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In this video we will discuss describing the distribution of a single categorical

variable, evaluating the relationship between two categorical variables,

as well as between a categorical and a numerical variable.

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A 2014 poll in the US asked respondents

how difficult they think it is to save money.

We can present the results of the survey in a frequency table

of the 500 participants.

231 said it's very difficult to save money.

196 said it's somewhat difficult, 58 said it's not very difficult,

14 said it's not at all difficult, and one respondent was not sure.

A graphical way of representing these data is a bar plot.

These raw counts do tell us something about the data.

Most people find it more difficult than not to save money.

But we usually consider the relative frequencies when

evaluating the distributions of categorical variables.

We can also make a bar plot of these relative frequencies,

which look just like the original bar plot but

just has the relative frequencies instead of the counts on the y-axis.

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So, how are bar plots different than histograms?

First, bar plots are used for displaying distributions of categorical variables,

while histograms are used for numerical variables.

Second, the axis in a histogram is a number line.

Hence, the orders of the bars cannot be changed.

While in a bar plot, the categories can be listed in any order,

though some orderings make more sense than others, especially for original variables.

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It might be tempting to also make a pie chart for these data but

a pie chart is actually much less informative then a bar plot.

First, while it tells us the relative ordering of the levels, it doesn't

actually tell us what percentage of the distribution falls into which level.

Second, when there are many levels in a categorical variable

with similar relative frequencies, it might be difficult to determine which

level is more highly represented just by looking at a pie chart.

For example, here we have a pie chart of orders of mammal species.

Just by looking at the pie chart,

can you tell which order income passes the lowest percentage of mammal species?

I didn't think so.

The title of this slide was pie chart?

And the answer is no, don't bother, just stick to bar plots.

2:25

The same for

Paul we mentioned earlier also asked how much income each participant makes.

And we might wonder if whether people think it's difficult or

easy to save money is related to their income.

To evaluate this, we organize these variables in a contingency table.

There are three levels of the income we consider.

Less than 40,000 per year, between 40 and 80,000 per year, and

more than 80,000 per year.

There are also some respondents who refuse to answer this question.

To evaluate whether income and perception of difficulty of saving are related,

we will need to compare people who think,

say, it's very difficult to save money among the different income levels.

But we can't just compare these counts since the sample sizes for

each income level are different.

Instead, we should consider the distribution of one variable conditional

on the other.

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To find out what percent of people who make less than 40,000 per year

think it's very difficult to save money, we just consider the first column.

Among the 202 people who make less than 40,000 per year,

128 think it's very difficult to save money, which makes up 63%.

Similarly, 63 out of 148, those who make between 40 and

80,000, or in other words 43%, think it's very difficult to save money.

And 31 over 124, only 25% of those who make more than

80,000 think it's very difficult to save money.

For completeness, let's go through the same calculation for

those who refuse to share their income as well.

Nine out of 26, or 35%, of those also think it's very difficult to save money.

Since the percentage of those who think it's very difficult to save money

varies greatly among the different income categories,

these data suggest that the two variables under consideration.

Feelings about difficulty of saving money and income are associated.

In other words, dependent.

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An obvious choice for

visualizing two categorical variables is a segmented bar plot.

Segmented bar plots are useful for

visualizing conditional frequency distributions.

In other words, the distribution of the levels of one variable, the response

variable, conditioned on the levels of the other, the explanatory variable.

The heights of the bars indicate the numbers of respondents in various income

categories.

And the bars are segmented by color to indicate the numbers of those who

think it's very difficult to save money to not at all.

Note that this are frequencies, in other words, counts, and

not relative frequencies.

So, while segmented bar plots are useful for visualizing frequency distributions,

in order to explore the relationship between these variables,

we need a visualization of the relative frequencies.

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So, one alternative is to plot the relative frequencies.

This plot basically visualizes the percentages we had calculated earlier.

Such as 63% of those who make

less than 40,000 per year think it's very difficult to save money etcetera.

5:37

Another alternative is a mosaic plot.

A mosaic plot like this one, displays the distribution of

feelings about difficulty of saving money, conditional on income as well.

It also shows the marginal distribution of income, too.

So, let's start with the marginal distribution.

The width of the bars is what's telling us about the marginal distribution of income.

We can see that more people make less than 40,000 have been surveyed than any other.

Now, let's look at the breakdown of the individual bars.

Among those who make less than 40,000,

we had seen that 63% think it's very difficult to save money.

These respondents are represented by the segment in the first bar.

Similarly, 43% of those who make between 40 and 80,000, and

25% of those who make more than 80,000, and 35% of those who refused to share

their income, are represented in the first segment within their respective bars.

Visually, without relying on the relative percentages we calculated earlier,

we can see that the length of the segments representing those who think it's very

difficult to save money vary by income level.

Indicating a difference of opinion among members of different income groups,

hence suggesting a relationship between the two variables.

We could, of course, examine the other levels of the opinion variable as well.

7:02

So far in this video we discussed how to describe the distribution of a single

categorical variable, and

how to evaluate the relationship between two categorical variables.

To wrap up our discussion on exploratory data analysis with categorical variables,

let's talk about one last type of relationship.

The relationship between a numerical variable and a categorical variable.

This type of relationship is something we usually consider

when comparing the distribution of a numerical variable

across the levels of a categorical variable.

For example, here we have a box plot of number of

clubs college students are involved with and their class year.

The medians are pretty consistent, indicating that on average,

students belong to roughly equal numbers of clubs regardless of their year.

The variability is higher for first-year and senior students,

while much lower for sophomores and juniors, as indicated by the lower IQRs.

And among the sophomores and juniors,

there are some students who belong to unusually low or high numbers of clubs.

The distributions across the class years are pretty similar, suggesting that number

of clubs students belong to might be independent of their class year.