat Group meeting, each member must have access to and be able to share with another person the Raw Data File from each of their two surveys. By Raw Data File, we mean the data that the survey platform (e.g., SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, GoogleForms, etc) provided to you, as the researcher.
  4. The purpose of this Group Chat is to give everyone experience both ensuring that their own research is reproducible AND evaluating the reproducibility of other students’ research.
    1. Remember from Unit 7 and Munafó et al.’s (2017) article “A Manifesto for Reproducible Science” that one of the recommended procedures for making science, including psychological science, more reproducible (replicable and reliable) is “Open Data.”
    2. “Open Data” means data that can be shared with all other researchers.
    3. “Open Data” improves reproducibility because when researchers share their data with other researchers, those other researchers can repeat the same analyses on the same data set and — hopefully — obtain the same results.
    4. Therefore, during this Group Chat, each Chat Group member will share their data, and the other Chat Group member(s) will repeat some of the same analyses to — hopefully — obtain the same results.
    5. Other than ensuring that you have access to and are able to share with another person the Raw Data File from each of your two surveys, do NOT do anything else before your Chat Group meets together.
  5. Begin the one-hour text-based Chat, with each Chat Group member sharing with the other Chat Group member(s) the Raw Data Files from each of their two surveys.
    1. You can share your Raw Data Files via email, Dropbox, Google Drive, or any file exchange/sharing mechanism you prefer.
    2. However, you must provide to all the other Chat Group member(s) a Raw Data File for each of your two surveys AND the Raw Data Files must be in a format (Excel, Google Sheets, Word, etc.) that the other Chat Group members can use.
    3. You should not proceed any further in the Group Chat until each Chat Group member has successfully received all the other Chat Group member(s) Raw Data Files AND each Chat Group member can successfully open and work with the other Chat Group member(s) Raw Data Files.
  6. The first reproduction you will attempt will be to reproduce other Chat Group members’ coding of their open-ended survey items.
    1. To begin, each Chat Group member will create privately (without the help of the Chat Group) two blank coding tables, like these two blank coding tables.
    2. To create the two blank coding tables, use the two tables you created for Unit 12: Assignment #1. BUT, IMPORTANTLY, MAKE A COPY of each of those previously created two tables.
    3. Then, on the copy of each table:
      • First, write your name (Student’s Name).
      • Second, write the title of your survey (Survey Title).
      • Third, write the verbatim wording of the survey item (Verbatim Survey Item). You must use the same words as the words used to identify that item in your Raw Data File. (Otherwise, other researchers won’t know precisely which item the table refers to.)
      • Fourth, retain the coding categories you have in the top row of the table (so that other researchers can use the same coding categories you created).
      • But, fifth, remove the participants’ responses under each coding category.
      • Also, remove the numbers you entered to count how many responses belonged to each coding category.
      • Check to make sure that your two blank coding tables look like these two blank coding tables.
    4. Share these blank coding tables with the other members of your Chat Group. You can share the tables via email, Dropbox, Google Drive, or any file exchange/sharing mechanism you prefer.
      • Furthermore, the tables can be in Word, Excel, Google Spreadsheet, or any other app that you like and that other Chat Group members can use.
    5. Next, using only the Raw Data Files and working independently of each other, try to recreate each coding table.
      • It’s crucial that you work independently of each other when trying to reproduce each other’s work. (Otherwise, the research has not been independently reproduced.)
    6. After everyone has attempted to reproduce each other’s coding tables, by filling in the blank coding tables, look at Unit 12: Assignment #1 and compare your filled-in coding tables with the Chat Group members’ submitted tables.
    7. Discuss how successful each reproduction was. Are there reasons why the coding of some items was more successful than the coding of other items? If so, what are those reasons?
  7. The second reproduction you will attempt will be to reproduce each other’s contingency tables using the Raw Data Files.
    1. For each contingency table, the Chat Group members who submitted the contingency table should tell the other Chat Group members ONLY what survey items they used to produce the contingency table.
    2. When trying to reproduce each contingency table, the other Chat Group members should work independently (of each other; otherwise, as we’ve mentioned before, the research has not been independently reproduced).
    3. After everyone has attempted to reproduce each other’s contingency tables, look at Unit 12: Assignment #3 and compare your reproduced contingency table with the Chat Group members’ submitted contingency table.
    4. Again discuss how successful each reproduction was. Are there reasons why some contingency tables were reproduced more or less successfully? If so, what are those reasons?
  8. At the end of your one-hour Chat:
    1. Nominate one member of your Chat Group (who participated in the Chat) to make a post on the Unit 12: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that summarizes your Group Chat in at least 200 words.
    2. Nominate another member of your Chat Group (who participated in the Group Chat using the browser Chrome on their laptop, rather than on their mobile device) to save the Chat transcript, in PDF, as described in the Course How To (under the topic, “How To Save and Attach a Chat Transcript”), and attach the Chat transcript, in PDF, to a Unit 12: Assignment #6 Discussion Board post.
    3. Nominate another member of your Chat Group (who also participated in the Chat) to make another post on the Unit 12: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that states the name of your Chat Group, the names of the Chat Group members who participated in the Chat, the date of your Chat, and the start and stop time of your Chat.
    4. If only two persons participated in the Chat, then one of those two persons needs to do two of the above three tasks.
    5. Before ending the Group Chat, arrange the date and time for the Group Chat you will need to hold during the next Unit (Unit 13: Assignment #6).
  • All members of the Chat Group must record a typical Unit entry in their own Course Journal for Unit 12.

Congratulations, you have finished Unit 12! Onward to Unit 13!