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## Statistics Class: Pass? or Prepared?

Statistics Class Online Resources
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: February 8, 2000
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## Statistics Class Pass? or Prepared?Using Interpretative Models

Using the sample tables 1 and 2 in Viewing Messages, answer the following question:

1. Could we say that since most respondents are Protestant, and since most respondents believe that hard work leads to succes, that most Protestants believe in hard work?

Absolutely NOT! These are separate frequency tables. They tell us only how many Protestants there are in our sample, and how many people in our sample believe that hard work leads to success. They do not tell us how or if identifying with the Protestant religion is in any way related to one's belief in hard work. To answer that question we would have to look at cross tabs. That means we would have to look at how many people who identified themselves as Protestant also believed in hard work.

Please note that one cannot mathematically put the data from two separate frequency tables together to show a relaltionship between the variables reported in the table. Why not? Because in a frequency table we have only a distribution of that one variable. I might have answered Protestant and luck counts more than hard work. How would you know that just by a table that says 812 people identified themselves as Protestant, and another table that says 116 people believe luck counts more than hard work? You need to know what I said about both. So to interpret how the two are related you need to know what each respondent said about BOTH. For that you need a cross tab.