Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 20:33:51 +0500
Reply-To: Faiz Rasool <email@example.com>
Sender: "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Faiz Rasool <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: When to treat variables as continuous variables?
My apologies for a slightly non-SPSS question. I'm a Blind student of Sociology. Unfortunately I'm learning statistics from a teacher who is not an expert at statistics. I've been trying to improve my understanding of what type of analysis to use in different situations. One of the main ideas that I've find it difficult to draw a conclusion about is when certain variables can be treated as a continuous variables. So techniques like regression and tests like T tests can be used. As a Sociology student I am mostly dealing with categorical variables measured using likert scale. I've read that chi-square test is appropriate for finding out the relationship between two categorical variables. yet I observe in journal articles and on this list as well that regression is used in such situations. The textbooks I've read seems to assume that the student is been informed about this kind of thing in the class. But unfortunate students like me are left to learn for themselves. So my question is that what rule of thumb should I try to follow and keep in my mind as I try to improve my understanding of statistical analysis as a Sociology student.
Thanks all, and sorry for a non-SPSS question.