Exploring Society By The Numbers

Fear of Crime

Jana Jasinski, University of Central Florida


The purpose of this module is to introduce students in an online Criminology course to the idea of data analysis using an online analysis program and the General Social Survey. Prior to this module, students will have read several documents describing the scientific method including terminology such as statistical significance, independent and dependent variables, and operationalization. Once students have read this document, they then complete a guided online analysis and turn in their answers by completing an online quiz.

Learning Goals

  • Using software to access and analyze census data
  • Identifying independent and dependent variables
  • Forming testable hypotheses using quantitative data
  • Learning how to construct, read, and interpret bivariate tables displaying frequencies and percentages
  • Using real world data to enhance and support key course concepts
  • Examining the correlation between crime statistics and demographic data

Context for Use

This activity is used in a Sociology of Violence class for undergraduate students. This activity uses Census data to look at the correlation between crime statistics and demographic data.

Description and Teaching Materials

Exercises: PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 83kB Mar24 09)
Exercises: DOC (Microsoft Word 45kB Mar24 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

The module begins with an analysis that the students can follow along with. After they become acquainted with how the program works, students can then complete a data analysis exercise on their own. This activity uses General Social Survey data and data analysis tools from their own website. The web based software is a bit counter intuitive, and clearer instructions in class might be necessary.


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References and Resources

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