Statistical Methods in Psychology:
Psych 302, Fall 2000
____________________________________________________________________Fall 2000 CRN 14948

Lecture: MWF 10-10:50, Straub 146, Arrow
Labs: M 12-13:20 (Torres), 13:30-14:50 (Tate) & 15-16:20 (Tate) CRN 14950/14951/17119
Tu 11-12:20 (Penza) & 12:30-13:50 (Torres) CRN 14952/14955
All labs meet in 180 Straub (computer lab)

Professor: Dr. Holly Arrow Contact info:, 346-1996
Office: 357 Straub Office Hours: Mon 11-12, Wed 8-9 & by appt. MWF.
Teaching Assistants: Office & Office Hours
Leandro Torres, 346-1984 Straub 393, Tues 4-5, Thurs 10-11
Chuck Tate, 346-1984 Straub 393, Fri 1-3
Kristin Penza, 346-1982 Straub 358, Tues 2:30-3:30, Wed 12-1

Class Page: Http:// Motet: Arrow302-F2000 (via class page link)

Office Hour Schedule Summary:
Mon 11-12 (HA, Str 357) Tues 2:30-3:30 (KP, Str 358), 4-5 (LT, Str 393)
Wed 8-9 (HA, Str 357), 12-1 (KP, Str 358) Th 10-11 (LT, Str 393) Fri 1-3 (CT, Str 393)


Course Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce you to descriptive and inferential statistics, teach you fundamental skills in calculating statistics and analyzing data using a computer statistics package, and improve your ability to understand and evaluate the statistical information reported in primary research articles. This is the first of two foundation courses for students who intend to major in psychology.

Course Design: The course is designed to promote active learning -- through discussion, solving problems, and computer exercises. I want students to speak up, to question and challenge. I see myself and the TAs as guides, cheerleaders, and coaches. The course encourages teamwork among students and between students, professor, and TAs. Group quizzes are completed in collaboration with others, and students are free to work together on homework. One potential problem of team learning, is that some students may rely too much on others and never master the material. To protect against this problem, every student must demonstrate satisfactory core competencies by the end of the course by passing the final exam.

Small Group System:Students will organize themselves into small groups of 3-4 people who are in the same lab section. Please sit with your group members in both lecture and lab. You will complete group quizzes with your groups and work through problems together in lab. If someone in your group is absent, please pick up extra handouts for them, pass along announcements, and share your notes. If you know you will be absent, let someone in your group know -- they will appreciate the courtesy of a "notified absence" instead of a "no-show." Group members will keep track of attendance for their group. As soon as groups are formed, it's wise to exchange e-mail addresses and phone numbers so you can stay in touch.


Overview: You will be graded on four components: participation (in class & on Motet), homework (6 sets), quizzes (best 4 out of 5), and exams (midterm and final). Students must pass the final to pass the course.

1. Participation. Attendance is required. Participation includes discussion and group work during class time and also on Motet (see p. 7). At the end of the term, each student will evaluate the contributions of other group members; these evaluations (plus Motet activity) will determine participation grades.

2. Homework. Some problems will be completed "by hand" (includes calculators); others will be completed using SPSS, and some can be completed either way (your choice). To earn full credit, all work should be shown and explained. Please turn homework in on time! Late homework earns half credit; quarter credit if more than one week overdue, unless other arrangements are made in advance with your TA.

3. Quizzes. The five quizzes focus on understanding concepts. Quizzes are closed book, and are completed both individually and by the group. Calculators okay. Points off on the group quiz may be challenged, in writing, if your group feels its answer was as good or better than the one marked correct. If the challenge is successful, grades will be adjusted for the group that submitted the challenge, and also for the individual quiz for group members who answered the same way as the group. Challenges are often effective! The best four out of five quizzes (total score) will count. No make-up quizzes will be given, so don't miss more than one.

4. Exams. Midterm and final are open book, open notes, calculator, etc.. These will be completed individually (no group portions). Final given on Thursday, Dec 7, 10:15-12:15. Complete the midterm and final on your own. This is when you fly using your own wings and show us what you've learned. Bring calculators, books, notes, handouts. Midterm grading may be challenged (using the regular challenge forms), but grading on the final exam cannot, because course grades are due at the registrar soon after the final is taken. All final exams that receive a failing grade will, however, be double-checked by a second grader.

5. Texts and other resources. The main text is Gravetter & Wallnau, Essentials of Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. The secondary text is Kirkpatrick & Feeney, A Simple Guide to SPSS for Windows. You will also need a hand-held calculator (solar ones are environmentally friendly and also practical, since batteries can't fail). Any calculator that can do single variable statistics is fine-no need for fancy expensive graphic calculators. Read assigned chapters BEFORE class and do each Learning Check as you encounter it. That way you will discover right away what you understand and what you don't. Go back and reread sections if you discover you are confused about something. The second time, you will understand more. Come to lecture and labs prepared to ask questions; active learning is essential for acquiring concepts and skills. Bring Calculator & Text to class and to exams. Bring SPSS guide (SG) to labs.


Learning disabilities & athletes. If you have a learning disability and need adjustments to help you learn and demonstrate your knowledge, or are on a sports team and need adjustments because of travel, please contact Dr. Arrow ASAP. With advance planning, adjustments are relatively easy. Adjustments at the last minute are problematic and sometimes not plausible.

"Repeaters": If you are taking the class for the second (or third) time because you did not get a C- or better in your previous attempt(s), please see Dr. Arrow (during office hours or make an appointment) so we can discuss how to ensure you are successful this time through. Your previous experience will help!


Elements Points Course grades based on percentage of points earned*
Participation: 15 A+ 97-100 C 73-76.9
Homework: 48 A 93-96.9 C- 70-72.9
Quizzes: 52 A- 90-92.9 D+ 67-69.9
Midterm: 25 B+ 87-89.9 D 63-66.9
Final exam* 60 B 83-86.9 D- 60-62.9
B- 80-82.9 N < 70
TOTAL points 200 C+ 77-79.9 P 70

* Important Note: To pass the course, you must demonstrate a competent understanding of the course material on the final exam. If you demonstrate competence by passing the final, you will earn the grade determined by the listed percentages. If you do especially well, and are close to a cutoff, you may be eligible for "mastery" points that push your course grade over the cutoff. The final exam will be difficult to ensure that it discriminates between competence and mastery. Escape hatch: Students who fail the final but whose work on homework, quizzes, & midterm is C- or above (at least 70% correct) may take an incomplete in the course and retake the final later. Deadline for clearing incompletes is finals week of Spring Term, 2001.


Students are sometimes confused about what is allowed and not allowed in a collaborative learning class. Here are the rules:

Collaborative Learning: Group portion of quizzes, homework, participation, and studying for exams. Group quiz portion helps everyone understand the material better, because you actively discuss the problems. Discussing homework with other students, with TAs, and comparing your work with others is encouraged. You will often have time to work on homework together in labs. Talking over the problems and reworking them when you discover that others got different answers promotes deeper understanding of concepts and gives you more practice in applying skills. However, each student must submit a separate homework, and you must show your work (no photocopies or word-for-word copying). Many students find that study groups are also useful in preparing for quizzes and exams.

What counts as Cheating in this class: Your work on the Final Exam, the Midterm, and on Individual Portion of Quizzes must be your own. Copying the work of others on these elements will be considered cheating, and if detected, will earn you an F or N for the course. On exams, you can consult any materials that you have brought to the room, but you may not consult what others are doing. On quizzes (closed book, closed notes), you may not consult anything but your own memory and calculator (or, during group portion, the collective wisdom of your group). Multiple versions of the exams will be created to ensure that copying answers from others will guarantee a poor score, and to help protect you against temptation.


1. Passive listening and reading
Write, draw, figure. Think with a pencil to learn. Turn the concepts into something you do. To succeed, you must be able to explain and execute.
2. Spectator overconfidence
Watching someone go through the steps is a starting point only. You have to get in the pool to learn how to swim.
3. Beginner's luck
Doing it right once doesn't mean you can repeat the trick. Get it wrong to understand how the process works. Mistakes help you learn.
4. Trying to cram
You can cram content, but skills, like water, don't compress. Don't fall behind; it's too hard to catch up.
5. Giving up because you get stuck
Everyone gets stuck. Try a new tack. **Ask for help.** Play around. Math is all about getting stuck and unstuck.

1. Keep up and keep trying
Read assigned chapters early and often, come to lecture, start on homework immediately so you will finish on time. If you keep up and keep trying, the concepts will eventually sink in. Turn your homework in on time. Slog through those chapters even if you only understand half of what you read. The fog will clear if you just persist. Ask questions. Ask for help. Try again. Don't give up!
2. Work hard on understanding material in the first half of the course
If you have a pretty good feel for the concepts in the first half, the second half will deepen your understanding. If you don't grasp the concepts in the first half, the second half will make no sense. Seek help *early* if you are feeling lost.
3. Stay in touch, and speak up
Come to office hours. You have an experienced instructor and two dedicated TAs, and we want to help! Ask questions--in class, lab, and on Motet. Forming a question helps you discover what you do and do not understand, which is vital to mastering this subject. Feel free to attend extra lab sessions besides your own.