Psychology 418

Introduction to Research and Statistics

TTH 2:00-3:30pm

Fall 1999 Syllabus

Final Grades, Fall 99

The final grades for the Fall semester of 1999 are available here.

Click here for a week by week class schedule.

This link takes you to the Psych 418 class web page (home of the Question Corner!)


Who Office Office Hours email
Art Markman Mezes 334D Wednesday 2-4pm
or by appointment

Teaching Assistants

Who Office Office Hours email Voice Mail
David Landers BEN 222 Mon 9-10am
Fri 4-5pm None
Tonyamas Charnsagavej BEN 222 Mon 2-4pm None

Meeting Time

Unique Number Class Time Class Location Lab Time Lab Location
40485 T TH 2:00-3:30pm BEN 212 W 3:00-5:00pm BEN 222
40490 T TH 2:00-3:30pm BEN 212 W 3:00-5:00pm BEN 224

Prerequisite: PSY 301 with a C or better, and credit for Math 302 or higher level math class, and a major in Psychology.

Enrollment limitations:

This course is limited to 40 students. If you have not been admitted into this course and would like to take it, please try to enroll over the phone. If that does not work, please check at the undergraduate advising office in Mezes 206.


This course will introduce you to scientific method and data analysis, specifically as it is applied to the study of psychology. The emphasis of this course will be on the relationship between theory and data rather than on particular experimental designs. As such, we will discuss the philosophy of experimentation, the notion of observation, issues of experimental control as well as specific types of experimental designs. We will discuss data analysis in the context of specific experimental issues. This course integrates experimental design and statistics in the hope that these topics will reinforce each other. Finally, this course will focus on both the form and content of scientific writing. You will learn to write reports in American Psychological Association (APA) format.

Format of Classes:

Class will meet twice a week for an hour and a half. The class will be divided into standard lectures and discussions of design and statistical issues. The discussions will focus on examinations and critiques of experimental designs. Quickly recognizing both the positive and negative aspects of an experimental design is an important skill in the research enterprise. The class (and the lab section) will assume that you have read the assigned readings for the week.

In addition, this course will have a strong laboratory component. In the labs, we will put into practice what we discuss in class. Experiments will be designed, run, analyzed and written. Techniques of data analysis will be introduced in the context of experiments that we run in lab. You will also be introduced to SPSS, a computer system for analyzing data.

Assignments and Examinations:

The grading in this course will be based on performance on the laboratory assignments, performance on periodic quizzes given in class and on the final exam. Detailed descriptions of the lab component will be given to you in lab. Unless explicitly stated by the instructor, individuals must do all of their own statistical analyses and write their own research reports. However, discussion of results and ideas with each other and with the TA or instructor is encouraged. All written work turned in for this class must be typed.

During the semester, there will be 5 quizzes. The quizzes will be short (10-15 minutes) and will cover statistical principles discussed in class. The main point of the quizzes is to allow you to check your understanding of statistical issues so that you can identify and correct gaps in your knowledge before they interfere with your performance on the laboratory assignments. Quizzes will not be announced in advance. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped from your average. Missed quizzes cannot be made up.

The final exam for this course will be closed book, and will consist of multiple-choice, short answer and longer essay questions. The final examination will cover all material in the course.


Lab Sections:

Lab sections meet for 2 hours/week in Benedict Hall. Depending on which lab section you signed up for, you will be meeting either in room 222 or 224. The lab rooms are equipped with Macintosh computers, which we will be using during the semester to run experiments and to analyze data. Lab sections are limited to 20 students.

Lab Attendance:

The lab grades will be determined by assignments performed in conjunction with the lab sections. Thus, it is critical that you go to the lab sections.

Policy on missed exams:

No makeup exam will be given for the final.

Policy on incompletes.

No incompletes will be given. In rare cases, assignments can be turned in late with the permission of the instructor, but no assignments will be accepted after the final exam. Missed assignments, quizzes, and exams will be counted as 0s in the computation of the final grade.

Policy on extra credit.

No opportunities for extra credit are available for this course. There will be an opportunity to revise one of the longer papers turned in during the lab section. No additional optional assignments will be given.

Policy on independence of work and plagiarism:

As described above, you are encouraged to discuss the material presented in class with other students. Much of the best science is done collaboratively, and courses on scientific method should reflect this fact. Indeed, quite a bit of the lab section will involve collaboration with other students. Nonetheless, to be an effective scientist, you must have a firm grasp of experimental and statistical principles. Thus, all written work turned in by a student must be the independent work of that student. Do not collaborate in the actual writing of assignments. Obviously, you are not to include text that you have not written without clear quotations and attributions of the original source.

Policy on students with disabilities.

We will make every effort to accommodate students with disabilities. Students with disabilities must present documentation of their disability from the Office of the Dean of Students--Services for Students with Disabilities as early in the semester as possible in order to facilitate any necessary accomodations. No accommodations will be made for students who do not have documentation from the Dean of Students office.


Moore, D. S., & McCabe, G. P. (1999). Introduction to the practice of statistics. Third Edition.. New York: W. H. Freeman. (M + M)

Shaughnessy, J. J., & Zechmeister, E. B. (1997). Research methods in psychology, Fourth Edition. New York: McGraw Hill Publishing Company. (S + Z)

You should also buy a copy of the PSY 418 lab manual put together by Bruce Turbeville. Bruce is one of the Psych department computer gurus. The manual describes how the lab works and some of the programs on the computers. The manual should be available at the bookstores.

Additional Materials

We will be using the computer program SPSS for data analysis in this course. For those of you who would like to work at home, there is a student version of SPSS that you can purchase. As an added bonus, the book that comes with the student version of SPSS is excellent. You are not required to have your own copy of SPSS. The program will be available on the computers in Benedict 222 and 224 (where lab sections are held) and will also be available at various computer labs around campus. A list of places where SPSS will be available will be distributed early in the semester.

Periodically, you will be asked to read articles not contained in your textbooks. These readings will be available on reserve in the library.

Week by week class schedule

Date Topic Readings
August 26 Introduction
August 31 Reasoning in Experimentation S + Z, Chapter 1
September 2 Observation S + Z Chapter 3
Week 1 lab Analysis of Questionnaires
September 7 Observation (cont.) TBA
September 9 An introduction to distributions M + M Section 1.1
Week 2 lab Coding Data
September 14 Central tendency and variability M + M Section 1.2
September 16 The Normal Distribution M + M Section 1.3
Week 3 lab Introduction to SPSS: Analyzing Distributions
September 21 An introduction to Survey Research
Visit from the Undergraduate Advising Office
S+Z 4
September 23 Survey Research (continued)
Week 4 lab Naturalistic Observation/More on distributions
September 28 Relationships in data M + M 2.1
September 30 Linear Regression M + M 2.3 (2.4 if interested)
Week 5 lab Naturalistic Observation II
October 5 Ethics S + Z 2
October 7 Writing and using the library S + Z Appendix C
Week 6 lab Mental Rotation I/Practice with Regression
October 12 Types of Variables S + Z Chapter 6
October 14 Correlation M + M Sections 2.2 and 2.7 (2.4 if interested)
Week 7 lab Analyzing a mental rotation study
October 19 Probability M + M Sections 4.1-4.4
October 21 Sampling distributions and confidence intervals M + M Sections 5.2, 6.1 + 6.2
Week 8 lab Writing Psychology Research Reports
October 26 One and two-sample t-tests M + M Sections 7.1 + 7.2
October 28 Experimental Control S + Z Chapter 6
Week 9 lab Designing a Personality Inventory
November 2 Within groups designs S + Z Chapter 7
November 4 Threats to internal validity
Week 10 lab The Stroop Task
November 9 No class, NSF Panel Meeting
November 11 The logic of ANOVA M + M Chapter 12
Week 11 lab Analyzing a personality inventory
November 16 Practice with alternative hypotheses
November 18 Complex designs S + Z Chapter 8
Week 12 lab Writing up a personality inventory
November 23 The 2-way ANOVA M + M, Chapter 13
November 25 No class, Thanksgiving
Week 13 lab No labs this week, Thanksgiving
November 30 Case studies and single subject research designs S + Z Chapter 9
December 2 Non-experimental and quasi-experimental research S + Z, Chapter 10
Week 14 lab Review

This page last modified on .
You are visitor to this page.