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Culture Deciphered: Statistics in Practice


This course is taught in Dutch in the academic year 2018-2019.

Admission requirements

  • • This course is part of the foundation course in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (CA-OS) and only students registered for this course may participate in it.

  • • Interested parties who wish to take this course as contract students must register in accordance with the procedure set out on the faculty website .
    However, it is inadvisable to follow this course before completing at least an introductory social science course.


The following topics will be discussed:
Introduction to descriptive statistics. Data matrix, variables and measurement level; univariate analyses; displaying distributions using graphs.

  • Introduction to bivariate analysis and relationships; coherence between two variables.

  • Introduction to samples and populations; collecting data; types of sample.

  • Introduction to probability theory; probability models; outcomes room; rules of chance.

  • Discrete stochastic variables; expected value and variance; probability density function, distribution function.

  • Sample distributions for numbers and proportions; binomial probability distributions; normal probability distributions; standard normal probability distribution.

  • Assessment of hypotheses; significance level, critical area, alpha and beta errors.

  • Keys for association between two variables.

The above topics are further applied to anthropology and development sociology data during compulsory SPSS practicals.

Learning goals:

  • Knowledge of and ability to determine and interpret univariate statistics, with SPSS; knowledge of appropriate univariate statistical measurements, such as average and median, based on research questions and measurement level variables.

  • Being able to choose, apply and interpret the results of bivariate statistics; suitable bivariate statistical measurements for coherence or comparing averages based on research question, measurement level variables and possible assumptions (parametric or non-parametric).


Dates and room numbers can be found on the website

Registering exam

Students are required to register in uSis for every examination and may do so up to 10 calendar days before the examination Read more

Register in uSis

All participants must register for all lectures and all examinations, but not for the practicals. Registration periods and further information about procedure are given on the website on course registration.

Classification in practical groups is done by teaching staff and announced via Blackboard. Registration for practicals in Usis is NOT necessary.

Mode of instruction

  • lecture 14 × 3 hours = 42 hours = 63 sbu

  • practical: 7 × 2 hours = 14 hours = 14 sbu (compulsory)

  • literature ca. 378 pp = 63 sbu Total: 140 sbu (5 ECTS)


  • Open book written examination with multiple-choice and open questions on lecture material and assignments. The examination counts for 80% of the final mark.

  • Participation in compulsory practicals. Attendance will be checked.

  • A written paper which may be compiled during practical sessions; the paper accounts for 20% of the final mark.

Note: both examination and paper must be completed with satisfactory marks.

Only the final mark is registered in Usis; the written examination may be re-taken if an inadequate mark is achieved.


Participants may register on Blackboard from 2 weeks before the start of the course.


  • Field, Andy (2018). Discovering Statistics using SPSS. Fifth edition.

  • Collegesheets (made available via BlackBoard).

  • The literature on the course M & T1: Research skills is assumed to be known.


Dr. Annemarie Samuels