Psychology 49: Experimentation and Statistics

Semester: Fall 2000

Time: 10:50-11:50am MWF (OLRI 270)

10:10-11:40am or 1:00-2:30pm T (OLRI 354)

Professor Kendrick Brown

Olin-Rice 322

Office Hours: Th 10:30-11:30am, 4:30-5:30pm

(Also feel free to make an appointment at another time if either of the above times do not work for your schedule)

Phone: 651-696-6461



(Visit the website because course policies and procedures, as well as my teaching expectations, are described in detail there. You will be expected to adhere to those policies or procedures, so be sure to take a look.)


Course Description and Goals

Research methods, and the statistics used to analyze data collected by those methods, are essential components of the psychological investigation of human functioning and behavior. Statistics, in particular, is so important because it allows for concise summary of what might otherwise be an overwhelming amount of information. This course will further your

In addition, you will gain familiarity with statistical software used by many psychologists to analyze data. You will also meet and interact with psychology department faculty members to learn of their scholarly interests and research experiences.






























Aron, Arthur & Aron, Elaine N. (1999). Statistic for Psychology, 2nd Edition. Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall.

This will be the primary text for the course, but other readings may be given during the term to cover particular topics. You should be able to purchase the book from Ruminator Books.



Exams 40%

Text Problem Sets 20%

Lab Assignments 40%

Attendance see below

Meetings with Psychology Faculty see below

* Reasonable accommodations will be provided for students with physical, sensory, cognitive, learning, and psychological disabilities. Please contact the Disability Service Office located at Macalester Health Services (696-6275) to discuss appropriate accommodations.

Calculators: I strongly encourage you to use a hand calculator for your non-computer assignments, and I will permit calculators during exams. I would much prefer you to spend your time developing an understanding of the statistical concepts rather than adding and dividing numbers. A simple calculator that adds, subtracts, divides, multiplies, and takes square roots should be of great help. Since you must show your work on all text problem sets and exams, calculators that also do statistical calculations will not be of much help, so do not feel pressure to spend a lot of money, if you do not already own a calculator. About $10 or less should be enough.


Four exams will be given during the term. They will consist of short essay questions focusing on the statistical concepts from the text book and problem-solving questions requiring you to compute numbers based on the information given in the question. You will be required to answer 6-8 short essay and problem-solving questions on each exam. To receive full credit, step-by-step calculations must be shown for questions that require computation of any sort. You will be allowed to use a calculator during the exam, as well as an 8 _ by 11 inch sheet (one-side only) of formulas. If you have questions about the information that may be written on the formula sheet, see me before the exam.

For each exam, you will have the opportunity to re-take a different version if you are not satisfied with your grade from the first version. The re-take version will have the exact same format and cover the same content as the first version, though the questions will be different. If you decide to re-take an exam, however, be aware that the grade will be determined by both versions, whether your grade improves or declines on the second version. I will take 70% of the grade for the first version and 30% of the grade for the second version to calculate a grade for the exam. This may result in a lower grade than was received on the first version, so be sure to prepare thoroughly for the second version. You may arrange a re-take within 2 days of receiving your grade on a first version. If I do not hear from you within those two days, you will not be able to re-take the exam. (NOTE: Re-taking an exam is not the same as making up an exam! If you miss an exam without notifying me and making proper arrangements, you will NOT be allowed to take the second version of an exam. A failing grade will be recorded for that exam.)

The first exam will cover Chapters 1, 2, 5, and 6 on Friday, September 29th. The second exam will focus on Chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10 on Wednesday, October 25th. Exam three will occur on Friday, November 17th, and test Chapters 3, 4, 11, and 12. The Final Exam, which will not be cumulative, will happen during Finals Week and cover Chapters 13, 14, 15, and 16.

Text Problem Sets

To help you understand the logic and actual calculations involved in the various statistical techniques that you will learn in this course, you will be required to complete homework problems from the problem sets at the end of each chapter. Full credit will only be given for answers that show each step necessary for a problem’s solution! Be aware that the answers for Problem Set I are in the back of the text, so you may check your answers. You will not be able to check your answers in this way for Problem Set II. (I recommend that you find a classmate before the assignment is due and compare answers.)

Lab Assignments

On Tuesdays, we will meet in OLRI 354 for the lab component of the course. Lab sessions will focus on explaining various aspects of research methodology, acquiring proficiency in using SPSS to conduct statistical analyses, and becoming familiar with the research writing process.

The methods component of lab will entail presentation and discussion of important concepts that underlie psychology research or methodological techniques commonly used to collect data from participants. The SPSS component will require you to work with the 1995 Detroit Area Study data set to calculate various statistics on the computer. I will be present in the lab to help you with SPSS, but you will also have homework assignments based on our Stats Class Questionnaire that will require you to use SPSS without my direct supervision. Lastly, the lab has an Article Assignment component for which you will analyze psychology research writing to understand various conceptual issues that influence studies. These assignments will require you to answer specific questions about recent psychology journal articles.

The lab homework assignments will be due a week after they have been assigned (usually the following Tuesday). For the SPSS homework, you must also turn in a print-out of the work that you completed for the assignment. Full credit will only be given for SPSS homework that is accompanied by a print-out. For the Article Assignments, you need to submit a typed paper with your answers to the questions presented in the assignment. (Check my website for guidelines about writing papers.) If computations are required by any questions, those must be submitted as well. Full credit will only be given for Article Assignments that include all information necessary to see why you answered the questions as you did.


Attendance is an important part of this course. If you are unable to attend class, let me know in advance and try to make arrangements to get the information that we cover in class from one of your fellow classmates. I am willing to meet with you to answer any questions you might have after you have obtained the information that you missed.

The first time that you have an unexcused absence will not result in a deduction from your course grade. (I would appreciate you explaining why you were not in class, but that is at your own discretion.) For each additional unexcused absence beyond the first, I will deduct 1% from your final course grade. If you are ever unable to let me know in advance that you will not be in class because of an emergency, please provide a note from the Dean of Students Office or Health Services documenting what occurred.

Meetings with Psychology Faculty

Throughout the term, we will be having informal meetings with psychology department faculty to discuss their research interests, on-going projects, and opinions about methodology and statistics. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions related to aspects of psychology research here at Macalester. Early in the term, we will establish days and times when we will be able to meet as a group with faculty. Once we have chosen those times, I expect everyone in class to attend the meetings. If for some reason you are unable to attend a meeting, let me know in advance. I will not penalize you for missing one of these meetings, but reserve the right to deduct 2% from your final course grade for each meeting that you miss beyond the first. Of course, emergencies documented by the Dean of Students Office or Health Services will not result in a penalty to your grade.

Course Outline and Readings

(Subject to revision as necessary)


FRI, Sept. 8 Class Questionnaire Brainstorming Session

Sept. 11-15 Descriptive Statistics

CHAPTER 1 — Displaying the Order in a Group of Numbers (pp. 1-28)

MON, Sept. 11 Frequency Tables/Graphs & Distribution Shapes

DUE — Problem Set I (4) & Problem Set II (1)

TUE, Sept. 12 Methods Discussion — Guiding Principles in Psychological Research

SPSS Lab 1 — Creating & Editing Data Files

CHAPTER 2 — The Mean, Variance, Standard Deviation, and Z Scores (pp. 31-59)

WED, Sept. 13 Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion

FRI, Sept. 15 Z Scores

DUE — Problem Set I (2,4) & Problem Set II (2,4)

Sept. 18-Oct. 13 Fundamentals Of Hypothesis Testing

CHAPTER 5 — Some Key Ingredients for Inferential Statistics: The Normal Curve, Probability, and Population Versus Sample (pp. 135-157; 158-159)

MON, Sept. 18 Normal Curve & Probability

TUE, Sept. 19 Methods Discussion — Descriptive & Experimental Research Methods

SPSS Lab 2 — Graphing & Descriptive Statistics

DUE — SPSS Lab 1 Homework

WED, Sept. 20 Sample & Population

DUE — Problem Set I (2) & Problem Set II (2,4)

CHAPTER 6 — Introduction to Hypothesis Testing (pp. 161-181)

FRI, Sept. 22 Scientific Method & Other Assumptions in Psychology

MON, Sept. 25 Logic of Hypothesis Testing

TUE, Sept. 26 Methods Discussion — Testing a Hypothesis

Article Assignment 1 — Introductions and Hypotheses in Journal Articles

DUE — SPSS Lab 2 Homework

WED, Sept. 27 One-Tailed & Two-Tailed Hypothesis Testing

DUE — Problem Set I (1) & Problem Set II (2,6)

FRI, Sept. 29 EXAM 1!

CHAPTER 7 — Hypothesis Tests With Means of Samples (pp. 185-210)

MON, Oct. 2 Distributions of Means

TUE, Oct. 3 Methods Discussion — Designing and Evaluating a Study

Article Assignment 2 — Methods Sections in Journal Articles

DUE — Article Assignment 1 Homework

WED, Oct. 4 Confidence Intervals

DUE — Problem Set I (2,3) & Problem Set II (5,6)


CHAPTER 8 — Statistical Power and Effect Size (pp. 213-249)

MON, Oct. 9 Statistical Power

TUE, Oct. 10 Methods Discussion — Reliability & Validity

Article Assignment 3 — Results and Discussion Sections in Journal Articles

DUE — Article Assignment 2 Homework

WED, Oct. 11 Effect Size

FRI, Oct. 13 Power and Planning Studies

DUE — Problem Set I (2) & Problem Set II (4,6)

Oct. 16-Oct. 25 t TESTS

CHAPTER 9 — The t Test for Dependent Means (pp. 253-284; 287)

MON, Oct. 16 One Sample t Test

TUES, Oct. 17 Methods Discussion — Within- and Between-Subjects Designs

SPSS Lab 3 — One Sample, Paired Samples, & Independent Samples t Tests

DUE — Article Assignment 3 Homework

WED, Oct. 18 Dependent Means t Test

DUE — Problem Set I (3,7) & Problem Set II (2)

CHAPTER 10 — The t Test for Independent Means (pp. 289-314; 316-317)

FRI, Oct. 20 Independent Means t Test

MON, Oct. 23 Independent Means t Test

DUE — Problem Set I (1) & Problem Set II (2,4)

TUE, Oct. 24 NO LAB!

DUE — SPSS Lab 3 Homework

WED, Oct. 25 EXAM 2!


Oct. 30-Nov. 7 Measures Of Association

CHAPTER 3 — Correlation (pp. 63-93; 96-99)

MON, Oct. 30 Types of Correlation

TUE, Oct. 31 Methods Discussion — Correlational Studies

SPSS Lab 4 - Correlations

WED, Nov. 1 Interpreting Correlation Coefficients

DUE — Problem Set I (1) & Problem Set II (3,5)

CHAPTER 4 — Prediction (pp. 101-129)

FRI, Nov. 3 Bivariate Regression

MON, Nov. 6 Multiple Regression

DUE — Problem Set I (1) & Problem Set II (3,7)

TUE, Nov. 7 Methods Discussion — Using Interviews and Questionnaires

SPSS Lab 5 — Bivariate and Multivariate Regressions

DUE — SPSS Lab 4 Homework

Nov. 8-Nov. 29 Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA)

CHAPTER 11 — Introduction to the Analysis of Variance (pp. 319-345)

WED, Nov. 8 Logic of One-Way ANOVA

FRI, Nov. 10 Hypothesis Testing with One-Way ANOVA

DUE — Problem Set I (2) & Problem Set II (3,5)

CHAPTER 12 — The Structural Model in the Analysis of Variance (pp. 349-371; 375)

MON, Nov. 13 Structural Model for ANOVA

TUE, Nov. 14 Methods Discussion — Field Experiments

SPSS Lab 6 — One-Way ANOVAs

DUE — SPSS Lab 5 Homework

WED, Nov. 15 Testing Multiple Comparisons in Significant ANOVAs

DUE — Problem Set I (1,4) & Problem Set II (3)

FRI, Nov. 17 EXAM 3!

CHAPTER 13 — Factorial Analysis of Variance (pp. 377-417; 421-425)

MON, Nov. 20 Factorial Designs

TUE, Nov. 21 Methods Discussion — TBA

SPSS Lab 7 — Two-Way ANOVAs

DUE — SPSS Lab 6 Homework

WED, Nov. 22 Interaction Effects


MON, Nov. 27 Two-Way ANOVA

TUE, Nov. 28 Methods Discussion — TBA

SPSS Lab 8 — Testing Multiple Comparisons in ANOVA

Research Proposal

DUE — SPSS Lab 7 Homework

WED, Nov. 29 Repeated Measures ANOVA

DUE — Problem Set I (1,5) & Problem Set II (2)

Dec. 1-Dec. 8 Tests For Non-Normal Populations

CHAPTER 14 — Chi-Square Tests (pp. 427-454)

FRI, Dec. 1 Test of Goodness of Fit

MON, Dec. 4 Test of Independence

DUE — Problem Set I (1,6) & Problem Set II (3)

TUE, Dec. 5 Methods Discussion — Small N Research & Single Subject Designs

SPSS Lab 9 — Nonparametric Statistics

DUE — SPSS Lab 8 Homework

CHAPTER 15 — Strategies When Population Distributions Are Not Normal: Data Transformations, Rank-Order Tests, and Computer-Intensive Methods (pp. 459-485)

WED, Dec. 6 Data Transformations

FRI, Dec. 8 Rank-Order Tests

DUE — Problem Set I (4) & Problem Set II (2,6)

Dec. 11-Dec. 13 Interconnections Among Statistical Techniques

CHAPTER 16 — Integrating What You Have Learned: The General Linear Model (pp. 489-515)

MON, Dec. 11 Overview of General Linear Model

TUE, Dec. 12 Methods Discussion — Qualitative Research

DUE — SPSS Lab 9 Homework

WED, Dec. 13 Choosing a Statistical Technique

DUE — Problem Set I (4,5) & Problem Set II (2)

CHAPTER 17 — Making Sense of Advanced Statistical Procedures in Research Articles (pp. 519-543)

FRI, Dec. 15 Commonly Used Advanced Statistical Techniques


DUE — Research Proposal (at start of Exam 4)