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Psychology 281
Research Methods and Statistics I
(Winter, 2011, 6th period MWF)



Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (8th Ed.) (G&W)
by F. J. Gravetter & L. B. Wallnau

A Simple Guide to SPSS for Windows (K&F)
   by L.A. Kirkpatrick & B.C. Feeney

Other books that you might find helpful:
Statistics for the Terrified (4th Ed - ISBN: 978-0131930117) 
by John H. Kranzler

Study Guide for Gravetter/Wallnau's Statistics for ther Behavioral Sciences  (ISBN-13: 978-0495602965)


Frank McAndrew, E-131 SMC, Ext. 7525


Psychology Department Web Page




Download the POWERPOINT SLIDES used in class by clicking on this link.

Introduction to the Course

This course will be an introduction to the statistical procedures most often used in psychology.  No previous knowledge of statistics is assumed, and no mathematical sophistication beyond basic algebra is necessary.  In a course of this nature, it is very important to keep up with the work on a daily basis, as it will really not be possible to “cram” at the end of the course and be successful.  Consequently, there will be a relatively large number of short tests given throughout the term followed by a comprehensive final exam.  In addition to forcing you to keep up with the material, this system also has the advantage of not penalizing you too severely if you do poorly on one of the tests.

On most class days, you will have to hand in a homework assignment.  These assignments will be relatively short, and they will be based upon the problems that are to be found at the end of each chapter.  Each class period will begin with a review of the homework problems assigned from the class before.  All homework problems will be collected and checked, but there will be no penalty for getting them wrong.  You will get TWO POINTS toward your final grade for each homework assignment that is handed in.  You may work on homework assignments with classmates, but what you turn in MUST BE YOUR OWN WORK.  The assigned homework problems for each chapter are listed on the last page of this syllabus, but other problems will be assigned based upon in-class activities and SPSS based projects.  Homework assignments will not be accepted late.

Learning Goals for the Course: By the end of this term, I want you to be able to: 

*Organize & interpet data in the form of tables, graphs, and histograms 

*Understand the logic of experimental and correlatiknal research designs and advantages and disadvantages of each 

*Understand how the basic principles of probability apply to the problems of variability, error, and effect size in research

*Know which statistical procedures to use in different research situations 

*Be able to do basic statistical calculation using a hand calculator 

* Become proficient in the use of SPSS software to analyze statistical data


In this course, you will take four tests and a comprehensive final exam. Your grade will be based on how many of the possible points you accumulate across the tests, homework, and the final exam.  No makeup tests will be given without prior permission and a very good excuse.  The following grade distribution should be used as a rough guide for letter grades.


93% - 100% = A
90% - 92% = A-
88% - 89% = B+
83% - 87% = B
80% - 82% = B-
78% - 79% = C+
73% - 77% = C
70% - 72% = C-
68% - 69% = D+
63% - 67% = D
60% - 62% = D-
<60% = F


 Introduction to the Study of Statistics                          Chapter 1  (G&W)
        - populations vs. samples
        - descriptive vs. inferential statistics
        - experiments vs. correlational studies
        - discrete vs. continuous variables
          - sigma notation

Frequency Distributions                                                Chapter 2 (G&W) 
        - frequency distribution tables
        - graphing frequency distributions
          -Percentiles & Percentile Ranks

Central Tendency                                                          Chapter 3 (G&W)
        - the mean
        - the median
        - the mode
        - the shape of frequency distributions

Variability                                                                      Chapter 4 (G&W)
        - ranges
        - variance & standard deviation

Introduction to using SPSS                                           Chapters 1, 2, 6 (K&F)

z-scores and Standardized Distributions                      Chapter 5 (G&W)

TEST #1 - Approximate Date: Friday, January 21st

Probability                                                                      Chapter 6 (G&W)
        - the normal distribution                                      
        - the binomial distribution

Sampling Distributions and Standard Error                    Chapter 7 (G&W)

TEST #2 - Approximate Date: Monday, February 7th

Introduction to Hypothesis Testing                                  Chapter 8 (G&W)
        - null hypotheses                                                        
        - levels of significance
        - Type I & Type II Errors
        - one- vs. two-tailed tests
        - effect size & statistical power

t-Tests                                                                              Chapters 9, 10, 11 (G&W) 
        - t-tests for independent samples                            Chapters 8, 9 (K&F)
        - t-tests for related/dependent samples

Analysis of Variance                                                        Chapter 13 & 14 (G&W)
        - the F-Ratio and the logic of using ANOVA          Chapters 8, 9 (K&F)
        - ANOVA notation & formulas
        - post hoc tests (multiple comparison tests)
        - one-way analysis of variance
        - repeated measures analysis of variance

TEST #3 - Approximate Date: Wednesday, February 23rd


Correlation & Regression                                                Chapters 16 & 17 (G&W)
                                                                                          Chapters 14 & 15 (K&F)
        - The Pearson Correlation                                     
        - The Spearman Correlation                                  
        - simple regression
        - standard error of estimate

Nonparametric Statistics                                                   Chapter 18 (D&P)
        - Chi Square                                                            Chapter 17 (K & F)
        - Other nonparametric tests

TEST #4 - Approximate Date: March 7th

COMPREHENSIVE FINAL EXAM - During assigned final exam period


Homework problems will be assigned in class on a day-to-day basis.  If you have to miss class, make sure to check with someone who was there to be sure you know what the assignment is.


To really learn the stuff, you will need to study each topic in several different ways.  Read the chapters, do practice problems, take notes in class, and in general engage with the material in as many different ways as possible.  Read the assigned chapters before the class period in which they will be discussed, without worrying about understanding everything.  You will find that this makes the material in class more understandable than if you came to the class without having read anything first.  Then, go back and READ THE CHAPTER AGAIN AFTER CLASS.

*Team Up: I strongly encourage you to form small study groups of 3 or 4 people to meet regularly and do practice problems, discuss the material, and so forth.


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