Psychology 105
Spring 2012
Download Stats Syllabus CJF

Instructor: C.J. Fleming, M.A.
Office: Jonas Clark Hall 345 or 328
Office Hours: Monday 3-4p and by appointment

Lecture Schedule: Monday & Thursday
1:25-2:40 pm
Room: Jefferson 218

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics, and their application to psychological and social science research. The course will cover types of variables, summary statistics, variability, probability, populations, samples, hypothesis testing, and parametric and nonparametric tests of significance.

1. Students will recall and discuss the fundamental principles of descriptive and inferential statistics.
2. Students will be able to apply statistical concepts to solve problems using appropriate descriptive or inferential statistics.
3. Students will be able to distinguish between different statistical tests and then discern which statistical technique is appropriate in a given research scenario.
4. Students will develop specific skills needed by professionals in the field of psychology, namely analyzing datasets using statistical software.

Primary Text: Gravetter, Frederick J. & Wallnau, Larry B. (2010). Essentials of statistics for the behavioral sciences, 7th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
SPSS Guide: Kirkpatrick, Lee A. & Feeney, Brooke C. (2011). A simple guide to IBM SPSS Statistics v. 18 and 19. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Calculator: Scientific calculator that includes exponent and square root functions (NOT a phone)
Clicker (Response Card RF): Turning Point Technologies

Students are expected and encouraged to attend all classes this semester, and bring a calculator, clicker, and their textbook. Statistics textbooks can be difficult to follow without an accompanying lecture and examples, which we will be doing in class. In addition, the material in this class is cumulative – that is, you must be able to understand and retain the information from early in the course to understand any material presented later in the course. Therefore, you should attend classes, keep up with the reading, and complete the assignments on time.

Students must register for and attend one of the three weekly discussion sections for this course. They are:

• Tuesday 9-10 AM JC 105
• Tuesday 12-1 PM JC 103
• Tuesday 1:25-2:25 PM JC 105

Your TAs will be leading the discussion sections. Discussion sections will be primarily devoted to course objective #4, learning how to conduct statistical analyses that we discuss in class by using the software program SPSS (the users’ guide is required). There will be a semester project in which you will analyze a dataset using SPSS, so it is very important that you come to discussion sections and learn how to use this program.
Other issues that will be covered in discussion sections include review of homework assignments and exams, additional practice problems, and review of any material that students find particularly confusing.


1) Exams
There will be a total of four examinations for the course: 3 midterms and a semi-cumulative final. BE SURE TO BRING A CALCULATOR (NOT a phone) TO ALL EXAMS – CALCULATORS WILL NOT BE PROVIDED FOR YOU. The purpose of these exams is to test whether you are learning course objectives 1-3. If you receive a grade of 70 or lower on an exam, you are strongly encouraged to meet with a TA to review the exam. This meeting can occur during one of the office hours listed above.

Note on Make-up Exam: Students are expected to be present the day of the exam. If you expect to miss an exam, you must notify the professor by 10AM on the day of the exam. Your professor will then consider whether to excuse you for the exam date or not (Note: you may be required to provide documentation of the reason for which you were absent). Students who are given permission to miss the exam will be required to take a make-up exam within one week of the original exam date. Your TA will administer this make-up exam at a time that the two of you agree upon. If you have a legitimate reason for missing the final exam (e.g., illness, death in the family), you will also be offered a make-up exam without penalty. In such incidences, it is best for you to contact the Dean of Students office first to make any necessary accommodations.

2) Homework Assignments
Students will be required to complete homework assignments throughout the semester. The due dates are listed on this syllabus, but may be subject to change if we do not keep up with the pace of the syllabus. Students are required to know the due dates of their homework assignments and hand them in on time. Homework will be graded with a √+ (excellent job; equivalent to a 100%), √ (good job; equivalent to an 85%), or √- (poor job, equivalent to a 70%).). Incomplete homework assignments will be scaled according to the quality of the work and the percentage of the assignment completed. Late assignments will be marked down 10 points for each day late (e.g., if the homework is due on a Monday, a √+homework will become a 90 if it’s handed in on Tuesday, an 80 on Wednesday, a 70 on Thursday, etc.) and will not be accepted after one week past the due date (i.e., you will be given a zero if you do not hand in your homework within one week of the deadline). The purpose of these homework assignments is to give students practice in applying the course material.
A special exception will occur for homeworks # 2, 4, and 6. Since these homeworks are due the week of your midterm exams, you will be receiving the answer key the day after your homework is due. As such, students will still receive a 10% reduction if homework is handed in late on the following day. However, homework that is 2 or more days late can receive no higher than a 50%. That is, your homework grade will be cut in half (i.e., 100 becomes 50; 70 becomes 35). Please take extra care to turn in your homework on time for these homework assignments in particular.
Although students are required to hand in their own work, they are encouraged to talk with the professor, their TA, or other students to get help with difficult homework problems. Study groups are a useful and efficient way to tackle challenging problems. REMEMBER, YOU MUST HAND IN YOUR OWN WORK AND YOU MUST HAND IT IN ON TIME. Some of these homework problems can be quite lengthy, so be sure that you get an early start.

3) Semester Project in SPSS:
A few weeks into the semester, students will receive the official assignment for their semester project in SPSS. For this project, students will use the statistics they learn in lecture and the SPSS techniques they learn in discussion to analyze a dataset that will be provided by the professor. The project will consist of a series of statistical questions the student must answer by analyzing the data in SPSS. This SPSS project is geared towards course objectives 3 & 4. More information on this assignment will follow.

4) Participation (Extra Credit)
Participation is voluntary and will be rewarded as such. Attendance and participation are tracked quantitatively using the “clicker” response system. Students who are present and participating for 75% or more of all class sessions (as measured by the “clicker” response system) will receive a 3% increase to their final semester grade. Please note that this can often result in an increase of a letter grade (i.e., from a B+ to an A-). Since this is essentially extra credit, there is no room for negotiation. Students who respond to less than 75% of the clicker questions will not be penalized, but will not be given the 3% raise.

Grading Breakdown
1st Midterm: 15%
2nd Midterm: 15%
3rd Midterm: 15%
Final Exam: 20%
Homework Average: 20%
Semester SPSS Project: 15%
Total: 100%

Final Grading Scale
A+ = 97-100%   A = 93-96     A- = 90-92
B+ = 87-89        B = 83-86     B- = 80-82
C+ = 77-79       C = 73-76     C- = 70-72
D+ = 67-69       D = 63-66     D- = 60-62
F = less than 60

Final Grades
Your grade is based on your performance on the course assignments and exams, and will not be changed on the basis of special requests. If grades for the class as a whole are inordinately low, there could be a “curve” applied to final grades. However, this is not guaranteed, and students should assume that grades will remain unchanged at the conclusion of the semester.

Schedule Flexibility
The topic schedule and all accompanying information (i.e., homework problems, discussion topics, etc.) should be viewed as tentative, and can be altered according to the needs of the course. If we fall behind during the course of the semester, alterations will be made. This is not uncommon, particularly in statistics courses. As such, students should listen for any announcements of changes in the schedule. Major changes (i.e., changes in exam dates, assignment due dates, etc.) will be done in writing and posted on the Cicada site, and students will be given ample advanced notice.

Students with Disabilities
If you believe that you may need accommodations in this course, and if you have not already done so, please contact Jane Daigneault, Coordinator of Disability Services at Clark University (508-793-7468). Also, consult “Disability Services at Clark” at If you would like to discuss how your accommodations will be implemented during this course or if you would like to share information unrelated to accommodations, please make an appointment to talk with the instructor as soon as possible.

Academic Honesty Policy
All work submitted for grading must be your own. We encourage students to work in study groups with other students when completing homework. You must hand in your own work that reflects the steps you took in solving the problems and your answer.
Copying another student’s homework, SPSS Project, or exams is prohibited. Consult Clark University’s “College Board Procedure for Dealing with Accusations of Violation of Academic Integrity” at for additional details and for penalties and procedures in case of violations.

Date : Topic (Readings)
1/19: Introduction to course
1/23: Hypotheses and Levels of Measurement (G&W Chpt. 1)
1/26: Organizing Data/ Frequency distributions (G&W Chpt. 2; SPSS Chpt. 1-3, 5)
1/30: Measures of Central Tendency/Variability (G&W Chpt. 3, start 4; SPSS Chpt. 6)
2/2: Measures of Variability, Homework 1 due (G&W Chpt. 4)
2/6: Z-scores and Probability (G&W Chpts. 5 & 6)
2/9: Probability and the Normal Distribution (G&W Chpts. 5 & 6)
2/13: Distribution of Sampling Means, Homework 2 due (G&W Chpt. 7)
2/16: EXAM 1
2/20: No Lecture
2/23: Hypothesis-testing (G&W Chpt. 8)
2/27: Hypothesis-testing (G&W Chpt. 8)
3/1: Single-sample t-test, Homework 3 due (G&W Chpt. 9; SPSS Chpt. 7)
3/5, 3/8:
No Classes – Spring Break
3/12: Independent samples t-test (G&W Chpt. 10; SPSS Chpt. 8)
3/15: Paired samples t-test, Homework 4 due (G&W Chpt. 11; SPSS Chpt. 9)
3/19: EXAM 2
3/22: One-Way Independent Samples ANOVA (G&W Chpt. 13; SPSS Chpt. 10)
3/26: One-Way Independent Samples ANOVA (G&W Chpt. 13)
3/29: Repeated Measures ANOVA, Homework 5 due (G&W Chpt. 14; SPSS Chpt. 12)
4/2: Repeated Measures ANOVA (G&W Chpt. 14)
4/5: Two-Way ANOVA (G&W Chpt. 14; SPSS Chpt. 10)
4/9: Two-Way ANOVA, Homework 6 due (G&W Chpt. 14)
4/16: Chi-Square (G&W Chpt. 16; SPSS Chpt 17)
4/19: Correlation (G&W Chpt. 15; SPSS Chpt. 14)
4/23: Correlation (G&W Chpt. 15)
4/26: Regression (G&W Chpt. 15; SPSS Chpt. 15)
4/30: Regression, Homework 7 due (SPSS Project Due; G & W Chpt. 15)

Tuesday 5/8 FINAL EXAM (4:00 pm)

Note: “G&W” indicates the Gravetter & Wallnau textbook; “SPSS” indicates the SPSS user’s guide


BE SURE TO SHOW YOUR WORK! You need to show your work to get full credit for any question (i.e., don’t just copy the answer out of the back of the book – show your calculations) or to get partial credit for any incorrect answer.

Typewritten homework is preferred, but if you choose to handwrite your homework, MAKE SURE IT IS LEGIBLE. If the TA cannot read your handwriting, you will not be given credit for your homework.

Problem sets are provided here in case students would like to work ahead. There may be minor additions/subtractions, so students should be alert to alterations in these assignments over the course of the semester.


Homework 1:

Chpt. 1, #1,5,9,11,13,14,18-21
Chpt. 2, #2,3,8,10,12,16
Chpt. 3, #9,10,23,24,26

Homework 2:

Chpt. 4, #3,4,7,9,11,22,23
Chpt. 5, #2,3,5,6,18,21,23
Chpt. 6, #1,2,11,12,14,17,22

Homework 3:

Chpt. 7, #2,3,5,6,10,15,18,20
Chpt. 8, #3,4,5,7,8,10,11,16,17

Homework 4:

Chpt. 9, #2,4,5,9,10,11,12,13,18,19
Chpt. 10, #1,4,6,9,11,12,14,15

Homework 5:

Chpt. 11, #1,2,9,10,12,13,23
Chpt. 13, #1,3,5,7,8,9,10,16,17

Homework 6:

Chpt. 14, #1,2,3,8,9,13,18

Homework 7:

Chpt. 16, #2,4,5,9,12,13,14,15,18,19
Chpt. 15, #3,4,7,8,10,25


Date Topic
No Sections this week – Sections start 1/24
1/24 Review of basic math and statistical notation; Introduction to SPSS
1/31 Frequency distributions, charts & graphs, measures of central tendency in SPSS
2/7 Measures of Variability and Creating z-scores in SPSS
2/14 Review for Exam 1
No Sections this week
2/28 Pass out SPSS Projects, review exam 1, review class content
No Sections – Spring Break
3/13 Single-sample t-test in SPSS, Independent t-test in SPSS; review for Exam 2
3/20 Paired samples t-test in SPSS, Practice problems in SPSS
3/27 One-way ANOVA in SPSS
4/3 Repeated Measures ANOVA in SPSS
4/10 Two-Way ANOVA in SPSS; review for Exam 3
4/17 Chi-square in SPSS; work on SPSS project
4/24 Correlation in SPSS; work on SPSS project