Dr. Ahmadreza AsgharpourMasouleh



Computer Applications in Social Sciences (MA) (2 credits)

Updated: 28/1/2016



This course aims to provide advanced issues on different application of computer tools in social sciences. In a rough categorization, social sciences paradigms are:

  1. Quantitative (deductive)
  2. Qualitative (inductive)
  3. Agent based (generative)

Each above paradigms include some researches methods in which computer tools may be employed vastly. Although quantitative social research has a long history of using computers in social sciences, but agent based social sciences have the highest rate of using these tools and qualitative researchers have started developing tools for promoting the quality of their researches.

Recent revolution in the computer technologies have opened new horizons for social scientists to do completely new deigned researches. The new computer based facilities include all steps of a typical social research as:  

  1. data collection and data sources
  2. data analysis and illustration
  3. modeling and simulation

As the main part of computer applications for typical master students of social sciences is mostly concentrated on statistical inferences of quantitative data, in this course the largest part is dedicated to understanding more advanced statistical techniques and practicing them in a well-known tool that is SPSS. But the course is not restricted to SPSS techniques, since we will tour not only other statistical tools, but also computer applications in the qualitative and agent based social sciences. 

We well understand that in a single 2 credit course it's impossible to provide a deep and comprehensive tour on all computer application in social sciences, but it seems that a deep review of most important techniques in SPSS and a relative fast tour on other computer tools is the best scenario for master students.

Students themselves should work to acquire skills in tools they



  1. Session:  1. An overview of the course. 2. Evalution of students' knowledge of common softwares in sociological researches.
  2. Session:  Reviewing SPSS elemenraty tools and techniques: Variable definition, data entry and manipulation, descriptive statistics, correlations, compare means, linear regression, basic non parametric tests.
  3. Session:  Qualitative applications: MAXQDA 
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There is a teacher assistant class, which is mandatory and it's a part of the final student evaluation.

Course materials

 1. The pamphlet on "Introduction to SPSS for Social Sciences" by me.

 2. The in press book "Advanced Techniques in SPSS for Social Sciences", by Hassan Nazari



      Class presence (5 pts)

  • Activity in class (5 pts)
  • Midterm exam (20 pts)
  • Personal project (10 pts)
  • TA evaluation (10 pts)
  • Final exam (60 pts)