BSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Statistics and Data Analysis

Unit code PSYC21061
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This course unit builds upon the principles and techniques introduced in PSYC10100 Research Methods and Statistics. Students who have not completed this Level 4 course may need to do some independent study in preparation for the Level 5 course (please contact the unit lead for recommended resources).

 

Aims

The unit aims to:

- Encourage a conceptual understanding of the logic underpinning a range of inferential statistical procedures commonly used in psychological research

- Instruct students in the use of SPSS for data analysis

- Equip students with statistical knowledge that will allow them to independently identify and conduct appropriate statistical analyses and interpret the results of these analyses

- Equip students with statistical knowledge that will allow them to independently evaluate the use of statistics in published research 

 

Syllabus

  1. Overview of crucial concepts and introduction to SPSS
  2. t-tests
  3. One-way Independent ANOVA
  4. One-way Repeated Measures ANOVA
  5. Two-way Independent ANOVA
  6. Two-way Repeated Measures ANOVA, Two-way Mixed ANOVA
  7. Correlation and Partial Correlation
  8. Linear Regression
  9. Multiple Regression
  10. Non-parametric statistics
  11. Exam guidance and revision

Teaching and learning methods

  • This course will consist of 11 two-hour lectures and 11 two-hour PC-based practical sessions. Each week, statistical tests appropriate to common psychological research designs will be introduced.
  • In lectures, emphasis will be placed on developing a conceptual understanding of commonly used statistical procedures. Instruction on how to conduct these tests using SPSS, how to report and interpret the results will also be delivered.
  • During practical sessions, students will have the opportunity to apply statistical analyses using SPSS. Teaching Assistants will support these sessions; answering student queries, helping with software and encouraging students to reflect on the appropriate interpretation of results.
  • Weekly Blackboard quizzes will reinforce students’ understanding of both the conceptual and practical aspects of the course. While summatively assessed, these quizzes are primarily designed to provide useful formative feedback on the course content and highlight any areas of difficulty (maximum 1 hour each week).
  • Students’ independent study of course materials will be supported online with discussion boards and links to external resources.
  • Students struggling with the course material will also have the opportunity to attend a drop-in clinic, hosted for one hour each week in Semester 1. It is the responsibility of individual students to determine if they need this extra support.

 

Knowledge and understanding

- demonstrate understanding of the nature of statistics and their application in psychological sciences

- understand the logic underpinning a range of inferential statistical tests

- recognise important assumptions inherent in given statistical analyses, identify where these have been violated and implement appropriate solutions

Intellectual skills

- interpret statistical results in order to draw meaningful conclusions from such analyses in the context of a research hypothesis/question

- evaluate the suitability of analysis decisions in published research and the validity of conclusions drawn from such analyses

- (begin to) generalise knowledge gained on the course unit in order to explore more advanced or specialised statistical techniques

Practical skills

- determine the most appropriate statistical analysis given the nature of the research design and properties of the data collected

- describe and draw inference from research data

- use statistical software (SPSS)

- report the results of analyses in a manner suitable for psychological research communication

Transferable skills and personal qualities

- handle and analyse numerical data

- plan and implement a methodologically sound research project

- use Excel and SPSS software

Assessment methods

 Exam (MCQ and short answer questions), 150 minutes in length and worth 70% of the unit. 

Blackboard quizzes 10 x 60 minutes woth 30% of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Essential reading

 

·         Warren, P. & Fisher A. (2012). Statistics and Research Methods (2nd ed.). Harlow: Pearson.

The majority of students will already have a copy of this custom text, provided for the 1st Year PSYC10100 Research Methods and Statistics course. It combines selected chapters from the Year 1 research methods text and the following statistics text:

 

·         Dancey, C. P., & Reidy, J. (2011). Statistics without maths for Psychology. (5th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.

If you don’t already own a copy of the combined text you should consider purchasing/borrowing the Dancey and Reidy (2011) text.

Optional reading

 

The Dancey and Reidy text is very accessible and ideal for those students who do not have a background in maths or who find statistics particularly challenging. It is the only text you need for this course, however, I appreciate that some students find it too basic or find it easier to grasp statistics if they can see the mathematical operations involved. If that’s you, consider purchasing/borrowing one the following texts:

 

·         Howell, D. C. (2013). Statistical methods for Psychology. (8th International ed.). Cengage.

·         Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. (3rd ed.). Sage.

 

Finally, any students struggling with the use of statistical software should consider purchasing the following comprehensive and accessible text:

 

Pallant, J. (2013). Statistical methods for Psychology. (5th ed.). Cengage.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 56

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alison Fisher Unit coordinator

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