Purposes of this practical
a)to give you practical experience of working with a large data set
b)to give you practical experience of a widely used method of statistical analysis: correlation
c)to familiarise you with key concepts in individual differences research: ‘g’ or general intelligence, heritability and concordance
d)to introduce you to a specific measure of general intelligence: Raven’s Progressive Matrices
e)to give you experience of summarising and presenting data for inclusion in a research report
f)to give you experience of writing up a research report
You will need to conduct a separate correlation for each group of 50 pairs, i.e. you will compute 10 correlations in all. One way to do this is to organise the original data set into 10 separate SPSS files before producing the scatterplots and running the analyses. Alternatively, you can use the split file command in SPSS to divide the data set into 10 groups. Once the large data set has been divided up, for the Method section of your report, you should also compute the average age within each group (using the appropriate measure of central tendency and dispersion), and the number of males and females in each group.
Your report should be no more than 2500 words in length and it should be organised as follows:
Your Abstract should be a concise overview of the study (no more than 150 words) that summarises the entire report.
As usual, your Introduction should be structured such that you begin in broad general terms then focus more narrowly on the particulars of your own study, including its specific aims, towards the end. You should present the reader with some background on the topic of the genetic inheritance of intelligence, and explain what previous research has found. A key issue to discuss is how researchers have sought to untangle the hereditary and environmental determinants of intelligence. At the end of the Introduction, you should make clear what the hypothesis of the study is.
Here you should describe your sample of participants. As well as explaining how the sample comprises 10 distinct groups, you should report the number of males and females in each group and the mean (and standard deviation) ages in each group. Where a group comprises pairs of parents and children, you should report separate mean ages (and standard deviation) for the parents and the children.