Chapter Summary

The first step in analyzing data is describing its pattern. Descriptions are always more evocative when they are accompanied by some kind of visual presentation of data. For political scientists, this will normally entail presenting the data in either a figure or a table. In this chapter, we learn how to make professional-looking graphs that we can include as figures. We also learn how to make professional-looking contingency tables as one form that a statistical table can take.

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should:

  • Know whether to present data in a figure or a table
  • Be able to create an honest graph
  • Know how to combine two variables on a single graph
  • Be able to set up a contingency table
  • Know how to collapse interval level variables
  • Know how to interpret a contingency table
  • Understand how to avoid committing an ecological fallacy
  • Be able to produce a contingency table in SPSS
  • Know how make a professional looking contingency table in Word