Descriptive statistics provide a snapshot of variables. They describe quantitative data by presenting the average or typical case. These types of descriptive statistics are called measures of central tendency. You can also describe data by showing how much the cases are spread out or clustered together. These types of statistics are called measures of dispersion. Measures of central tendency and measures of dispersions can be useful descriptors on their own, or they can be used as “building blocks” for more advanced statistics.
Neither approach (measures of central tendency or measures of dispersion) is superior to the other. They are often used in combination with each other to provide a fuller description of variables. For this week’s Discussion, you will consider which type of descriptive statistics (measures of central tendency or measures of dispersion) would be useful in describing the information you need to evaluate the program, problem, or policy you selected for your Final Project.
For this Discussion:
• Review Chapter 12 in your course text, Research Methods for Public Administrators, paying particular attention to the section on “Characteristics of a Distribution.”
• Review the article, “Introduction to Descriptive Statistics,” paying particular attention to examples of descriptive statistics.
• Think of a specific purpose(s) for using descriptive statistics in your selected organization.
• Consider why descriptive statistics would be used for this purpose(s).
• Consider the type(s) of descriptive statistics you might use, and whether the use of other descriptive statistics, might be valuable for this purpose.
Write a description of the descriptive statistics that might work well for the Evaluation Design in your Final Project. Explain how these statistics could be used, and justify why they are appropriate.
(Introduction to Final Project Below)
Evaluation of policies is essential as it assists in determining their effectiveness. The following paper delineates how the quasi-experimental would be used to evaluate the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act. New York City Police Department (NYPD) is one of the most recognized police departments in the US. However, NYPD has been accused of corruption, transgression, and brutality. Quasi-experimental design will be used to evaluate if the policy will be effective in decreasing police brutality in New York City. The act prohibits the police from applying harmful chokeholds against people. Besides, the policy recognizes aggravated strangulation as a new criminal activity. Some protestors and officials have called for the defunding of police departments. Some mayors plan to defund the police departments in their regions. A quasi-experimental design will also be used to evaluate if defunding the police will eradicate police brutality. The most appropriate evaluation design for the described policy would be quasi-experimental. A quasi-experimental design allows researchers to determine the causal impact of a specific program or independent variable on participants without random assignment. Purposive sampling is the most appropriate sampling method for selecting the sample for the evaluation study. This sampling method requires the researcher to utilize his or her judgment when identifying study participants from a specific population. The potential ethical issues associated with quasi-experimental design include bias, internal validity, confidentiality, and informed consent. The anticipated findings after the evaluation will reveal what would be expected if the research was performed. The policy will decrease police brutality in New York City. Besides, defunding NYDP will also reduce brutality in the region.
• Johnson, G. (2014). Research methods for public administrators (3rd ed.). Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.
o Chapter 12, “Data Analysis for Description” (pp. 171–185)
• Taber, D. R., Chriqui, J. F., Powell, L., & Chaloupka, F. J. (2013). Association between state laws governing school meal nutrition content and student weight status: Implications for new USDA school meal standards. JAMA Pediatrics, 167(6), 513–519.
Association between state laws governing school meal nutrition content and student weight status: implications for new USDA school meal standards by Taber, D. R., Chriqui, J. F., Powell, L., & Chaloupka, F. J. in JAMA Pediatrics, 167(6), 513-519. Copyright 2013 by American Medical Association.
Reprinted by permission of American Medical Association via the Copyright Clearance Center.
• Carnochan, S., Samples, M., Myers, M., & Austin, M. J. (2013). Performance measurement challenges in nonprofit human service organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.
Performance measurement challenges in nonprofit human service organizations by Carnochan, S., Samples, M., Myers, M., & Austin, M. J. in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, [online]. doi: 10.1177/0899764013508009. Copyright 2013 by Sage Publications. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications via the Copyright Clearance Center.
• Hill, J. (n.d.). Introduction to descriptive statistics. University of Illinois, Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. Retrieved June 7, 2014, from http://mste.illinois.edu/hill/dstat/dstat.html
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