Choose a complex hypothesis (mediation, moderation, or spurious relation) that you are interested in testing with the data. Determine what set of tests would be needed to identify whether your hypothesis is true.

Application Essay

Testing a hypothesis with data requires identifying a series of relations about what might be happening. In this paper, you will be using an existing dataset — in this case from the Pew Research Center — to test a hypothesis and write a journalistic piece about it. In practice, there are two parts to this project. You will need to test your hypothesis with data and you will need to write about your hypothesis test in a paper.

To test your hypothesis with the data, you will need to do a few tasks:

Choose a complex hypothesis (mediation, moderation, or spurious relation) that you are interested in testing with the data. Note that you will need to select three (3) variables to accomplish this.

Determine what set of tests would be needed to identify whether your hypothesis is true.

Run each of these tests and get a p-value for them using the approaches we learned in lectures and labs (Lab 11 and Lab 12).

After you have run your hypothesis test, you will be writing up a news-style article based on your results. Here, your goal is to not only report on whether the hypothesis appears to be true, but also to provide the necessary information to contextualize what was done to test the hypothesis. As in your other papers, make sure to put the most important results up front and to provide contextual information later.

Your article should be between 600 and 1200 words (3-6 double-spaced pages).

Here are some things to make sure you mention in the piece:

What did you find?

What was the hypothesis tested?

How can the results be generalized? (What does the sample tell you about that?)

What were the actual measures used?

How were the variables coded for analysis?

What were the statistical tests that were used?

Choose a complex hypothesis (mediation, moderation, or spurious relation) that you are interested in testing with the data. Determine what set of tests would be needed to identify whether your hypothesis is true.