East Carolina University
Department of Psychology

PSYC 7431: Advanced Research Design, Spring, 2019

Instructor: Karl L. Wuensch
Correct Pronunciation

Office: Rawl 137    Office Hours     Syllabus

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    Required Text

    Required Reading. In addition to the required text, 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.

    Class Meetings: We meet from 0900 to 1015 on Mondays and Wednesdays in Rawl 304.

Statistical Software

    Students in PSYC 7431 are expected to be familiar with SAS, SPSS, and R.  If you feel you need some remedial instruction in these, please follow the links.


    Midterm Exam.  There will be a midterm examination administered on Monday the 25th of February 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.  It will be from 0830 until 1030 on Monday 29-April-2019.  This is the exam time for classes that meet at 9 MWF.  None of you should have a conflict, unless you have another class that meets at 9 on Fridays.  Scores on this exam will be transformed as on the midterm.  It will be scored using optical scanning, so bring the necessary materials.

    There will be three components of your final grade:

  1. Your mid-term examination score,
  2. Your final examination* score, and
  3. The cumulative score you obtain on all graded home-works, pop quizzes and class participation.

    Each of these three is, at semester's end, transformed to a 100 point scale, producing a P-score. The transformation is to divide each student's raw score by the mean raw score achieved by the top-scoring student.   If there are fewer than 5 students in the class I may elect to compute P-scores as the percentage of the total possible points earned rather than of the top score. Each student's three P-scores will be averaged to yield a mean P-score, [M] . Grade cutoffs for mean P-scores are 90 for an A, 80 for a B, 70 for a C.

    If there are at least 5 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.

    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.

    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.

    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 Dr. Wuensch. To bring the form into your word processor, just click onto the link for the form. After you have filled out the form, attach it to email sent to him from your ECU email account. Unless you complete this form, indicating that you wish to have your grades posted as described on the form, and deliver it to Dr. Wuensch, your grades will not be posted.

Quizzes and Exams

    The quizzes and exams will be multiple-choice, true-false, short answer, computational, and/or essay. You may use calculators that do not have the capacity to store text.

    Make-up exams for those with acceptable and documented excuses may be orally administered. I may elect not to accept late work or to accept it with penalty. I may elect to give you a predicted score (predicted from your past performance) on missed work rather than administering a make-up.


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.

Class Participation

    Points may be earned by class participation. Students who do not wish to be evaluated on class participation can notify me in writing and I shall not call upon them in class. In lieu of class participation these students will prepare an APA-style manuscript reviewing the literature on some topic (approved in advance by me) in quantitative methods. The typed manuscript is due on the 1st of April.

    I expect each of you to develop a journal reading list of American Psychologist, APA Monitor, Psychological Bulletin, and at least three other journals which publish research reports in your area of interest. Students not in Psychology may develop a list more appropriate to their major. A Standing Assignment is to have available, for each major statistical technique we cover, a summary of published research that employs that technique. These will be graded as class participation or homework.

Course Objectives

    The major objectives of this course are: 1. to introduce you to multivariate statistics,  2. to make you critical consumers of research, and 3. to strengthen your technical writing skills (APA-style).

My Plans for the Semester

Beyond PSYC 7431

    The third course in our graduate statistics sequence is PSYC 7433, Multivariate Statistics.  Professor Karl expects to be teaching it 0900-1015 MW Autumn semester, 2019.  The fourth course is PSYC 7505, Structural Equation & Hierarchical Linear Modeling, taught by Alex Schoemann in the Spring.

Sending E-Mail to Karl

    Please start the subject line with PSYC 7431: and then give a descriptive title -- for example, "PSYC 7431:  Query regarding bootstrapping."  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.



    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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Dr. Karl L. Wuensch

This page most recently revised on 23-November-2018