University of Evansville
Psychology 245
Statistics for Psychologists

    Dr. John R. Lakey
   Office: 206 Hyde Hall: 488-2531 or 488-2520 (Home: 858-9378)

Office Hours: M:12&5; Tu:4&5; W:12,3,4&5; Th:--; F:12&3

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Statistics for Psychologists (4) Introduces descriptive statistics, probability, decision theory, and testing of hypotheses by both parametric and nonparametric tests. Emphasizes basic concepts, SPSS [and JASP] computer analysis, and APA-format presentation of results. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisites: Nine hours of psychology, including Psychology 121; Mathematics 105 or higher. Fall, spring.

INSTRUCTOR'S DESCRIPTION:  PSYC 245 is the standard introductory statistics course required of all psychology and neuroscience majors, and it is the prerequisite for PSYC 246 (Experimental Methods).  For many of you, these courses are only the beginning of your study of applied statistics.  Virtually every graduate program (both masters and doctoral) will require proven statistical competence: You must be able to read and speak the primary scientific literature to be any type of psychologist.  For the doctorate, you must further contribute to (do research and write for) that scientific knowledge.  Statistics is the language of science and psychology.  It takes years to learn a second language well, and it takes years to really learn statistics well.  Our course is the first important step in that process, and we will carefully provide a solid foundation for your success.   

This course is designed for serious students who want the best preparation.  It will closely follow an excellent textbook.  A brief supplemental text will support hands-on experience with the major computer programs used by psychologists.  At the end of this semester, you should be comfortable reading, sometimes speaking, and occasionally writing statistics--you may even find yourself thinking in statistics at times.  You should also be comfortable doing basic statistical analyses with SPSS and JASP on the computer. Prerequisites: Nine hours of psychology and we would hope you had mastered college algebra.  Fall, spring.  [4 Semester Hours Credit]

MEETINGS:  This course meets 11-11:50pm MWF in HH202 (class) and 3-5:50pm in SB68 (lab).


METHOD OF INSTRUCTION:  Lecture and lab.


(1) Jaccard, J. & Becker, M.A. (2010). Statistics for the behavioral sciences (5th ed.). Belmont CA: Thomson/Wadsworth [ISBN#0534634036].  Plan to keep this textbook for future reference. [Copies of both the 4th edition (weekly check out) and 5th edition (2-hour checkout) are on Library Reserve.] 

(2) Kirkpatrick, L.A. & Freeney, B.C. (2015). A simple guide to IBM SPSS for Versions 23. Belmont CA: Thomson/Wadsworth [ISBN#1305877713].  Read assigned chapters before labs—ignore Syntax sections.  [Minor changes from earlier editions for Versions 17 to date, and you may use any of these older editions for the course.]


(3) SPSS Inc. (2010).  IBM SPSS Statistics24 Brief Guide.  See Blackboard Course Information for free PDF download.


SPSS FREE REMOTE ACCESS: SPSS® (and everything installed on a lab PC) is available via, either by downloading the VMware Client software apt (hard drive pic) or directly using the online HTML version (blue monitor screen pit).  If needed, ask OTS Help Desk for assistance.]


SPSS RENTAL:  IBM® SPSS® Statistics Base GradPack 24 for Windows. 6-Mo Rental Download: UE OTS Website (see Blackboard Course Information for link).  Also avaiable as a 15-day free trial to non-students.


JASP FREE SOFTWARE DOWNLOAD: > DOWNLOAD > WINDOWS/MAC/LINUX (quick and easy installation).  Check back for frequent updates.


(1) Gaining factual knowledge of statistics.  You will be able to:

(a) Understand and process behavioral data,

(b) Understand and produce graphic presentations and descriptive indices,

(c) Understand sampling theory (how a randomly selected small group can represent a larger group),

(d) Understand Statistical Decision Theory (the values and costs of being correct and making errors) and Bayesian (conditional) Probabilities,

(e) Understand and perform standard statistical tests (both parametric and nonparametric) that determine significant (reliable) differences, and

(f) Understand the “New Statistics:”

(i) Understand the importance of Effect Size measurements for interpreting results, and

(ii) Understand the importance of Confidence Interval assessment for Meta-Analysis and the meaningful contributions to accumulating knowledge.

(2) Developing specific skills, competencies, and points of view needed by psychologists.  This objective includes:

(a) Developing comfort with data and quantitative methods,

(b) Developing skills with modern computer statistical analysis,

(c) Developing competency in evaluating and presenting statistical results,
(d) Developing competency selecting appropriate statistical procedures, and

(e) Developing appreciation for the scientific basis of valid psychological knowledge.


This class uses a basic chapter-a-week format with daily quizzes to develop and maintain steady progress. On Monday, there is a two hour period for lab followed by an optional extra-help session.  On Wednesday and Friday, there are one-hour lectures.  Each lecture is preceded by a short 10-minute quiz.

In Lab on Monday, we will meet either in the basement SB68 or the second-floor Hyde Hall 201 computer lab for two hours.  We will complete a lab Excel or SPSS exercise – you should read the Lab Guide (available on BlackBoard) and the relevant Kirkpatrick & Feeney’s SPSS chapter before lab – if necessary to finish on time, you are encouraged to start beforehand with remote access.  On-your-own JASP exercises will be assigned for some of the labs -- these are due at the next lab.  You are to work independently.   Most will finish in the first hour, and the SAs will be available until 5pm to help you with makeup labs, understanding the material for the next quiz, or getting the homework done. 

In Class on Monday, after the quiz on last week’s chapter (quizzes always cover the entire chapter), the Instructor will introduce the new chapter's topics.  You are expected to have read the entire chapter before this class.  Bring your textbook and calculator to all classes and labs.  The homework for the previous chapter is usually due at this class.

In Class on Wednesday, after the quiz on this week’s chapter, we will continue to explore the new chapter.

In Class on Friday, after the quiz on this week’s chapter and lecture, we will highlight the major things that you need to know.  You may see some of the same quiz questions on the midterm and final exams, but your quizzes will not be returned or available for later study (example quizzes are available online at the textbook's Companion Website).


Scored quizzes will be returned to you at the next class:  Please return them to the Instructor before leaving the classroom.  If you have questions about questions or your score, please see the SA during office hours for more thorough review.  You will not have old quizzes to study for the Midterm and Final exams, but Practice Exams are posted on BlackBoard to provide that preparation (with the Lecture Slides).

STUDENT ASSISTANTS:  The Class SA administers the daily quizzes and records the scores, and this SA also collects, credits, and returns the weekly homework assignments.  The Lab SAs help with the lab exercises, credit the required printouts, and return them.  We also may have another SA supplied by Counseling Services who helps with these tasks.  All SAs can help you understand the material, prepare for big exams, work homework problems, and finish lab assignments.  The SAs provide a second (student) perspective on everything and to help you cover the material more thoroughly.  SAs have office hours for individual tutoring, and they will be available at group extra-help sessions after labs.  You also can see the Instructor for help.


With homework, you do statistics using hand calculations.  Both semantic and procedural learning is necessary to understanding statistics.  Generally, we work even- or odd-numbered Exercises at the end of the chapter with a few additional exercises from lecture (see Homework Assignments on BlackBoard).  Usually, we submit this homework at the following Monday’s class as directed by the Class TA.

You must neatly show your work getting answers (some answers are listed in the back of your textbook):  You will not receive credit for sloppy or incomplete (no intermediate steps shown getting to the answer) submissions.   It is important to establish the habit of clearly showing all your work steps:  Not only does it help you get the right answer, it provide a basis for award of partial credit on exams.    Homework must be submitted on standard-size paper, stapled together in the upper left corner, and your name printed near the staple – not emailed.  It is your responsibility to make sure that all grades are entered in the Blackboard grade book and report any errors as they occur. 

Remember that the SAs are regularly available to help you with homework.  It is important to honestly do this homework as the Mid-Term and Final Examinations have computational problems based on these exercises.  Your ability to do problems will determine a major part of your course grade, and we want you to do well.  In respect to the Honor Code, you are authorized to give help and receive help from other students when stuck in completing a specific problem, but you must cite that help on your homework:  Simply note “[John Smith] helped me with problem [#5].” at the end of the problem.  Be clear that you are not authorized to copy or plagiarize completed problems, and you are not authorized to “work in groups” that produce carbon-copy submissions. 

Wise Tip:  Be positive and have a good attitude!  Homework serves several purposes: (1) it gives you a thorough review and a different understanding of the chapter, (2) it gives you an easy 100% on a weekly assignment, and (3) it gives you practice and confidence doing problems for the big examinations.  Homework directly determines an easy 25% of your course grade, and it indirectly determines how you do on the Midterm and Final exam problems (another but highly competitive 35% of your course grade). 

COMPUTER LAB:  In lab, you do statistics using the latest technology and statistical analyses.  In a typical lab, you will complete several exercises to learn how to analyze data, better use the computer, and appropriately report results.  These exercises will provide model data analyses for your future research--and introduce material that is not in the textbook.  This is an important part of the course, and most find the lab to be crucial to learning statistics. 

During the first part of the session, the Instructor or SA will provide any necessary explanation of the lab exercises and helpful technical tips.  An online handout will provide detailed step-by-step procedures, and we will be present to help and answer questions.  Lab exercises are time-limited and due at the end of the lab period.  Lab work must be submitted as directed, stapled together in the upper left corner, and your name and the Lab# printed near the staple. They are collected, credited, and returned by the Lab TA.  Lab Assignments and the Lab Practical Exam determine a major part of your course grade.

Some labs will be on-your-own, usually to be done outside lab period, on your personal PC (or any computer you can find).  These are due at the next lab period. 

GRADE ASSESSMENT:  Daily Quizzes are worth 15% of your course grade: 10 points each.  Examinations are worth 35%:  A Midterm Exam is worth 200 points, a Lab Practical Exam is worth 100 points, and a Final Exam is worth 300 points.  Homework Assignments are worth 25%:  25 points each.  Lab Assignments are worth 25%: SPSS labs are worth 25 points each JASP assignements are worth 10 each  The grading criteria are:  94% A,  90% A-,  87% B+,  84% B,  80% B-,  77% C+,  74% C,  70% C-,  67% D+ and  60% D.  Fractional half percentages are rounded up. This course requires a minimum 70% attendance for a passing grade.

EXTRA-CREDIT: An extra “step bonus” may be earned by participation in three (3) different studies sanctioned by Psychology Department’s subject pool or by completion of alternative library search projects.  The standard alternative is a PsychINFO search on a topic of interest and writing a one-page summary of a journal article that specifically details the statistical analyses.  One search summary is worth participation in one study. You keep track of your participation, and if you do three different studies, irrespective of any stated units/credits, you can claim the bonus at the Final Exam (we’re on the honor system).  [This credit will not be computed into your grade show in Blackboard’s Gradebook and will added by the Instructor when reporting the grade to WebAdvisor.]  This bonus is a substantial extra credit that raises your grade one step, e.g., B+ to A-, and you are encouraged to take advantage of it.  The bonus cannot be used to raise a failing grade.

CREDIT HOURS: This course reflects a blend of a lecture course (roughly 3 of the 4 credits) and a lab component (roughly 1 of the 4 credits).  As such, it meets federal credit hour guidelines through a blend of two options.  For the lecture portion of the course, it meets the policy of "This course meets the federal requirements of 15 in-class hours plus an expected 30 hours of out-of-class work per credit hour."  For the lab portion of the course, it meets the policy of "This course meets the federal requirements of 30 hours of laboratory, studio, or similar work plus 15 hours of out-of-class work per credit hour."

OUTSIDE CLASS EFFORT: According to the US Department of Education, students should spend (on average) a minimum of three hours per week per credit for a college level course.

·         This means that, as this is a 4-credit course, you should spend roughly 12 hours per week on this course.

·         Therefore, you should be willing to put in a minimum of 10 hours of out-of-class time each week on this class. 

STUDY METHODS REVISITED:  If you read a chapter once, you've “read it”, but if you read it three times, then you've “studied it”.  Some courses may require only “reading”, but this course will require conscientious “study” for most. 

Study Tip:  Put in the time, do the work, and keep the faith.   This material has a real “practice effect” – you slowly get better at knowing/understanding statistics without realizing it!   Also, you do not have to have good mathematical ability to do well in this course -- being “poor at math” is no excuse for poor performance.  Learning this material is more like learning a foreign language – practice really pays off.  Get organized and establish a systematic schedule to put in the necessary time and effort from the start.


BLACKBOARD/CLASS WEBSITE/EMAIL:  Blackboard has links to our class website, the “official” syllabus and class calendar.  Blackboard also has copies of the class PowerPoint slides and the Lab Guides.  Blackboard email addresses will be used for our communication – you are to maintain and regularly check your university email account.  

GRADE POSTING: The Instructor's grade book is that on BlackBoard, and you should have direct online access to your grade entries throughout the semester.  Please report any errors and omissions as they occur.  The cutoff for any corrections is noon the day after the final exam.

CLASS ATTENDANCE: If sick, you should not attend class (with the flu you are infectious two days before and five days after onset).  Quizzes can be excused (no make-ups but not counted in your individual grade assessment).  Assignments and class lectures are available on BlackBoard.  Labs can be done independently and submitted by email. Otherwise, attendance is required for the entire class period, and missing the daily quiz is always recorded as a zero unless excused by the Instructor.  Attendance at lab is required until you finish the exercise.  If you have scheduling conflicts, see your Academic Adviser to resolve the problem.

LAPTOPS & SMART PHONES: Laptops are permitted in class when used to follow the lecture slides, take notes, and access online tables, but not nothing else not directly related to the lecture.  Laptops and smart phones may be used on exams and quizzes to access online Tables and p calculators, but nothing else.

AIDS FOR QUIZZES AND EXAMS: On any quiz or exam, you may refer to the inside covers of your textbook that contain formulae (including any written notations therein and attached Post-It notes), the tables in the back of the book, and a calculator.  You may not refer to homework exercises, copies of lecture slides, lecture notes, or anything else that may be inserted in the text.  Laptops and smart phones may be used on exams and quizzes only to access online Tables and p calculators.

MISSING QUIZZES: Students are to regularly attend class and sit for quizzes, and only legitimate personal difficulty or sickness will be considered an adequate excuse for missing a quiz.  Make-up quizzes are never given:  Missing quiz scores are automatically recorded as zeros; however if excused for major illness or crisis by the Instructor, the quiz score will be replaced with a blank (a “missing datum”) and will not enter computation of your grade.   Afterwards, it is your responsibility to (1) to make sure the quiz score is correctly recorded in the grade book and (2) to review the quiz you missed and questions that may reappear on the Midterm or Final Exams with the SA.  Regardless, seventy percent of the quizzes must be taken (you must attend seventy percent of the classes) to pass the course.  The four lowest quiz scoresare automatically dropped from everyone’s grade computation.   

MISSING HOMEWORK: Students are to submit their homework assignments on a timely basis, and again only significant personal difficulty will be considered adequate for accepting late work.  Missing homework is automatically recorded as zero.  Late homework is penalized 10% (2.5 points) and accepted only until the last class.  All assignments must be usually submitted as hard copy – not emailed as attachments.  Please make a keep a copy of any homework submitted after the due date.  Seventy percent of the homework is also required to pass the course.   

MISSING LABS: Should you miss a Lab, you are permitted to make-up the work independently, with help of the SA if needed and as time permits.  As with quizzes and homework, missing lab submissions are automatically recorded as zeros.  Late labs, unless excused, are peanalized 10% (2.5 points for SPSS labs and 1 point for JASP labs).  Late submissions are accepted only until the last class and must be submitted as paper printout – not emailed as attachments.  Please make and keep a copy of any lab submitted after the end of lab.  Seventy percent of labs are required to pass the course.

MISSING EXAMS:  Students will regularly sit for scheduled exams. Should you miss an exam without that absence being excused by the Instructor, the score is zero.  If excused, you will be allowed to take a substitute exam to replace the zero.  Usually this “makeup” will be administered by the Department Assistant, Mrs. Miller, and you must schedule it at her convenience (call 488-2520 to make arrangements).  Make-up exams are limited to 2 hours.  Quizzes and exams cannot be taken early.  All exams are required to pass the course.

OFFICE HOURS:  Walk-In Hours will be posted on the Instructor’s door and on the Instructor’s Faculty Website at (linked from BlackBook Information).  I am also available at other times, and you can make formal appointments, call 488-2520 for available times or email with a specific time you’re available. If you’re having problems with the course, I want to see you!

EXAM ANSWER-PROFILE ANALYSIS:  Examination results will regularly subjected to “answer profile analysis” for correspondence of answers between students (for example see R.B. Fray, 1993, Detection of Multiple-Choice Answer Copying, Applied Measurement in Education, 6, 153-165).  This analysis is reliable, valid, and effective.  Students do not have to be seen copying: Statistical analysis can easily identify those who have exchanged answers and given or received unauthorized aid on examinations.

HONOR CODE:  Everyone will support the University of Evansville’s Academic Honor Code and the following standards of ethical conduct:  “I understand that any work which I submit for course credit will imply that I have adhered to the Academic Honor Code:  I will neither give nor receive unauthorized aid nor will I tolerate an environment which condones the use of unauthorized aid.”  Please report any honor code problem to the instructor immediately!

PLAGIARISM:  Presenting someone else’s work, in whole or in part, as your own is never “authorized,” and it is always violates our Academic Honor Code.

AUTHORIZED AID:  Acknowledge all outside assistance you obtain in preparing written assignments as a notation on your submission (a statement saying who helped and the nature of that help).  You may freely obtain help from the SAs (Hyde 121A).  You may ask other students for help with problems, but you must acknowledge this aid.   You are not authorized to work in tandem with other students to produce a joint or collective homework or lab submissions.

WITHDRAWAL POLICY:  A course may be dropped, as never enrolled, during the first two weeks.  From the third through the eleventh weeks, you may withdraw from the course receiving the grade of “W” which does not affect your GPA.  After the eleventh week, the grade of F is assigned in this course (a higher grade requires that you actually complete the course).  Discontinuance of attendance does not constitute withdrawal; you must formally withdraw at the Registrar’s Office.  Regardless the reason, those who can not complete eighty percent of the course (attendance, assignments, and tests) should drop the course.  Due to the nature of this material, you simply do not have the basis necessary for future work, and we cannot certify otherwise.

INCOMPLETE GRADES:  The grade report of Incomplete Grade (I) will be submitted only when contracted, justified by personal crisis or legitimate sickness, and when there is a reasonable chance of completing the required work.  Given the nature of this course, this is seldom the case.  Invariably, a student is best advised to drop with W (petition if necessary) and repeat the course a following semester.  Should you believe an I to be a viable option, you should request it in writing, presenting your extenuating circumstances and, if possible, providing a detailed time schedule for completion of missing work.  You must receive the instructor’s approval in writing to be assured of the “I” grade report.  If the I is not removed within twelve months (anniversary of final exam), the grade automatically becomes F.  Under current UE regulations, you may formally repeat a course once to replace a poor grade.

MINIMUM-GRADE GRADUATION REQUIREMENT:  "Psychology majors must achieve a C- grade or higher in all psychology courses [each psychology course] that apply to the major" (2011-2013 Catalog, p.90).  You must get a C- or higher grade in both PSYC 245 and 246.


DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION:  It is the policy of the University of Evansville to make reasonable accommodations for students with properly documented disabilities.  Written notification to faculty from the Office of Counseling and Health Education is required for any academic accommodations.  If you are eligible to receive and accommodation and would like to request it for this course, please discuss it with me and allow two-weeks’ notice.  Otherwise, it is not guaranteed that the accommodation can be received on a timely basis.  If you have questions about services for students with disabilities or procedures for requesting services, you may contact the Office of Counseling and Health Education at 488-2663.


GENERAL EDUCATION OBJECTIVE/OVERLAY:  This course is required for all Psychology and Neuroscience majors, but it does NOT meet any General Education Outcome or Overlay requirement.