Welcome everyone!  This week's Discussion requires you to respond to both the introduction prompt (Part 1) and the project topic prompt (Part 2) to receive full credit. 

PART 2: Please read the Content for Week 1 prior to responding - Week 1 Overview and Learning Materials, particularly Choosing a Project Topic.

Choosing a topic: The point of this discussion is to share your topic idea for your project, specifying the two GSS variables you want to analyze, so that other students will ask you questions or make suggestions that may help you define your project better. Your instructor will also interact with each of you individually in this discussion to help you refine your topic. Remember to check your thread regularly!

As you present your topic in this discussion, think about how you would study it. What is your research question and your theory behind it? Your research question can be more general and open-ended than a hypothesis. (For example, what affects people's happiness?) Then, identify two variables found in the GSS 2018 dataset. You are choosing one independent variable and one dependent variable. Be sure to identify each variable name AND the questions asked in the survey. Wrap up by explaining why you chose these variables for your project and why you think there is a possible correlation or a relationship. Be sure to reference at least one academic source (peer-reviewed article) that relates to your topic.


In your replies to several posts from your classmates, think critically about what they are trying to do with their project, and offer them constructive feedback. This can be asking for clarification about their proposed topic, suggesting a direction for their research, suggesting sources they may want to check, or contributing your personal experience about this topic. Be sure to also answer at least one peer who responded to your initial post (and interact with the instructor as needed).

Reiteration: For your Week 1 "Choose a topic" initial posting, please list everything in the following list:

Describe what your topic is, phrasing it as a research question. (You might say: Does _______ affect __________ ? For example, does the number of children people have affect their happiness?)

  • Identify variables (one DV, one IV) that you have found in      the GSS dataset. All variables in your project MUST come from this 2018      data set.

    • identify variable names; for example, "childs" is       a variable name. It stands for "Number of children."
    • identify the question related to this variable that was       asked in the survey (in verbatim). For example, GSS survey question for       variable "childs" is as follows (in verbatim):

How many children have you ever had? Please count all that were born alive at any time (including any you had from a previous marriage).

  • Explain why you chose these variables for your project;
  • Explain why you think there is a correlation or a      relationship.
  • Include a reference (including link) to an academic source      related to your topic.
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