Psychology 3800G-001

Psychological Statistics Using Computers

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


This course covers most statistical procedures used in psychological research and the use and interpretation of SPSS for Windows. Topics covered include the t test, various forms of analysis of variance, chi-square, bivariate and multiple regression and correlation, factor analysis, multivariate analysis of variance, and Monte Carlo methods.


Antirequisite: Psychology 3830F/G


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


Prerequisites: Psychology 2810, plus registration in third or fourth year of Honours Specialization in Psychology or Honours Specialization in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.


Psychology Majors and Psychology Special Students who earn 70% or higher in Psychology 2820E or 60% or higher in Psychology 2810 may enrol in this course.


2 lecture hours, 2 laboratory hours, 0.5 course


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


Time and Location of Lectures: Tuesdays 14:30 to 16:30 Room UCC-41 Instructor: R. Stevenson (

Office and Phone Number: Room 5146 WIRB (519-661-2111 ext 81182 – email preferred) Office Hours: By appointment or directly after class


Lab Section 004: Wednesdays, 14:30-16:30, SSC 3133 Teaching Assistant: Yixian Li


Office Hours and Room: Mondays 14:30-15:30, SSC 6326

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.


You will need a computer account, which gives you access to the UWO network.


Optional: Gardner, R. C. & Tremblay, P. F. (2006). Essentials of Data Analysis. Theory and Computer Applications. Printed by the University Book Store. *Please let the instructor know if you would like this ordered.



This course introduces students to research methodology and statistical analysis using the SPSS software package. Other computer applications for creating data files and conducting secondary analyses are surveyed briefly.


The lectures present a balance of the theory, the rationale, interpretation, and detailed examples of key univariate and multivariate statistical procedures.


The laboratories will provide students with the opportunity to conduct statistical analyses using SPSS and other secondary software packages and to report their findings using APA style reports. The laboratories will be conducted in the Department of Psychology Computer Laboratory (Rm 3133 SSC), where students will be able to work on their  assignments with consultation with the course Teaching Assistant. Students are allowed to use the Laboratory at other times, when available, and also have access to the SSNDS Computer Instructional Laboratory (Rm 1020 SSC) to do their SPSS assignments for this course.


By the end of this course, successful students will be able to:


  1. Recommend and justify an appropriate research design and statistical procedure for a given research question or hypothesis.


  1. Differentiate between the statistical procedures in terms of their permissible applications and the scale properties of the da


  1. Generate hypotheses to address specific research questions.


  1. Analyze data using appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical procedures.


  1. Apply 10 different statistical procedures by analyzing data


  1. Demonstrate their understanding of Type I and Type II errors by conducting simulated demonstration of such errors.


  1. Write research reports clearly and effectively in a way that a reader would have the necessary information to replicate the study. The quality of methods and result sections will match the level in good empirical journals.


  1. Describe, critique and justify their research methodology and generate ways to improve upon i


  1. Demonstrate their capacity to work independently and in an ethical manner by producing their own written work and meeting the timelines for the 10 assignmen



Laboratory Assignments: 50% in total (5% x 10 labs). There will be 10 lab assignments, each requiring a written report. These will be graded by the Teaching Assistant. All assignments must be handed in at the beginning of the lab session following the session in which it was assigned. Late assignments will not be accepted and will be given a grade of 0. The last assignment is due one week after the last laboratory session. Students are responsible for their own assignments— copying assignments constitutes plagiarism. The Laboratory Assignment grade is the mean grade obtained in the 10 assignments. These 10 assignments together constitute the written component of 2,500 words required for a half-year essay course.


Final Examination: 50%. The final examination will be based on all material presented in lectures, laboratories, and the assigned text chapters. All assigned material, regardless of whether or not it was discussed in class, is eligible exam material. The final exam will be set by the Registrar’s office during the official examination period and will be 3 hours long. The exam format may include a mix of multiple choice items, short answer questions, and written interpretations of selected SPSS statistical results.




Learning Outcome


Learning Activities



Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.


Recommend and justify an appropriate statistical procedure to use for a given research question or hypothesis.


Differentiate between the statistical procedures in terms of their permissible applications based on the scale

  properties of the data.                                     




Ten weekly labs are designed to develop applied knowledge of the statistical procedures. In each lab, a problem is presented with a data set or with a request to generate simulated data with specific properties. The labs are described in tutorials led by graduate student TAs. Students develop the research hypotheses,

analyze the data, and write a research report.       




The ten labs assess (in part) knowledge of the uses and applications of each statistical technique.


The final exam assesses the ability to select the correct procedure for

specific problems.                                    

Application of Knowledge.


Generate hypotheses to address specific research questions and analyze data using appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical procedures.




For each of the ten procedures presented in class, students have the opportunity in the weekly labs to apply the procedure to a real research problem that addresses real challenges such as violations of assumptions or lack of statistical power.




The labs assess the ability to use a specific procedure correctly in terms of addressing the assumptions, and reporting and interpreting results.


The final exam does the same but presents research problems in which students must justify using a specific


Application of Methodologies.


Apply 10 different statistical procedures by analyzing data sets.


Demonstrate their understanding of Type I and Type II errors by conducting

  simulated demonstration of such errors.    




In each lab, students learn to apply a statistical procedure in SPSS, including preparation of the data file, syntax statement, selection of specific secondary tests of assumptions, interpretation of the output, and how to synthesize the

extracted information into a report.                                                                                                 




Students need to master the correct way to interpret and report results from software output. This is assessed in the lab reports and in the exam.

Communication Skills.


Write research reports clearly and effectively in a way that a reader would have the necessary instructions to replicate their study and the necessary information to interpret their results.


Write method and result sections that match the level in good empirical





Students have the opportunity to develop their research writing skills through weekly reports and receive weekly written feedback from their TAs. This structure helps address timely correction of problems or fine tuning of writing format in specific areas of the report.




The labs assess students’ ability to think and write clearly.


The section of long answers on the exam also assesses the ability to communicate an idea clearly.

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge.


Describe, critique, and justify their research methodology especially in the discussion section of their research reports.


Generate ways to improve upon their

  research methodology.                                                                                                                                                                                                   




Feedback from TAs on the lab reports highlights any needed correction in the interpretation of results and limitations. The lab assignments include questions that specifically address the limits of what can be concluded from the results.




The lab reports also assess the ability to present justified conclusions along with their limitations.

Autonomy and Professional Capacity.


Demonstrate their capacity to work independently and in an ethical manner by producing their own written work and

  meeting the timelines for the 10 reports.                                                                                              




Students are responsible for 10 weekly lab reports, and must produce their own original reports.




Late reports receive a deduction and originality of work is assessed in adherence to the institutional policies for plagiarism.                                           

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


The final exam will be set by the Registrar’s office during the official examination period (April 14-30) and will be 3 hours long.


(Note that readings are from an optional text)








Optional Readings






Jan 9




Ch. 1


No lab




Jan 16




Ch. 2






Jan 23


Monte Carlo simulation methods


Ch. 3


Monte C.




Jan 30


Single Factor ANOVA


Ch. 4


ANOVA (oneway)




Feb 6


Factorial designs ANOVA


Ch. 5


ANOVA (factorial)




Feb 13


Repeated measures ANOVA


Ch. 6


ANOVA (repeated)




Reading Week (No class, no lab)






Feb 27


Split plot ANOVA


Ch. 7


ANOVA (split plot)




Mar 6

Bivariate correlation and regression


Ch. 9






Mar 13


Multiple correlation and regression


Ch. 10


Multiple regression




Mar 20


Factor analysis


Ch. 8


Factor analysis




Mar 27


Chi-square tests


Ch. 11






Apr 3





Final lab (due)


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.