Multivariate Methods for Social Researchers

Lecturer: Eugène Horber

Modality: In presence

Week 1: 14 - 18 August 2023


Workshop Contents and Objectives

The focus of this workshop is on tools dealing with many variables (multivariate analysis): building models with several variables and reducing complexity (data reduction). The focus is methodological, conceptual and practical, oriented towards the application of these tools to typical analysis problems in social research. Statistical tools are only useful and meaningful when they serve a research project based on a well-defined theoretical framework (research question, research design, hypotheses) and good-quality data.

Workshop topics

  • Review of univariate and bivariate statistics, statistical inference and the concepts of empirical research in the social sciences
  • Multiple linear regression; regression assumptions and diagnosis; analysis of residuals
  • Building models
  • Regression with categorical variables, logistic regression and related techniques
  • Unidimensional and multidimensional scaling: Likert, Guttman scales, data reduction (Principal component analytics, factor analysis)

The various tools will be presented and discussed using numerous examples. Participants will then apply these tools in the context of their group projects (Software used: IBM SPSS Statistics).

At the end of the workshop, active participants should be able to

  • Apply the various statistical tools to their own research projects within a well-designed and defined, theoretically grounded, as well as realistic (i.e. applicable) framework.
  • Understand and critically assess publications in their scientific field reporting results based on statistical techniques.

Goals of the workshop:

  • Sound foundations of knowledge and skills with statistical tools applied to the Social Sciences for participants who had an introductory course in statistics and need to go beyond basics.
  • Practical skills with data and statistical software, as well as awareness of both the potential and the shortcomings and limitations (assumptions, pitfalls) of commonly used statistical tools.
  • Stress the importance of embedding the use of statistical tools in a complete research process, from the initial research question to data collection and analytics, as well as reporting the results.



Background in basic statistics and statistical software. You should be able to perform basic statistical analyses using statistical software (SPSS).  If this is not the case or you are unsure, consider attending the 3-day preliminary workshop Statistics with SPSS for Social Scientists as mandatory for you.

Before attending the workshop, you should read some introductory text to social research and basic statistical concepts. Some References and Advice here


Recommended Reading