East Carolina University
Department of Psychology


PSYC 2101: Psychological Statistics, Section 004, Spring, 2015

Instructors: Karl L. Wuensch & Bryan Daniel  


Meeting Time: Graduate Assistant Bryan Daniel will meet with you in Rawl 304 on Wednesdays from noon until 1:50 PM.

Online Lectures:  When you registered for this class, in Self-Service Banner, you should have noticed that this is an online class (aka "World Wide Web Instructional Method").  There are, however, mandatory face-to-face meetings, once a week.  When taught 100% face-to-face, this class meets five hours a week (three hours of lecture and two hours of lab).  The lab component of this class is face-to-face, making this a hybrid course -- that is, it includes both online and face-to-face components -- 60% online and 40% face-to-face.  All of the lectures will be in text format on the web.  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.   It is important that you check your ECU email every day for class-related announcements and log into BlackBoard every day to check for any announcements that might appear there.

Face-to-Face Laboratory Meetings:  Bryan will meet with you on Wednesdays to conduct hands-on laboratory activities.

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Required Text

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

Assignments

    There will be a considerable amount of homework. Most students best learn stats by doing it. You should do even more than is assigned.  We may or may not collect and grade any particular assignment and we 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.

   With respect to late homework:

SPSS

   This statistical package has a GUI interface, which allows you to point and click your way through basic analyses.  SPSS is available to ECU students in the computer labs on campus and through the Virtual Computer Lab [see Virtual Computing Lab], and it can be purchased from IBM, but I recommend downloading it, for free, from ECU. We shall be using SPSS often during this semester.

Weekly Quizzes and Final Exam

    In addition to a comprehensive, face-to-face, final exam [3:00-4:50, Wednesday the 28th of November, in Rawl 304, you can expect to have weekly quizzes, administered by Bryan during the Wednesday lab meetings.  The most likely format for these quizzes is multiple choice and true-false, but it is possible that other formats will be used.  You should check out Professor Karl's Tips for Students Taking Multiple Choice Tests before taking his quizzes.  There will be time limits imposed -- that is, you must complete each quiz within a specified time period.

    On the weekly quizzes, you may use a summary sheet (8.5 x 11 inches, both sides) on which you have hand-written anything you want.  Professor Karl's insists on it being hand-written because he knows that preparing it helps you learn the material, but simply copying and pasting material into a document teaches you next to nothing.  On the final examination you may use a three-sheet summary.  Do not rely on your summary sheet providing you the answers to many of the questions on the quizzes and the final exam.  If you have not studied the material, you will probably not have enough time to find the answers on your summary sheets.

    Some of the quizzes may be administered online.  When taking an online quiz, unless explicitly stated otherwise, you are not permitted to use books, notes (other than your summary sheet), other persons, or Internet resources.  Bryan will be monitoring what is displayed on your monitors (from the executive panel on the computer up front), and if you are found using prohibited resources, a score of zero will be awarded for the quiz.  You must be physically present in the lab to take an online quiz.  If you have a university-approved reason for missing a lab meeting, you will need to arrange to take it at another time in a proctored environment.

    The time limit for online quizzes is strictly enforced.  If you go over the time limit, your answers will be automatically submitted and your score reduced by one point.

Classwork

    Bryan will be monitoring your performance in the classroom, and awarding you points for your participation in classroom exercises and discussions.  These points will be recorded in the "Classwork" column in the BlackBoard gradebook.  The points available for such class-work will not exceed 50.

Grading

    Each of the weekly quizzes earns you up to ten points (possibly more if extra credit items are included).  The final exam earns you up to 100 points.  Other assignments are a bit of a wild card -- while you can expect most often to be able to earn up to ten points per assignment, some assignments may carry more or less than ten points credit.  The number of assignments for the semester depends on how quick the pace of the course is, which varies from semester to semester.

    At the end of the semester, each student's total points earned will be converted into a P score by diving the total points by the Mean for Mastery and then multiplying by 100.  The Mean for Mastery is the average total points earned by the top-scoring one-tenth of the students.  Grade thresholds are show in the table below:

    Plus/Minus grading came to ECU in the Fall of 2012.  The table above is from the recommendation of the Admission and Retention Policies Committee .

    Second Chance Grading System: At semester's end we find the class mean and standard deviation for all students' mean P-scores. We exclude any outliers (see Tukey's definition of "outlier" in your text) during the computation of the mean and standard deviation.  We also exclude any highliers (scores greater than 110) and any lowliers (scores less than 50).   We 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"). If this Z is 1 or more, you have an A; 1/3 or more, a B; minus 2/3 or more, a C; minus 1 1/3 or more, a D. You receive the higher of the two letter grades computed by the Z-system and the  P system.

    Please see the University Catalog for definitions of letter grades.  Do note that the grade of 'C' is defined as "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, give it to Bryan or mail it to him at: Dr. Karl L. Wuensch, Dept. of Psychology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353. 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:

Plagiarism

    On exams and graded classwork, I expect you to work independently - no help from your classmates. On homework, you may compare answers (not immediately before handing it in) with a classmate - if they disagree, you should both go over the problem step-by-step to find the error. Do not simply copy the work of another student - I have a very good record of detecting such plagiarism - it is easier to detect than you might suspect, and it is usually easier to do your own work fairly than to be an undetectable plagiarist. The penalty for plagiarism or other cheating is an 'F' for the course with additional disciplinary action possible.  See

10 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 10 hr/week outside class for this five contact hour 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.

Major Objective of This Course

    The major objective of this course is to familiarize you with the basic concepts of descriptive and inferential statistics. 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.  For a detailed list of the goals for this course, please see Behavioral Objectives for This Course .

Prerequisites

    PSYC 1000 is a prerequisite for this course. We 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.

Requirements

    The requirements of this course are: A. successful completion of quizzes and the final exam and B. successful completion of other assignments.

Email to the Instructors:

    The instructors have 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.

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).

 

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Contact Information for the Webmaster,
Dr. Karl L. Wuensch



This page most recently revised on the 25th of August, 2012.  It is a living document -- do not be surprised if it changes during the semester.