PSYC3301 Introductory Statistics

Course Description

Measures of central tendency, variability, correlation, and hypotheses testing, with emphasis on the application of statistical methods to research in the behavioral sciences and education.

Statistics is a set of tools that helps researchers to quickly and economically answer a potentially infinite number of questions about the nature of the world. Nonetheless, the word "statistics" typically elicits thoughts of an anxiety and elicits thoughts of a useless course filled with painful mathematical jargon that must be endured to fulfill one’s degree requirements.

However, after an appropriate study of statistics most students recognize the usefulness of a knowledge of statistics, it’s all just basic arithmetic, logic, and a little probability. This is not to say that the study of statistics is easy or that mastery comes quickly, but rather that a knowledge of statistics is well worth the effort required to obtain it. There are at least three practical ways in which a knowledge of statistics pays off:

First, since you are required to read many books and professional journal articles containing statistical terminology and analyses (such as "standard deviation," "significant," "t test," and so on), a knowledge of statistics will enable you to better understand these articles and thereby maximally benefit from reading them.

Second, a knowledge of statistics will enable you to critically assess the manner in which facts and figures are presented and to determine whether or not the conclusions are justified.

Third, since you are usually required to participate in one or more laboratory / field research projects, a knowledge of statistics is necessary to collect the desired information efficiently and to analyze the results accurately.

Course Credits: 3

Prerequisites: PSYC 1301 - Introduction to Psychology. Must have completed general education mathematics requirement.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • To demonstrate mathematical reasoning skills and logic that support evidence-based arguments.
  • To demonstrate the use appropriate technology to solve research problems and to evaluate the reasonableness of the results.
  • To verbally interpret statistical tools such as formulas, graphs, tables, and schematics, and draw rational inferences from them.
  • To describe the limitations of statistical procedures.
  • To demonstrate the perspective that statistics is an evolving discipline, interrelated with our evidence- based culture, and understand its connections to other research disciplines.
  • One final general goal is to demonstrate that the application of statistics really is logic, a little probability, and basic arithmetic, and that “you can do it!”
  • To represent, describe, and evaluate basic statistical information verbally, numerically, and graphically.