East Carolina University
Department of Psychology


PSYC 6430: Statistics and Research Design, Autumn, 2018

Instructor: Karl L. Wuensch
Correct Pronunciation

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

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    Required Texts  (see this document about "international editions.")

    Class and Lab Meetings. We meet in Rawl 304 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 0900 until 1015.  Your lab meetings are in Rawl 135 on Wednesdays from 1300 to 1450.  My teaching assistant, Emily Meier, will be supervising the lab meetings.

    Content of the Course. Topics covered will include basic principles of research design and basic univariate and bivariate statistics, with an emphasis on understanding hypothesis testing, parameter estimation, extraneous variable control, and causal inference. Consult the Online Syllabus for more detail.

    Calculators. I shall introduce you to the algorithms used to calculate various descriptive and inferential statistics. You will be expected to be able to do such calculations [using a hand calculator] on exams. Calculators which can store/process text are forbidden during exams.

    Computers. I shall instruct you in the use of three statistical computing packages: SAS, SPSS, and R. The University of North Carolina system has received a grant from SAS, Inc., which will allow every student to obtain, free of charge, a copy of the SAS statistical program.  See Get SAS.  ECU has a site license which will allow you get a free copy of SPSS.  R is free for everybody.  Although these programs should be available in our labs, I encourage you to install them on your personal computers.

    Here are links to lessons on the use of SAS, SPSS, and R.

    Homework and Class-work. You will be assigned a number of homework projects during the semester. These will involve computation or hand calculation. I may not collect and grade all assignments, but you should prepare each with the expectation that I shall. I may not indicate beforehand which will be or will not be collected. Your class participation will be evaluated. You may be called upon to present to the class your solutions to a homework assignment or to discuss some issue of interest to the class. Points earned in this way, or through other class participation, may be added to your cumulative homework/classwork score.

    At semester's end I shall transform cumulative scores on all classwork (homeworks and class participation) to P-scores (P = (100)X / T where X = your cum score, T = the mean cum score of the top 10% of the class, that is, the top score in a class of 6-14 students, the mean of the top 2 in a class of 15-25, etc.). If there are fewer than 6 students in the class, P scores will be the percentage of the total possible points earned.

    Document Formats.  You will be required to submit several documents, as attachments to email, this semester.  Acceptable formats are .docx, .doc, or if necessary, .rtf.  Not acceptable are .pages documents, as they are Mac-only documents, are a pain to convert, and do not convert well.  Also not acceptable are pdf, htm, or html documents.  When I grade your assignments, I use Word's track changes function to annotate your document, showing you what mistakes you made and how to correct them.  Your document needs to be in Word format for me to do that.  Learn more about Track Changes here.

    Midterm Exam.  There will be a midterm examination administered on Wednesday the 3rd of October in Rawl 304. A P-transformation will be applied.  It will be scored using a optical scanning machine and software, so bring a #2 pencil and a blue optical scanning answer sheet (the 8 1/2 x 11 inch size). These answer sheets can be bought at the university bookstore. I recommend that you check out my Tips for Students Taking Multiple Choice Tests before taking multiple choice examinations.

    Final Exam.  There will also be a final examination given at date not yet determined -- if we cannot all agree on a better time, it will be from 0830 until 1030 on Wednesday 12-December-2018 -- see Academic Calendar.  Scores thereon will be transformed as on the midterm. It will be scored using optical scanning, so bring the necessary materials.

    Final Grades.  Final grades will be based on the mean [M] of your transformed classwork, midterm exam, and final exam scores [the three transformed scores are summed and divided by three].

    If your M is at least 90, you have an A; 80, a B; 70, a C; below 70 is an F.

    If there are at least 6 students who complete the course, I shall also compute z-scores on the M's. The mean and the standard deviation I shall use will be computed from all registered students' M-scores after deleting any M's that are outliers, as defined by Tukey. If your z-score is +1/3 or more, you have an A; -2/3 or more, a B; -4/3 or more, a C; below -4/3, an F. You receive the higher of the two grades computed by the z-system and by the 10-point M system.

    Journal Reading List. I expect each of you to develop a journal reading list consisting of at least five professional/scholarly journals relevant to your interests. For students in Psychology, two of these journals must be American Psychologist and Psychological Bulletin. A Standing Assignment is to have available, for each major statistical technique we cover, a summary of published research that employs that technique. For example, when we start covering Pearson chi-square analysis of contingency tables, I expect you to have available a summary of a published research report that employed Pearson chi-square.

    Required Reading. In addition to the required texts, you are responsible for reading materials on the list at Readings for Students in Graduate Statistics. This list includes materials for PSYC 6430, 7431, and 7433.

    Late Work. I may elect not to accept late work or accept it with penalty. I may elect to give you a predicted score (predicted from your performance on other tasks) on a missed quiz rather than administering a make-up. To be fair to those students who complete their assignments on time, assignments turned in late can earn a score no greater than the lowest score earned by those students who completed their assignments on time.  I may also apply a 10% penalty for a first late assignment, a 20% penalty for a second late assignment, a 30% penalty for a third late assignment, and so on.

    Cheating. The penalty for any detected plagiarism or other cheating is failure in the course and a note to the chair of our department for further action. See Academic Integrity

    How Far Can We Go? I would like to finish chapters 1 - 13 in Howell. I would be thrilled if we could cover more than this.

    Behavioral Objectives. Read the Behavioral Objectives for this course.

    PSYC 7431. The second semester of our graduate statistics sequence is PSYC 7431. PSYC 7431 will include a general introduction to multivariate statistics. We shall study multiple regression in great detail and we shall learn how to do complex ANOVAs that were not adequately covered in PSYC 6430, including higher-order factorial designs, designs with repeated or matched factors, nonorthogonal designs, and least squares solutions. Time permitting, we shall then study other multivariate techniques in greater detail.

    Readings in Cody and Smith. Each time we cover a new statistic you should read the materials relevant to that statistic in Applied Statistics and the SAS Programming Language. Consult the Correspondence Table, which indicates what chapters you should read in Applied Statistics and the SAS Programming Language when we are covering a particular chapter in Howell's Statistical Methods for Psychology.

    ADA. 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).

Sending E-Mail to Karl

    Please start the subject line with PSYC 6430: and then give a descriptive title -- for example, "PSYC 6430:  Query regarding heteroscedasticity."  Outlook sorts my email by the subject line, and if your subject line is properly composed, I will be sure to read 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 5-October-2018.  It is a living document -- expect it to change during the semester.