Data analysis 163
7. The way you should report this finding when you are writing about it
in your report is as follows. The results reveal a statistically significant
correlation between age and attitude towards mobile phone use in
public places (r 0.15, p 0.01).
One thing that you should be aware of when you are trying to interpret
your correlation results is that correlation does not imply causation.
What does this mean? I hear you ask. It means that you can’t assume
that one variable has a causal effect on the other one. For example,
although you might find there is a relationship between age and attitude
towards mobile phone use in public places, this could be related to the
fact that older people may not have thought they need to use the types
of services that people normally use mobile phones in public for.
ANALYSING CATEGORICAL DATA
This type of analysis requires you to allocate your participants to specific
category scales (i.e. nominal data scales) rather than acquiring data from
them in ways similar to what we’ve already discussed in this chapter (e.g.
attitude scores or performance measures such as time taken to complete
a task). For example, this type of data can be obtained from information
recorded by the researcher in an observational coding form (observa-
tional coding forms were one of the research approaches discussed in
Chapter 3). A test that can be used to assess for statistical significance for
data collected in this way is called the CHI-square Test (also written as
). This will be the first test discussed in this section of the chapter.
Alternatively, you can collect qualitative information from partici-
pants in the form of open-ended questions (e.g. what did you like about
the mobile tourist information guide?), and attempt to put the qualita-
tive information obtained from these questions into categories in order
to quantify the data. This approach is known as content analysis and it
the second technique to be discussed in this section of the chapter.
The CHI-square test is used when you have collected data in the form
of frequencies and it is traditionally used in an unrelated design. As
ever, the best way to explain this test is to work through an example
together and this is shown in Technical Tip 7.
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