Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

Quantitative Methods for the Social Sciences - 1st semester



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas





Teacher in charge

Ana Isabel Afonso

Weekly hours


Teaching language



This course aims to develop quantitative skills and formal reasoning providing a base of quantitative and descriptive statistics literacy for practical
application across the social sciences. It also has as primary learning goal to familiarize the student with the use of a spreadsheet and/or
statistical analysis software EXCEL in the manipulation of quantitative data.
At the end of the semester, the student will be able to:
1) Organize, describe and compare structured information using descriptive statistics tools;
2) Colect and analize statistical data about a selected topic;
3) Use spreadsheets to produce charts and graphs;
4) Use statistical arguments to discuss research results;
5) Write a scientific report, retrieving and summarizing the results of an applied statistical study.



Subject matter

I Introduction to Statistics: basic concepts
a. Statistics and scientific inquiry
b. Basic definitions (validity and reliability; variables and constants; independent and dependent variables; control and experimental groups; scales of measurement and variables)
c. Descriptive and inferential statistics (population, parameters, sampling)
II Data organization: descriptive statistics
a. Graphs and frequency distributions
b. Frequency comparison - proportion; percentage; ratio; tax; variation tax
c. Measures of central tendency and dispersion
d. Normal and binomial distribution
III Analysis of variance, correlation and regression


BERNARD, H. Russel (1995) Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Walnut Creek, London, New Delhi:
AltaMira Press.
MADRIGAL, Lorena (1998) Statistics for Anthropology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
MARGARET D. LECOMPTE E JEAN SCHENSUL (1999) Designing & Conducting Ethnographic Research (1-Ethnographer’s Toolkit), Walnut Creek, London, New Delhi: AltaMira Press (61-96).
NAZARETH, J. Manuel (1981) Introdução aos métodos quantitativos em ciências sociais: manual de ensino, Lisboa: FCSH-U.N.L.
REIS, Elizabeth (2008) Estatística Descritiva. Lisboa: Editora SILABO.
*Nota: Bibliografia complementar específica é sugerida ao longo das aulas.
*Note: Addicional specific references are suggested throughout the semester.

Teaching method

Time in class (2x1h45mn) will be divided between instruction and practice during the week. 1st time will be a mix of theory and practice; 2nd time
will focus on learning computer-based data analysis with Excel in the computer Lab.
(1) Lectures introducing the student to the topics delivered;
(2) In class training and consolidation of the learning process - individual or small group exercises starting from a research example of the use of
a particular statistical test, followed by quantitative data analysis and interpretation;
(3) Computer Lab sessions;
(4) Mentoring undergraduates in writing the final paper project.

Evaluation method

- [20% + 20%] testI (5th week) + testII (10th week)
- [50%] Final paper project [máx. 12pp.] reporting the results of a statistical study about life conditions of portuguese undergraduates (processing
of rough data stored in an Excel file, containing 5 years of data on Anthropology and Science Po students).
- [10%] Power Point oral presentation [10´]