# Statistics and Research Methods: Psych 3101

Statistics is one of the most important tools in psychology, and in
most other sciences as well. It is also valuable for everyday life by
enabling you to be a critical consumer of political, economic, and
medical information (e.g., polls, surveys, and clinical trials) that
are often based on statistical methods. In psychology, statistics
enables you to tell how likely it is that something you found in an
experiment is true of people in general (which is what psychologists
usually want to know about). Because people's behavior is often
highly variable, the results of psychological experiments are noisy.
With the usual small number of participants run in a psychology
experiment (typically 25-50), the noise in the data can make the
results difficult to interpret just by looking at them. This is where
statistics comes in --- it allows you to make solid, mathematically
justified conclusions based on noisy data. This course will build up
to the standard tools of statistics (t-tests, analysis of variance
(ANOVA), correlation and linear regression) by first establishing a
firm understanding of what noisy data looks like, and how it can be
summarized by a few powerful numbers (called parameters). The
emphasis is on developing a firm conceptual understanding, not on
memorizing formulas. You will learn to use powerful computer software
to crunch the numbers. We will also discuss how to design experiments
to best get at different kinds of psychological questions (i.e.,
research methods).

## Important Links

Syllabus
PDF (Adobe) or
Postscript version of Syllabus for easy printing.

Course FTP site with lecture overheads in Postscript, among other things

*Last updated: 08/14/00*