Psychology 110

Research Methods II: Statistics

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Prof. Judith Christensen

Class Times: 3:30-4:45pm TR, Campus Center Theatre

Office Hours: By appointment

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COURSE OBJECTIVES

The purpose of this course is to provide you with the tools to conduct basic statistical tests in psychology. Since the discipline of psychology encompasses a variety of topics, the statistics we learn will be discussed in context. Specifically, as we explore how statistics are used in psychology, we focus on the application of statistics to comparative, developmental, social and clinical psychology.

Overview in Brief

The course will begin with an assessment of the skills that you learned in Psychology 109: Research Methods. This assessment will not be graded. It will instead be used as an instructorís tool to see where I may need to spend more or less time on particular topics that overlap the two courses. Following the assessment, we will review some basic statistical terms and methods for compiling and displaying data. In conjunction with this unit, we will also study comparative psychology and conduct an experiment involving aggressive displays in Betta splendens, or Siamese fighting fish.

The next unit will teach you to compare the results of a study to other groups and extrapolate to populations. At the same time we will learn about language development in children, and apply these same principles to developing and understanding slang words (for example, how we know that "wicked" doesnít always mean bad). Next, we will study the impact of nonverbal communication in various situations where how much we like our partner will be assessed. A variety of nonverbal cues will be used, allowing us to move beyond comparing one group with another to comparing many groups with each other.

Finally, the course will end with a unit on the use of correlation and regression models in psychology, particularly with how they apply to research in clinical psychology. And, time allowing, we will investigate how to assess frequency data as it appears in the media on topics relating to psychology.

"The syllabus is a contractÖ"

No doubt you have heard this phrase countless times before in your UVM career. However, itís worth repeating. I expect all students to read the syllabus and raise any questions they have regarding the rules of the course before they will need to use them. I rarely make modifications to the syllabus (excepting the schedule, usually) and therefore expect that students will raise questions within the first week of classes. In accordance with this, students will need to hand in a signed statement stating that they have read and understand the syllabus in their first lab class.

 

Code of Conduct

The rules that apply to students of the University of Vermont and of the College of Arts and Sciences in regard to cheating and plagiarism apply in this class as well. To review these rules in detail, please consult your student handbook.

In addition, classroom courtesy includes speaking one at a time, raising your hand when appropriate, and remaining in your seat during the lecture. If you know you will be leaving early for any reason, be sure to sit near the back exit and leave quietly so as not to disrupt your classmates. Also, I would ask that you do not conduct conversations with your classmates during lecture. This can be extremely distracting for me, and will do you a disservice.

COURSE ASSESSMENT

Exams

There will 3 exams during the course of the semester. Each exam is worth 25 points. Each exam will have 20 multiple choice questions, each worth 1 point. The multiple choice questions will comprise information from both the lab and the lecture. The can include many different question types, including application questions (e.g. which of the following statistical tests would be appropriate to answer a particular question), definitional questions (e.g. the ____ is the most frequent number in a set of numbers), and psychology questions (which will refer to the phenomenon we are studying in conjunction with a particular statistical technique).

There will also be a "practical" problem, worth 5 points. This problem will reflect those similar to ones we have tackled in class, where we will apply the techniques we learn to a problem in psychology. This portion of the exam may require you to perform computations. You will be allowed to use a calculator on exams, but not cell phones, PDAs, computers, or other electronic devices.

The FINAL EXAM is CUMMULATIVE. Statistics is, by nature, cumulative. For example, you need to learn how to calculate the mean before you can find the difference between two means. Donít worry; you will have many opportunities to practice your statistical techniques. On the final exam, there will be 30 multiple choice questions, each worth one point, and the "practical" problem will be worth 10 points.

Exam make-ups will not be permitted. Any exceptions to this rule will be at the discretion of the professor and most likely need to be verified by the dean. If make-ups are deemed to be necessary, they will all be held on one day at the end of the semester. They will most likely be multiple short answer questions, and possibly essays.

Laboratory Assignments

There will be laboratory assignments to be completed in lab. Each assignment will be worth 10 points. These will be used to assess your participation in lab, your ability to apply an understanding of lecture material to the lab context, and you ability to quickly summarize your data. Late assignments will not be accepted.

Writing Assignments

Each laboratory experience will be followed by an APA write-up of the results. At the next lab meeting, you will work with your TA on an element of proper APA technique, and have the opportunity to begin writing. Each write-up will be worth 10 points. Late assignments will not be accepted.

 

 

Homework Assignments

Homework assignments will be posted on the website. They will be examples of "practical" problems to give you practice for the exams. Each homework assignment will be worth 10 points. Late assignments will not be accepted.

Final Paper

To integrate the skills that you learned in Research Methods I: Research Methods with Research Methods II: Statistics, you will conduct and report on original research conducted by you and your classmates. You will work in groups of up to 4 students to collect your data, and each of you will hand in your own APA formatted report. Paper length should not exceed 10 pages, but there is an extra page allowance for relevant figures/tables/diagrams. As a group, you will select one of the pre-approved study topics provided by the Teaching Assistants (or make a strong case for a topic not on the list). A project guide with more details will be distributed in lab and is considered a part of this syllabus (and thus part of the syllabus contract).

Because this is a group project, I urge you to be sensitive to intellectual property rights. You will be working close together, using similar articles and having the same data set. Still, you must strive to present original work. Therefore, I recommend that when it comes time to write the literature review and discussion, work alone, with no other members of your group present to discuss ideas. Too often, sharing during this process results is remarkably similar sentences/passages to be found in more than one paper, which constitutes as plagiarism and a violation of UVMís new Academic Integrity code. It is, however, advisable that once you finish writing you seek comments from the group on style, presentation, etc.

The final paper will be due on the last day of class (May 2) so that your TA has time to thoughtfully grade your papers. Late assignments will not be accepted.

Extra Credit

Extra credit will be available through three types of projects. One is to participate in an approved psychology study by obtaining proof of participation and writing a one page paper about the purpose of the study and what type of statistical test could be used to answer their question. Another way to earn extra credit is to design an extension of one of the labs. By extension, I am referring to proposing an experiment that answers a different research question. In order to earn credit for this assignment, you will need to do a full literature review, describe the design of the experiment, and describe the statistics that will be used to answer your question. This must be done in APA format, and be a minimum of 10, double-spaced, pages. Finally, you will have an opportunity to participate in a "data blitz" where you will take part in a mass survey session, the data of which will be used for your final projects. The date, time and location of this will be announced later in the semester, but will most likely take place on April 13th in the evening. There will be a cutoff date for your TA to accept extra credit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grading

Your performance in this class will be evaluated through two major components: lecture and lab. It is essential that you understand that you cannot earn a high grade in this course without attending both lecture and lab, as well as handing in assignments when they are due. Grades will be available on WebCT, and not posted anywhere in the building. You can use your UVM I.D. (usually your first initial and last name) to log into www.uvm.edu/webct. If you are doing this for the first time, I recommend doing the tutorial on the welcome page. Please be sure to keep all graded assignments-it has not been unheard of that typing errors are made when entering the grades online. To receive the correct grade, you must be able to produce the original graded paper.

Total Course: 250 pts

Lecture: 140 pts

Exam 1: 25 pts

Exam 2: 25 pts

Exam 3: 25 pts

Final Exam: 40 pts

Final Paper: 25 pts

Laboratory: 110 pts

Lab Assignments: 40 pts

Writing Assignments: 40 pts

Homework Assignments: 30 pts

Optional Extra Credit

Study Participation in approved study with write-up: 5pts (2 per student)

Posted Study Topics: 10pts (1 per student)

Data Blitz Attendance: 10 pts (1 per student)

Grade Breakdown

233-250 A

215-232 A-

197-214 B+

179-196 B

161-178 B-

143-160 C+

125-142 C

107-124 C-

89-106 D+

71-88 D

53-70 D-

0-52 F

The grades will be rounded according to exact (or real) limits. There is no curve.

Lecture Schedule

As much as possible, we will adhere to the following schedule. You will notice that there are some blank areas. These time-slots have been "protected" so that I could build in some flexibility around the topics. This way, we can move at a student-dictated pace. Therefore, some lectures and assignments may shift if we need to spend more time on a particular topic. Extra reading assignments may be added to these spaces to increase comprehension of a topic.

Date

Class

Topic

Reading for class*

1/17

1

Introductions

Assessment, Chp 1 and 2 review

1/19

2

Frequency Distribution

Chp 3

1/24

3

Mean, Median, Mode

Chp 4

1/26

4

Variability

Chp 5

1/31

5

Probability

Chp 7

2/2

6

Sampling Distributions and Normal Scores

Chp 6

2/7

7

Sampling Distributions and Normal Scores cont.

Chp 6

2/9

8

Catch up day

Review Chp for Q.s

2/14

9

Exam I

Study

2/16

10

Z-test

Chp 12

2/21

11

Z-test cont.

 

2/23

12

One-Sample t-test

Chp 12

2/28

13

One-Sample t-test cont.

 

3/2

14

Independent Samples t-test

Chp 13 and Chp 14

3/7

15

NO CLASS TOWN MEETING DAY

 

3/9

16

Paired t-test

 

3/14

17

Exam II

 

3/16

18

One-Way ANOVA

Chp 16

3/20-3/24

19-20

SPRING BREAK

3/28

21

One-Way ANOVA cont.

3/30

22

Factorial ANOVA

Chp 17

4/4

23

Repeated Measures ANOVA

Chp 18

4/6

24

Catch up day

 

4/11

25

EXAM III

 

4/13

26

Correlation

Chp 9

4/18

27

Regression

Chp 10

4/20

28

Regression cont.

 

4/25

29

Chi-Square

Chp 19

4/27

30

Catch up day

 

5/2

31

Catch up day

FINAL PAPER DUE

5/5

32

FINAL EXAM

 

*Reading associated with a lecture should be completed when you attend the lecture. Reading associated with Class 1 should be completed during the week of 1/16/06.

 

 

 

Lab Schedule

The lab schedule follows a basic rhythm. For the first half of the month, you'll spend your time doing the hands-on data collection. For the second half of the month, you'll learn how to write up your results. There will be some deviations from this, however, so pay attention! Under the date in parentheses is the room number for lab that week.

Week Of

Type

Topic

DUE

Homework

January 23

(241)

Practical

Basic Math Review

worksheet due at the end of lab

Syllabus contract due

January 30

(126)

Practical

Betta splendens

worksheet due at the end of lab 10 pts

HW 1 assigned

February 6

(241)

Writing

Betta splendens

write-up due at next lab 10pts

HW1 due 10pts

February 13

(241)

Research

Independent Research Topic Choice

Groups form and topic chosen by end of lab. Also, roles in group assigned.

 

February 20

NO LAB THIS WEEK, WORK ON INDEPENDNET PROJECTS

Work as a group to identify methodology and/or surveys you would like to use. There will be an "open lab" on Friday February 24th.

February 27

(126)

Practical

Learning New Words

worksheet due at the end of lab 10pts

HW 2 assigned

March 6

NO LAB THIS WEEK, WORK ON INDEPENDNET PROJECTS

Students should have 3 articles for their introduction

There will be an "open lab" on Friday March 10th

 

March 13

(241)

Writing

Learning New Words

write-up due at next lab 10pts

HW 2 due 10pts

March 20

SPRING BREAK NO LAB

March 27

(126)

Practical

Nonverbal Behavior

worksheet due at the end of lab 10pts

HW 3 assigned

April 3

(241)

Writing

Nonverbal Behavior

write-up due at next lab 10pts

HW 3 due 10pts

April 10

(241)

Research

Independent Research Topic

Survey packets are approved, data to be collected by next class. Students should have a draft of their methodology section.

Students who are not approved by April 12th cannot participate in the data blitz. They must be approved by their TA and then collect data independently

April 17

(241)

Research

Independent Research Topic

Data entry. By the end of class, students should have a usable data set and know how to analyze their data

Complete online survey for Clinical Lab 10pts

April 24

(126)

Writing

Anxiety and Sensitivity

worksheets are due at the end of class. citations will be printed in class and handed in. 10pts

 

 

 

Syllabus Contract

By submitting this paper, I verify that I have read and understand the syllabus for the psychology course Research Methods II: Statistics. The syllabus includes both the course and lab syllabus.

In particular, I understand that

 

Sign and Write Your Name Below To Agree To These Statements and the Content of the Syllabus

___________________________________

Signature

 

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PRINT your name

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Date

Please return this form to your TA at your scheduled meeting time during the lab week of January 23rd.