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Book

USING THE COMPUTER IN SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH

The purpose of any data analysis procedure is to condense information contained in a body of data into a form that can be easily comprehended and interpreted. Sometimes this process is used simply to describe a body of empirical data, but it is far more common for the social scientist to use tools to search for meaningful patterns of relationships among sets of variables, that is, as a means to test empirical social theory. In its most simple form, such analysis could appear as a chart or some other visual display of information. The more complex forms, however, require computers to help us complete analysis in a timely and accurate fashion. Computers are extremely useful for the processing of large quantities of data and reducing data to more manageable and easily understood forms. The need for large-scale processing led directly to the development of the computer, with the earliest applications ...

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