East Carolina University
Department of Psychology

PSYC 2101: Psychological Statistics, Section 001, First Summer Session, 2014

Instructor: Karl L. Wuensch
Correct Pronunciation

Office: Rawl 137;------ Office Hours: Click here to see Karl's schedule.

Meeting Time: 0945-1115  and 1130-1230 in Rawl 304

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Required Text

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


19. May, Monday  

Classes Begin

20. May, Tuesday

Last Free Drop, Last Day to Add

26. May, Monday

No Classes, Memorial Day

31. May, Friday

Last Day to Drop

23. June, Monday

Last Day of Classes

24. June, Tuesday

Final Exam Day

26. June, Thursday

Final Grades Due at Noon






Chapters in Howell*


30. May


1-8, 12


11. June


12-15, 9, 10


24. June


10, 11, 16-20

*Expectation based on previous semesters, may vary as a function of how rapidly we cover various topics this semester.


    Have with you in class and for exams an operating calculator adequate for your needs. I shall assume you can compute with the speed and accuracy of a calculator even if you have none. You are permitted to use portable "computing" calculators on exams and calculators or computers on homework. It is helpful for you to show me, where possible, intermediate steps (such as intermediate sums, formulae used, programs used, hard-copy output, etc.), not just the final answer. I need such to verify that you did the work, to find where you erred, if you did, and to award any partial credit due you.  You do not need a fancy graphing calculator, just a basic model to do simple arithmetic now and then.  We shall be using our computers to do the heavy duty work.


    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. Neatness counts in that if I cannot read it with reasonable effort, I assume it is wrong. I may elect to evaluate some homework assignments by asking students orally to present their solutions in class. Points earned by such class participation may be added to students' homework total points at the end of the semester.

    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.


    Class-work may also be collected and graded when I desire. Thus, graded class-work is like a "pop quiz."

Late Homework and Exams

    Try hard to avoid missing any of the exams. Make-up exams will be a different form than the original. With respect to late homework, I absolutely cannot accept any assignment after I have returned or "gone-over" it in class (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.


    On each of the three exams I shall convert your raw score to a P score. I do this by dividing your raw score 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.). At the end of the semester your cumulative raw score on all pop quizzes and homeworks is also converted to a P-score.

 Then I compute, for each student, the mean of e's four 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, give it to Professor Karl 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:


    On exams and graded class-work, I expect you to work independently - no help from your classmates. On exams, I may be willing to "sell" you (for a few points) a piece of information you need to complete a problem. 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 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.

Class Attendance

    Class attendance is your responsibility. I do not take roll. If you miss class, you miss the opportunity to earn class participation points, you may miss an unscheduled quiz, and you miss the opportunity to learn material on which you may be tested later.

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: A. successful completion of examinations, B. successful completion of homework assignments, and C. adequate performance on "pop quizzes."

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.


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

This page most recently revised on the 19th of May, 2014.  It is a living document -- expect it to change during the semester.