Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Using Large Publicly Available Datasets for Psychological & Social Science Research


There are now many publicly available datasets within the UK (such as those hosted by the UK Data Service) and across the world. These data have been collected with the primary purpose of enabling researchers to better understand how people function within the world around them. Although these data-sets are free to access and are commonly used within economics and epidemiology, they remain under-utilized in many disciplines in the social sciences, particularly psychology. This is unfortunate given that many of these datasets contain measures and scales relevant to cutting-edge psychological research, such as personality, well-being, attitudes, behaviour, physical health and mental health. One barrier to unlocking these datasets' potential is having the necessary skills to manage and analyse them. We at the Behavioural Science Centre, Stirling Management School, funded by the Economic Social and Research Council (ESRC), are offering a 2-day training workshops specifically built around these datasets to equip you with the necessary skills, which includes an introduction to the statistical package Stata, to handle them.

Day 1: Introduction to data analysis of large publicly available datasets (7th June 2016) 
Participants will learn how to obtain and manage data, use the statistical program Stata, conduct basic analysis and interpret the results. This workshop requires that participants are comfortable with basic statistics prior to the course and will enable researchers to begin using untapped resources immediately. 

Day 2: Advanced techniques for large publicly available datasets (8th June 2016) 
Participants will learn advanced statistical methodology to enable them to get the most out of large publicly available datasets. This will include panel data techniques such as understanding and implementing fixed effect and difference-in-difference models, as well as how to implement instrumental variable estimations. This workshop will require that participants have a basic knowledge of handling large datasets and using the statistical program Stata. Attendance at workshop 1, although not a pre-requisite, would represent sufficient knowledge. 

Timetable for Workshop 2:

Tuesday June 7th

Wednesday June 8th

09:00  Registration

09:00  Lecture: Difference-in-Difference
09:30  Lecture: OLS & RCTs
10:30  Break
10:45  Break
10:45  Lecture: Matching Techniques
11:00  Lecture: Instrumental Variables
12:00  Lunch
12:30  Lunch
13:00  Lab Session 3
13:30  Lab Session 1
14:50  Break
15:20  Break
15:00  Lab Session 
15:30  Lab Session 2
17:00  Close
17:30  Close

Further details: Both courses will take place at Stirling Management School, University of Stirling. At our Behavioural Science Centre we have a number of researchers, including Prof Liam Delaney, Dr Michael Daly (early Career Award recipient, UK Society for Behavioural Medicine), and Prof Alex Wood and Dr Christopher Boyce (joint winners, best paper using GSOEP data resource 2012-2013), with substantial experience using and publishing with these types of datasets. Both workshops are aimed at PhD students but advanced Masters students and post-PhD researchers are welcome to apply. The University of Stirling is approximately 50 minutes by train from Edinburgh, 25 minutes from Glasgow and 5 hours from London. The course is funded by the ESRC and the cost to participants is £100 (in addition to accommodation and transport). There are a limited number of fee waiving scholarships that will be given depending on the strength of the applications and availability.

How to apply: Please fill in the following application form to apply for the workshop.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully not a ridiculous request; any chance that a similar or toned-down version of this workshop could be given to Stirling Economics students?

Might be useful for those of us about to write a dissertation next semester.

Alex Wood said...

Hi Anonymous: All Stirling PhD students are offered this as part of our new training package (along with Master's modules, SGPE doctoral modules, two day success at PhD workshop, Christmas PhD staff/student conference, Spring PhD research day, and Summer School; an email went out recently, but you can check with Lisa Reid). In fact, your question looks like I planted it :)

David Henderson said...

Is it possible to link a word version of the application form. I can't edit the PDF version to add my details.


David Henderson

Christopher Boyce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Henderson said...

Ah! What a shame. I don't suppose you@ll be running similar or repeat courses?