Psychology 2810-001

Statistics for Psychology

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


Introduction to data analysis with particular reference to statistical procedures commonly used in psychological research.


INSTRUCTOR                                              ASSISTANTS:         OFFICE:        OFFICE HRS:

AND COURSE         Stephen Lupker           Clara Stafford            120K NSC      2:00-4:00 (Th)           


E-MAIL:                   Natasha Ouslis           8424C SSC     12:00-1:00 (Th)

OFFICE:              Rm. 7324 SSC             

PHONE:               661-2111, Ext. 84700      

OFFICE HRS:     11:00-12:00 (T)                                                                                                                                                    11:00-12:00 (W)

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.


 McClave, J. T. & Sincich, T. (2017).  Statistics (13th edition).  Pearson. (Required)


My goal as your instructor is to teach you how to think statistically.  My hope is that when you have successfully completed the course, you will be able to analyze any situation in which statistical reasoning is called for and then accurately apply any of the techniques you have learned in the course.  What the course is not is a course in which you will be taught cookbook techniques for solving exam problems.

            2 lecture hours and 2 tutorial hours, 1.0 course



The goal of this course is to enable students to demonstrate:

  • that they know how to use a number of mathematical and statistical formulas to compute different statistics and related values
  • that they know how to perform a variety of statistical and data analytic procedures "by hand" (not on a computer)
  • that they can correctly calculate probabilities, evaluate probability distributions and carry out hypothesis testing/estimation procedures.
  • that they are able to recognize when it is appropriate to perform and then to successfully perform a number of statistical analyses including Z-tests, t-tests, F-tests (all varieties), chi-square tests, and regression/correlation analyses.
  • that they know how to analyze data and draw correct interpretations from the analyses in a variety of experimental and non-experimental contexts

The ways in which students will be assessed in order to evaluate the extent to which they have achieved these skills will include assignments, quizzes, and exams, and these will need to be completed within the times specified.



            A problem set will be assigned each Tuesday in lecture.  This set will be due the following Tuesday.  These assignments will not be thoroughly graded but will be surveyed by your TA and recorded as being handed in.  Please write your name and your TA’s name on the top of your assignments and leave them in one of two piles (based on who your TA is) on the instructor’s desk before class.  For individuals who inadvertently leave their assignments at home, they may be turned in at the instructor's office any time before noon Wednesday.  Any assignments received after that time will not be accepted.


            There will be 2 mid-term examinations, the first around Halloween (on topics 1-5), the second in mid-March (topics 10-13), a Christmas Exam (topics 1-10), nearly weekly quizzes in the tutorials based almost entirely on the material presented that week in lecture (approximately 18 of them), a comprehensive Final Exam and, of course, weekly assignments.  Exams and quizzes will be of the closed book variety.  Relevant tables and formulas will be available during the test periods.  Also, students should obtain calculators for use during the test periods.  For individuals who cannot attend their particular tutorial in a given week, it may be possible to make arrangements to attend another tutorial in order to take that week’s quiz.  In more extreme circumstances, arrangements may even be made to take the quiz at some other time Thursday or Friday of that same week.  An individual who misses a quiz because of illness will be excused only after presenting a written medical excuse, which is to be presented to an Academic Counsellor in their home faculty.  NO QUIZZES WILL BE GIVEN AFTER 4:30 FRIDAY AFTERNOON UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, however, only the top 15 quiz scores for each student will be used when calculating the quiz average.  THERE WILL BE NO MAKEUP OR EARLY EXAMS FOR THE MID-TERM OR CHRISTMAS EXAMS, however, STUDENTS CAN BE EXCUSED FROM THESE EXAMS IF THE ACADEMIC COUNSELLOR RECOMMENDS TO THE INSTRUCTOR THAT AN ACCOMMODATION BE MADE.  Finally, the Christmas and Final Exams will be given during the assigned exam times regardless of when those times are.  Final exam makeups will only be given in extreme circumstances and, as with other exams, students will be required to have a legitimate, documented excuse for their absence, which, as noted above, is to be presented to an Academic Counsellor.  Thus, students are encouraged not to make travel arrangements before finding out when their exams are or risk receiving a 0 on the missed exam.  Please note that no electronic devices, including cell phones, will be allowed during exams.


Final marks will be assigned according to the following guidelines.

Quizzes                       15%

Assignments                  5%

Midterm Exams            30%

Xmas Exam                 20%

Final Exam                  30%




As noted above, the goal of this course is to teach you how to think statistically. Thus, the goal of the evaluations (exams and quizzes) is to measure how well you have learned to think statistically.  Thinking statistically involves many subskills, including (among others) the ability to reason both logically and numerically, the ability to retrieve numerical facts and relationships, the ability to recognize what concept needs to be applied in a particular situation to solve a certain problem and, of course, the ability to correctly carry out the relevant statistical procedures.

            The quizzes will give you the opportunity to demonstrate these abilities in a forum that is not time-constrained.  The exams, on the other hand, measure your ability to demonstrate these skills in a speeded situation.  It is quite possible that in some cases many of you may not feel that you have had sufficient time to show how much you know by “finishing” your exam.  That is to be expected.  How much you can accurately do in the allowed time period is, nonetheless, a good measure of how well you have mastered the material relative to the other students in the class.  The point to keep in mind here is that the goal of giving marks is to rate students relative to their peers.  As long as everyone is being evaluated in the same way, your mark on a speeded exam gives a very good gauge of your ability relative to other students.  In that sense, it is similar to how measuring running times in races gives the race judges the opportunity to judge the runners relative to one another.  What should also be noted, however, is that the mark you receive on these exams must always be looked at as a relative mark and not as an absolute mark.  At the end of the course, your relative marks will be scaled to produce a final absolute mark that I believe to be indicative of your ability to think statistically.  Typically, this scaling procedure involves adding some number of points to your final mark

A set of optional problems (drawn from previous Christmas and Final Exams) will be available and can be downloaded from the OWL website for this course (a hard copy can be made available to students who are willing to pay for the cost of printing).  I recommend that you obtain and do these problems.  In addition, from time to time (e.g., typically prior to the Christmas and Final Exams), sets of review problems will be posted on one of the websites.

Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario grading guidelines, which are as follows (see ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail



Lecture:                        7:00-8:50, Tuesday - Room 2028 SSC

Tutorial 012:                4:30-6:20, Thursday - Room 60 UCC - TA: Clara

Tutorial 013:                7:00-8:50, Thursday - Room 3018 SSC - TA: Clara

Tutorial 015:                9:30-11:20, Friday - Room 3018 SSC - TA: Natasha

  1. Statistical Terminology Chapter 1, Appendix A
  2. Descriptive Statistics Sections 2.3 - 2.6
  3. Probability Chapter 3
  4. Discrete Random Variables Sections 4.1 - 4.4
  5. Normal Distributions Sections 5.1, 5.3, 5.5
  6. Sampling Distributions Sections 6.1, 6.3
  7. Estimation Sections 6.2, 7.1, 7.2, pp. 344-347
  8. Hypothesis Testing Sections 8.1, 8.2, 8.4 (S)
  9. Beta Section 8.7 (S)
  10. Single Sample Tests Sections 7.3, 7.4, 8.5, 8.6, 7.6, 8.8 (S)
  11. Two Sample Tests Sections 9.1, 9.2, 9.6, 9.3, 14.3 (on-line) (S)
  12. Analysis of Variance Sections 10.1, 10.2, 10.4, 10.5 (S)
  13. Chi-Square Chapter 13
  14. Correlation and Regression Chapter 11


(S)  Indicates that coverage given these topics will include some information not contained in the book.


Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.