MAT 143 Module Four Project: Exploring Bias


Project Overview: 
Define and understand types of statistical bias. Create your own statistical study, then apply your knowledge and evaluate the study for statistical bias.
Course Learning Objective:
Describe, analyze, and interpret statistical information such as graphs, tables, and summarized data to draw appropriate conclusions when presented with actual statistical studies.
There are many types of statistical bias that may occur in a study.  Here is a list of nine types of statistical bias:
• Self-selection bias• Social Desirability bias• Recall bias• Observer bias• Survivorship bias• Omitted variable bias• Cause-effect bias• Funding bias• Acquiescence Bias
Part 1:  
Choose one type of statistical bias from the above list.  Research this type of statistical bias, using at least two sources. Write a short essay which includes the following:
• An introduction explaining the general concept of statistical bias.• At least one paragraph defining and describing the type of bias you chose to research.• At least 2 examples from your research of studies with the bias you have chosen to explore.• Proposals for eliminating this type of bias from the studies you cite as examples, if possible. If not possible to eliminate, explain why not.• A conclusion paragraph, in which you must decide whether it is always possible to avoid the type of bias you have chosen to research.  If so, give ways it can be avoided, in general. If not always possible to avoid, explain why you have come to that decision.
Be sure to list or cite your sources. 
Part 2:  
Create a hypothetical statistical study about any topic you find interesting and incorporate the type of statistical biaschosen in part 1. Note that you will not be required to actually carry out the study, so there is no need to worry about practical limitations such as traveling and expenses to conduct the work. Include the following in your answer for part 2:
• Describe the topic you will study.  • Clearly define your population and sample.  • Explain the goal of the study, i.e. what you want to find out.  • Describe the method you will use to conduct the study. Remember, this method should be flawed in some way to illustrate the type of statistical bias you have chosen.• Explain why/how your study is flawed and has bias.• Is it possible to eliminate the bias from your study?  If so, describe how you would redesign the study to eliminate the bias. If not, explain why not.

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