Statistics is something we do not only in political science, but in many other fields, like psychology, medicine, and other fields of science. The principles are the same no matter what field statistics is used in.
In this lesson, we get to know what statistical data are, how to explore them, and how to make sense of them. Exploring the data is an important step, because it makes the researcher familiar with it, and helps the researcher narrow down their search for possible interesting results.

In Statistical Reasoning you will learn how to explore your statistical data. So jump right in!


  • Click the “ENTER COURSE” button to enter the course for free.
  • For background on the course, you can click on “Introduction”.
  • To understand the ways to use this course, you can click on “learning strategies”
  • To get an understanding of the big picture of statistical reasoning, you can click on “The Big Picture”.
  • In this lesson, you will need to learn how to explore data. For that, click on “Unit 1: Exploratory data analysis”.


  • Statistical Reasoning will not save your answers to quizzes along the way. They are only part of your active learning.


Reflective Activity: Exploratory data analysis activities

  • Find a paper: choose a journal in your discipline area, search for a paper that reports on statistical results. Keep in mind that statistics in journal articles can be full of technical terms.
  • Identify the variables used in the article. Are they quantitative or categorical?
  • Are the distributions of the variables reported in the article? If so, in what format? How would you best presenet them if you needed to explain them to a friend who is not familiar with the topic?
  • Share your answers in the discussion forum.