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Connections - Making Connections

Making Connections
Making Connections
You will need to read Introducing Connections before completing these activties.

Making links

Do you think that it is possible to make links between the information in different fields in the prisoners datafile?

Here is an example:
You might think that as people get older they get taller.
Is that a reasonable statement?
If so, then there must be a link between 'Age' and 'Height'.

Our hypothesis would be:
As people get older they get taller

Look at the picture above

You can see some of the fields on the left and again on the right. You will see that 'Age' and 'Height' have been joined by a line. This shows that we think that there might be a link between the information in these two columns.

This is a useful technique. First you draw a line to show which fields you think might be linked.
Then you use the computer to test this hypothesis using the same techniques that you used in ?Introducing Connections".

Download the connections document below. It is a list of all the fields like the picture above.

Print it out, then join up all the columns that you think might have links. Try and find as many as you can.

Can you find any columns that might have more than one link?


You will need your completed 'Connections 2' worksheet with the links you have made between fields.

Choose the 3 links that you think are the strongest.

For each one write down what you are linking, your hypothesis about why there is a link and your 'prediction' of what you will find when the datafile is investigated.

For example, if you have linked 'Age' and 'Height' you might write:

  • We think that there is a link between the information in the age and height columns.
  • We hypothesise that as you get older you get taller.
  • We predict that the tallest people in the datafile will be the oldest.

  • These statements will be the starting point for your investigation.

    Now write down your three hypotheses and predictions:

    Hypothesis no. 1
    We think that there is a link between...
    We hypothesise that...
    We predict that...

    Hypothesis no. 2
    We think that there is a link between...
    We hypothesise that...
    We predict that...

    Hypothesis no. 3
    We think that there is a link between...
    We hypothesise that...
    We predict that...

    Planning to test your prediction

    Choose one of the hypotheses that you came up with on the 'Connections 3' worksheet.

    Can you use the information in the datafile to test the prediction that went with it?

    Remember that to do this you might need to sort the data, search it or produce graphs.

    Before starting, make a plan of the things you will do to test your prediction. Write them down here....

    Our prediction was that....

    To test it we will follow this plan....

    Testing your prediction

    Follow the plan that you devised above.

    Before starting decide how you are going to record what you do and what happens when you do it. If necessary design a recording sheet. Make sure that you record anything that goes wrong as well as the things that go according to plan.

    Don't forget to print out from the datafile any graphs or other information that you might need to put in a report of what you did.

    Writing a report

    Write a report on how your plan worked. Say what you did. Was your prediction correct, incorrect or were you not able to decide? If you couldn't decide, say why you couldn't. Include any graphs or other printouts that are relevant to what you were doing.

    Finish by saying whether you think the original hypothesis was true or not.

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