East Carolina University
Department of Psychology

PSYC 2101: Psychological Statistics, Section 001, First Summer Session, 2017

Instructor: Karl L. Wuensch
Correct Pronunciation

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Enrolling in This Course:  Wait-listing is enabled for this course.  Accordingly, no special adds are possible.  If the course has closed but you still hope to enroll, you should add yourself to the wait-list.

Office Hours:  If you need to speak with me, send me an email with your telephone number and times it would be good for me to call you.  Most of the time you will be able to communicate with me most effectively through BlackBoard and email.  I am never far from my computer, and I check email several times a day.  You can, of course, speak with me during our weekly lab meetings on campus.

Design of the Course -- This course will be taught using online methods, primarily BlackBoard and my web site.  You have elected to take an online class. By registering for an online class, you have indicated that you are computer literate and that you have good access to a well-functioning computer with Internet access.  Accordingly, lack of competence or access will not constitute acceptable excuses for missing assignments or examinations, excepting emergencies that can be documented.  You are expected to check your ECU email every day and to log in to BlackBoard every day.  Take this survey to see whether or not online instruction is right for you.

Weekly Lab Meetings -- There will be a once-weekly lab meeting on campus.  While the primary mission of this meeting to help you learn to use the statistical software (SPSS) used to complete many of your assignments, it is also an opportunity for you to ask questions face-to-face.

Required Text

Syllabus: Click here to see a formal list of the topics we shall cover this semester.

Questions on Course Material and Policy

    There is a Question & Answer forum in the BlackBoard Discussion Board to which these can be posted.  The advantage of posting questions there is that your classmates may be able to answer your question sooner than I can, and, when I do chime in, my response can be seen by all in the class.  It is recommended that you subscribe to that Forum so that you will be notified, by email, whenever there is a new post.


    There will be a considerable amount of homework. Most students best learn stats by doing it. You should do even more than I assign. I may or may not collect and grade any particular assignment and I do not give advance notification of whether an assignment will be graded or not. Prepare them all as if they were to be graded.

    The typical assignment in this class involves your analyzing a set of research data and preparing a report in which you convey the results of your analysis and interpretation of the results.  Your reports should be prepared in a professional manner.  Grammar counts:  Those who use poor grammar are less likely to get a good job and less likely to get promotions than those who use proper grammar.

Taking Quizzes

    They are administered online, in BlackBoard.  Items may be multiple-choice and/or true/false.  When I give exams in my face-to-face classes, there are typically about 50 items to be answered in 50 minutes -- that is, one minute per question.  The time allowed to complete the online quizzes in this course will be one minute per true/false question and two minutes per multiple choice question.  If a question involves considerable calculation to obtain the correct answer, three minutes may be allowed.  Some online students suffer from the delusion that they should get more time per question because rather than learning the material they plan on searching the internet for the answers while taking the quiz, and time allowed is not enough to do that.  I am imposing the time limit because I desire to evaluate what you have learned, not your ability to look things up.  If you take my quizzes thinking that you will be able to look up, during the exam, the information needed to answer the questions correctly, you will almost certainly be disappointed with your scores on the quizzes.

Late Homework and Quizzes

    Try hard to avoid missing any of the quizzes. Make-up quizzes may be a different form than the original. With respect to late homework, I absolutely cannot accept any assignment after I have returned it and/or sent out feedback on it (which may be on its due date). I may impose penalties for late homework (for example, lose 10% on first late assignment, 20% on second, 30% on third...). I may set the maximum obtainable score on a late homework to be equal to the lowest score obtained by students who turned in the assignment on time.


    Half of your final grade is determined by your performance on the five quizzes and half from your performance on assignments.  For each of these (quizzes and assignments) I shall keep a running total of the number of points you have earned.  At semester's end I shall covert each of your point totals to a P score. I do this by dividing each points total by the "mean for mastery" and then multiplying by 100. The mean for mastery is the mean score obtained by the top 10% of the students in the class (the top score in a class of 6-14 students, the top two in a class of 15-25, etc.).  Then I compute, for each student, the mean of e's two P scores. Then I find the class mean and standard deviation for all students' mean P-scores. I exclude any outliers (see Tukey's definition of "outlier" in your text) during the computation of the mean and standard deviation.  I also exclude any highliers (scores greater than 110) and any lowliers (scores less than 50).   I use this mean and standard deviation to transform each student's mean P-score to a Z score (see your text for a definition of "Z score").  The P and Z scores are then converted to letter grades as indicated in the table below.  Each student will have two letter grades, one from P and one from Z.  Whichever of these is higher is the one awarded.

Grade Quality Points P score Z score
A 4.0 94 < P 1.20 < z
A- 3.7 90 < P < 94 1.00 < z < 1.20
B+ 3.3 87 < P < 90 0.75 < z < 1.00
B 3.0 83 < P < 87 0.50 < z < 0.75
B- 2.7 80 < P < 83 0.25 < z < 0.50
C+ 2.3 77 < P < 80 0.00 < z < 0.25
C 2.0 73 < P < 77 -0.40 < z < 0.00
C- 1.7 70 < P < 73 -0.75 < z < -0.40
D+ 1.3 67 < P < 70 -1.00 < z < -0.75
D 1.0 63 < P < 67 -1.25 < z < -1.00
D- 0.7 60 < P < 63 -1.50 < z < -1.25
F 0.0  <  60 < -1.50

    Please see the University Catalog for definitions of letter grades.  Do note that the grade of 'C' is defined as "adequately meets basic course expectations," in other words, "average."

    Posting of Grades: If you would like to have your grades posted on the web, where you can view them at any time, you need to fill out the Grade Posting Form and return it to Professor Karl. To bring the form into your word processor, just click onto the link for the form. After you have filled out the form, email it to Professor Karl. Unless you complete this form, indicating that you wish to have your grades posted as described on the form, and deliver it to Professor Karl, your grades will not be posted. You can find the link to posted grades near the bottom of this document.

    Final Grades:  Please do not beg for a better grade after final grades are posted.  Final grades are, well,  final,  with only two exceptions:


    On quizzes, I expect you to work independently - no help from your classmates.  It is OK to consult with other students regarding an assignment, as long as the work you hand in is yours. The penalty for plagiarism or other cheating is an 'F' for the course with additional disciplinary action possible. See Academic Integrity .

25 Hours a Week Outside of Class

    You can master the content of this course, but, for most students, it requires a good deal of steady work. The usual rule of 2 hours outside class for every hour within class suggests 25 hr/week outside class for this lab course, admittedly more than you would need spend on most Psych courses. Do not fall behind - understanding material later in the course depends upon mastery of the concepts taught earlier.

Goals of This Course.  After completing this course, you should:

  1. Be able to cite several examples of psychological research, including the findings of that research.  Most of the examples of research used in this class will involve the efforts of psychologists and others to explain the behavior and mental events of humans and other animals.

  2. Understand the methods employed by psychologists to conduct research.  In this course the emphasis will be on the analysis of the research data, drawing conclusions from the analysis, relating the results to theory and practice, and presenting the results as would be done in a scholarly journal.

  3. Be a more critical consumer of research results.  Those of you who will go on to take additional courses in statistics or research or accept employment involving research should find this course most instrumental. Many of you may never engage in research, but you will be consumers of research. Adequately to evaluate the research reports that you will be reading for other courses or for your professional or personal advancement, you must understand the basic concepts taught in this course. Statistics can be used to distort the truth; you need to learn how to detect such distortions.  In your everyday life you frequently encounter problems that have been or will be addressed by research in psychology and other disciplines.  By understanding the statistical methods that are commonly employed in such research, you will be better able to draw your own conclusions about what the research results really mean.

    Please read this document about goals that are appropriate for courses that earn foundation credit.


PSYC 1000 is a prerequisite for this course. I expect you to know enough about general psychology to understand the psychological research we shall discuss. A second prerequisite for this course is MATH 1065 or MATH 1066, or an equivalent course in college algebra.


    The requirements of this course are: 1. successful completion of quizzes, and 2. successful completion of homework assignments.

Disabled Students

    East Carolina University seeks to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students requesting accommodations based on a disability must be registered with the Department for Disability Support Services located in Slay 138 (252) 737-1016 (Voice/TTY).

Email to Professor Karl:

    Professor Karl has programmed Outlook to sort incoming mail into different folders.  You should include in the subject line of your email the phrase "PSYC 2101:" -- if you do, it will be properly sorted and your instructors will find it.  If you do not, your email will end up here:  , where it is unlikely to get much attention.  How to email your professor.


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Dr. Karl L. Wuensch

This page most recently revised on 21-May-2017.  It is a living document -- expect it to change during the semester.