00914 - Statistics (O-Z)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Political, Social and International Sciences (cod. 8853)

Learning outcomes

The course deals with basic topics concerning the methodology and technics of socio-political empirical research.

The course provides an introduction to the main methods and basic tools of the quantitative study of collective phenomena, with the dual objective of developing the ability to critically interpret and evaluate statistical information and provide the student with specific skills for autonomous production and processing of statistical data.

Students will acquire knowledge and skills useful for the comprehension of the main data collection designs, the critical evaluation of data displayed in socio-political empirical research, as well as the skills needed for producing basic (univariate, bivariate and multivariate) statistical analyses.

At the end of the course the student is expected to: - know the basic elements of descriptive and inferential statistics, - be able to read and understand articles in magazines and / or specialized publications containing results of quantitative analysis, - be able to critically evaluate syntheses and statistical elaborations of census data or samples, - has acquired the necessary skills to autonomously apply some of the tools of the statistical methodology for the description and the quantitative study of economic and social phenomena.

Course contents

  • Types of property and types of variables.
  • Structure of the data Matrix.
  • Official Statistics
  • Basic concepts and main techniques of monovariate descriptive statistics (mode, median, mean, quantiles; eterogeneity and variability measures),
  • Frequencies, graphic representations.
  • Statistical data sources.
  • Data transformation (standardization, index).
  • Historical and territorial series.
  • Basic concepts and main techniques of bivariate descriptive statistics: relation between variables (statistical dependence, anova, covariance, correlation).
  • Introduction to multivariate statistics.
  • Sampling techniques and issues.
  • Basics of inferential statistics.
  • Probability
  • Sampling designs and probability distributions.
  • Hypothesis testing.
  • Readings/Bibliography

    P. Corbetta, G. Gasperoni, M. Pisati, Statistica per la ricerca sociale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2001 (chaps. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10).

    E. Giovannini, Scegliere il futuro. Conoscenza e politica al tempo dei Big Data, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014.


    As regards permutations, combinations and probability theory, as well as inferential statistics, students can consult a number of specialised texts, material that can be freely accessed on-line and slides used in class (which can be downloaded from "Materiali didattici" website).

    Teaching methods

    Face-to-face lessons and periodic exercises.

    Assessment methods

    The exam is administered in exclusively written form.

    The students who attend the course can participate in a procedure of evaluation during the course period. It consists in two tests based on exercises and multiple-choice questions.

    The only valid mark is the one achieved in the most recent attempt to pass the exam.

    A candidate who doesn't participate in an exam for which he/she has registered cannot participate in the following exam session.

    Teaching tools

    pc, powerpoint, slides, MS Teams

    Office hours

    See the website of Valerio Vanelli


    Quality education Decent work and economic growth

    This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.