Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Data access to the GSS   posted by the @ 9/26/2006 10:20:00 AM

Half Sigma made a series of interesting posts about the General Social Survey. I recently noticed that GSS data are available thru a very useful web application. Click that link to a go at it. Below the fold is a brief primer on what I've learned from playing around with it.

If you want to jump right in, get started with Row=WORDSUM, Column=GOD.
Also fun: Row=POLVIEWS, Column=CHILDS

Getting started help page

useful "Analysis" options:
* Frequencies or crosstabulation - produces heat-map tables like Half Sigma's posts
* Comparison of means - useful to compare WORDSUM scores between groups
* Correlation matrix - useful for "pairwise" correlation matrix
* Comparison of correlations - compare correlations when controlling for another variable
* Multiple regression - multiple R

The lower left panel is a topic-sorted index of variables. Pick a variable from the list and click "view" to get a description. Use this panel to build your queries, or type in variables yourself.

useful variables:
* SEX (1=male, 2=female)
* RACE RACECOMB (1=white,2=black,3=other)
* WORDSUM - a 10 Q vocabulary test
* EDUC and DEGREE - measures of education
* INCOME - family income

filtering: to limit an analysis to a subset of the total population
* example: "age(18-50), racecomb(1)" = Whites age 18-50