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PSY 210

Introduction to Statistical Methods

Sections 1003, 1004, 1005 (Distance Education)

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Dr. Kimberly A. Barchard
Fall 2011 Syllabus

Course Description


Important Dates



Send comments on this syllabus to Dr. Barchard

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Course Overview

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to a variety of commonly used statistical techniques, so that you can understand research results that are discussed in the media and in your other classes, and so that you can conduct appropriate statistical analyses of your own research data.  More generally, you will improve your facility with numbers, your computer skills, and your critical thinking skills.

Each week, you will watch a series of lectlets on your computer, read the associated chapters in their text, and complete the homework exercises at the end of the chapters. Some weeks, you will also complete assignments that are designed to assist you in completing this course successfully and in meeting your personal goals. Finally, each week, you will complete either (a) a lab and lab quiz, or (b) an exam.

This course is delivered in a fully distance education mode. You do not ever need to come to the UNLV campus.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology


The course lectures are delivered as RealAudio streams both across the Internet and on the Personal Trainer CD (included free with your textbook). Thus these lectures are asynchronous -- available any place and any time you have access to the Internet or the CD.

A lectlet is:

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology


Each week, you will read one or two chapters from the text, and complete the homework exercises at the end of the chapter.

Required textbook:

Optional study guide:

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology


Each week, you will complete the homework exercises at the end of the chapters you read. For chapters 1 - 5, hand in the answers to all questions from all Sections. For chapters 6 - 18, hand in the answers to the questions in Section B. I strongly encourage you to do all even-numbered exercises in section A, and all questions in all other sections. If you find these difficult, I strongly encourage you to do ALL exercises in the textbook and ALL exercises in the study guide. But you will only hand in Section B for chapters 6 and on.

The homework exercises will reinforce the concepts you have learned by reading and by watching the lectlets, and it will also provide a test of whether you fully understand the material. If you have difficulty with some of the problems, you should review the relevant sections of the text and lectlets. If you cannot figure it out on your own, there are three sources of help:

You will hand in your homework through WebCampus. To do this:

  1. Complete your homework. You can either write out your answers by hand or you can type them.
  2. If you completed your homework by hand, scan your homework. The UNLV Lied library provides scanners that students can use.
  3. Save the file to your computer. The file name should include your first and last name and the chapter number. For example "Kim Barchard Chapter 3.pdf"
  4. Preview your file to make sure that it is legible, complete, and right-side-up.
  5. Log in to WebCampus
  6. Click on Assignments on the left hand side
  7. Select the appropriate assignment. For example, "Chapter 3 homework"
  8. Click "Add attachment"
  9. In the Get Files window, click "My Computer" on the left hand side
  10. Navigate to the file, select it, and click "Open"
  11. Click "Submit"
  12. Click on the Submitted tab.
  13. Open the assignment that you just submitted and open the attachment. If there is no attachment or if it is incomplete, take back your assignment. You can submit your homework up to one week late, with no penalty, but once the original deadline is past, you cannot change your submission.
  14. Keep the file (and any paper copy) of your homework for reference and as a backup just in case we do not receive the file.


Homework exercises will be graded as follows:
2 = complete
1 = incomplete
0 = not handed in

This semester, you will hand in homework for 18 chapters, and so you can earn a total of 36 marks. To receive a grade of 100% for your homework exercises, you will only need to earn 30 points. So, for example, if you miss chapters 1 and 2, you will lose 4 points. That's okay, you can still get 100% for the homework exercises, if you do well on the rest of them. Or if you get sick for a couple of weeks and hand in incomplete exercises, you can still get 100%.

Each week, you should hand in the homework for the chapter we are studying. However, you can hand in your homework up to one week late. Your homework will be graded the same, regardless of whether it was handed in on time or up to one week late. However, please note that the homework exercises are excellent preparation for the exams, and you can only take the exams on the days that they are scheduled. Do not fall behind.


D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology


In order to assist you in completing this course successfully and in applying this material to yourself personally, you will complete a few assignments -- about one every two or three weeks. These assignments are listed on the course schedule.

Each assignment will be different. Sometimes you'll explore resources on the Internet, complete a survey, or write a few paragraphs about yourself. Each assignment will provide specific instructions about how to hand it in.

Each assignment has a specific deadline. However, you can hand in assignments up to one week late, with no penalty.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Labs and Lab Quizzes

You will complete a series of labs in order to better understand the statistical techniques we are using. The labs will help you understand the theoretical basis for the statistics we calculate (what they mean), and also their practical application (how to calculate and use them).

The lab assignments will be available as web pages. You can complete the labs as many times as you want, in order to fully learn the material. These labs use two unique and powerful tools that are given on the Personal Trainer CD that comes with your text. The first unique tool is eyeball estimation, in which you make an educated guess about the value of a statistic. Eyeball estimates will help you gain an intuitive grasp of what each statistic measures, and provide a valuable gut-level check on calculations. The second unique tool is DataGen, a program that calculates most of the statistics that are covered in this course, and which is very easy to use. After you type in the data, DataGen immediately calculates every statistic you might be interested in. All you have to do is locate the number you want. DataGen is valuable because it will allow you to gain an intuitive understanding about the statistics, by changing the data just a bit and seeing what effect this has on the statistics.

The lab quizzes will be available in WebCampus. If you do not obtain adequate grades on a lab quiz, I strongly encourage you to re-take the quiz. Of course, you should first figure out what concepts you had difficulty with and review them, so that you get a good grade the second time you take a quiz.

You will be able to complete the lab quizzes any time during the week that they are assigned. If you do not get an adequate grade, you will be able to re-take the quiz within the next week. If you are unable to complete a lab during the week that it was assigned, this also means that you can hand in the lab quizzes up to one week late, with no penalty. However, please note that the labs and lab quizzes are excellent preparation for the exams, and you can only take the exams on the days that they are scheduled. Do not fall behind.

See below for more information about resources you can use during quizzes.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology


The exams for this course will be completed on WebCampus. Exams will take place on specific days and times, as given on the course schedule. During those times, you can start the exam any time you want.

Once you have started an exam, you will have a maximum of 3 hours during which to complete it. The exams have been designed to take less than 1 hour, and so you should find that you have lots of time. If your computer dies and you need to go to another computer, or if you want to take a break for lunch, you can come back and finish the exam.

All exams will be cumulative; they will cover material from all parts of the course. In general, most students do not like cumulative exams. However, research has shown that cumuluative exams result in more learning and higher grades. Many students have difficulty understanding statistics and passing Psy 210. My primary goal is to get as many students to pass this course as possible. Therefore, we will use cumulative exams.

There will be four exams during the semester. You cannot re-take these exams, and there will be no make-up exams for any reason. However, I will drop the lowest of these four exam scores. The reason I drop the lowest exam score is so that students can miss one of the exams and it will not influence their course grade in any way. In the past, students have told me that it is a great relief knowing that their lowest exam score will automatically drop. Because of this, they do not need my approval to skip one of their exams. Moreover, students who complete every exam are not penalized - their lowest exam score also drops.

The last exam is the final exam. The final exam cannot be dropped. If you are too sick on the days of the final exam to take the exam, send me a doctor's note saying that you are too sick to complete an exam, and we will reschedule it.

See the next section for more information about resources you can use during exams.

To prepare you for the graded exams discussed above, the Personal Trainer CD includes practice quizzes for each chapter in the text. I strongly recommend you complete these practice quizzes.


D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Resources during Exams and Quizzes

During quizzes and exams, you may use the following resources:

During lab quizzes and exams, you may NOT use the following:

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology


Your grade for this course will be based upon four components:

  Lab quizzes

The grading scheme for the course will be as follows:



93 – 100


A –

90 – 92



87 – 89



83 – 86


B –

80 – 82



77 – 79



73 – 76


C –

70 – 72



67 – 69



63 – 66


D –

60 – 62



Below 60

Grades may be scaled to ensure an appropriate class average.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology


UNLV expects that, for a typical class, students will do 3 or 4 hours of homework for every one hour in class.  For the usual 3-credit course, this would be 7.5 – 10 hours of homework each week.  However, this is a 4-credit course and your lectures are completed online, and so you should probably plan on 12-16 hours per week.  If you are not able or willing to do this much work for this class, you are likely to get a bad grade or to fail and I recommend you take this class when you have more time to devote to it.  Furthermore, I should note that students who fall behind or who skip some material are unlikely to pass the course.

At the beginning of the course, the material is quite easy, and you will likely be able to keep up with this course in only 5 to 8 hours for the first couple of weeks.  Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by this.  The material will accumulate and you will need to study harder after the first two weeks.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Computer Requirements

Scanner Requirements:

Computer Requirements:

Putting it all together: If all your equipment is installed correctly, you should be able to play the "lectlets" that form the core of this course.

Checking Your System: To check that your system is working properly, click here to play the first lectlet. If that lectlet provides both an audio and a visual display, your browser and Internet connection are adequate. If there is no audio or no text, review the list above to check what computer equipment you need.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer 4.0 (Hurlburt, 2006) is a computer program that will help you learn statistics. It was written by Russell T. Hurlburt, who also wrote your textbook, and so they are designed to go together. It includes a complete set of lectlets, and modules to help you with algebra, eyeball estimation, and data exploration. Finally, to prepare you for the graded exams discussed earlier, the Personal Trainer CD includes practice quizzes for each chapter in the text. I strongly recommend you complete these practice quizzes.

The Personal Trainer CD is included free with your textbook. You MUST have the Personal Trainer CD in order to complete this course. Many lab assignments require that you use Personal Trainer, and those labs will teach you skills that you need for the lab quizzes and the exams. If your text did not come with the CD, either exchange the text for one that has the CD or else buy the CD separately from the publisher’s web site: http://www.cengagebrain.com/shop/isbn/978-0-534-60628-2

Personal Trainer was originally designed to work on both PC and Mac computers. It will still work on Mac computers with OS 8 or earlier, operating in classic mode. However, on newer Mac comuputers, ESTAT will not run. It would be helpful if you located a PC for those labs that require ESTAT.

Under the terms of use, you may make a single electronic copy for your own personal use. For example, you can copy the CD onto your laptop or a USB drive.


D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

WebCampus ID

All Distance Education courses at UNLV use WebCampus. You will use WebCampus to

All UNLV students are issued an ID for WebCampus. If you do not know what yours is, go to http://webcampus.unlv.edu/students-get-started

Log in to WebCampus and make sure that you can see Psy 210.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology


Introductory psychology (PSY 101)

College algebra (Mat 096, 124, or 126).

If you have not taken one of these math courses, take the "Self-test for arithmetic" found in Appendix B of the textbook immediately. If you don't score 90% or higher on that test, you should seriously consider dropping this course and adding an algebra course.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

How to Register for PSY 210

Please ensure that you have the computer equipment necessary to operate this course before you register.

Then use the same registration procedure you would use for any other UNLV course. To register for the 4-credit lecture, use the following call numbers:

Lecture Section 1003 85341
Lecture Section 1004 85342
Lecture Section 1005 85343

In addition to registering for the lecture, you should also register for the 0-credit lab. You will pay $0 in tuition for the 0-credit lab, and you will not be assigned a course grade for it. All of your work will be assigned and graded by the instructor of the lecture section for which you register. None-the-less, you should register for the 0-credit lab, so that people who read your transcript will know that there was a practical component to this course. To register for the 0-credit lab, use the following call number:

Lab Section 1006 85347

For additional information you may contact the UNLV Office of Distance Education at (702) 895-0334.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a legitimate concern for every member of the campus community; all share in upholding the fundamental values of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility and professionalism. By choosing to join the UNLV community, students accept the expectations of the Academic Misconduct Policy and are encouraged when faced with choices to always take the ethical path. Students enrolling in UNLV assume the obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with UNLV’s function as an educational institution. See the Student Academic Misconduct Policy at http://studentconduct.unlv.edu/misconduct/policy.html

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Important Dates

Fri Sept 16, 8am - 9pm
Exam 1
Thurs Oct 6 8am - Fri Oct 7 midnight
Exam 2
Thurs Oct 27 8am - Mon Oct 31 midnight
Exam 3
Mon Nov 28 8am - Tue Nov 29 midnight
Exam 4
Mon Dec 12 8am - Tue Dec 13 midnight
Final Exam
Mon Nov 7
Final day to drop or withdraw from classes

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Dr. Kimberly A. Barchard

Dr. Kimberly A. Barchard (please call me Kim)
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Office Hours

Wed 1:00 - 2:00pm
During my office hours, I will be in my office and I will answer the phone if you call. Outside of office hours I rarely answer my phone. I also rarely check for phone messages. If I do not answer the phone when you call, use WebCampus.
Office: CBC B346
Phone: 702-895-0758


The best way to reach me is to through WebCampus Mail. Log in to WebCampus and select Psy 210. On the left hand side, click Mail.

Regular Email

If you are unable to contact me through WebCampus (for example, your WebCampus account isn't working), you can email me at my regular email address. However, I sometimes get behind on my regular email, and I will answer your email faster if you use WebCampus.
Email: barchard@unlv.nevada.edu

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Teaching Assistants

The Department of Psychology has assigned two teaching assistants to help me prepare course materials and to help you complete the course.

  Name Shane Westfall Joanne Ullman
  Office CDC 520 CDC 520
  Phone 895-2809 895-2809
  Office hours Thurs 2:30 - 3:30pm Tues 11am - noon

Your TAs are available to help you during their office hours. They will be in their office, and they will answer the phone if you call.

The best way to reach your TAs is to email them through WebCampus. I have given you their office number and phone number so you can reach them during office hours. However, if you visit or call during non-office hours, they are not available.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Study Partners

Students are strongly encouraged to find one or more study partners to assist them in learning the material.  You can discuss difficult concepts with each other; work together on your labs, assignments, and homework exercises; and drop off your completed homework assignments for each other. The only things you can't do together are the lab quizzes and the exams. In the past, I have found that having a study partner increases students’ grades by 15% on homework assignments. That's the difference between a C+ and an A-.

Although you are encouraged to work with other students when completing your labs, assignments, and homework exercises, everything that you hand in must be something that you created yourself.  In a practical sense, this means that you are the only person who touched the keyboard or mouse or who touched pen to paper, and you did not copy-and-paste any part of the assignment.

In the first assignment, you will meet other people in the class. If you want to work with someone, send them a private email through WebCampus. That way, you can both decide if you want to share personal information such as your phone number and your regular email address. If you want to work together, you can meet in an UNLV computer lab if you are both in the Las Vegas area. If you are in different cities, you can communicate through email, phone, Skype, etc.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Help for Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer is an essential component of this course. Most lab assignments cannot be completed without it. If you are having trouble operating Personal Trainer, there are two sources of help. First, there is a help file on the web: http://faculty.unlv.edu/hurlburt/cbstools.html

personal trainer logo Second, if Personal Trainer launches but then hangs, relaunch Personal Trainer and quickly click the Help Button on the opening screen.  It’s there only briefly.

If you are unable to solve your problems using the advice that is given in these two sources, contact me directly. Send me an email in WebCampus.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Advice from Former Students

Near the end of the semester, PSY 210 students (in both live and Distance Education sections) provide advice they would like to share with incoming students. Was there anything that they wished they had known at the beginning of the semester? Here's what they said, basically unedited...

Here's my piece of advice to future statistic students: Do the homework!
This is the first method that I have ever used to truly learn statistics.... The lectlets are great, the book is well written, informative but not dry, and the quizzes keep you on your toes. Do not get behind, do the work assigned and enjoy an understanding of Statistical Methods.
If you stay on top of everything there is no way you won't understand what is going on. Read the book, listen to the lectlets and take advantage of everything offered on the Personal Trainer. If you keep up with the syllabus there is no way you will fail.
My advice would be to definitely do the homework problems, which help tremendously with the test. I would also recommend reading the book along with taking lecture notes because your tests have information in them that is more thoroughly discussed in your book, although your lectures are great too.
It's also good to take notes from the book as you read, and draw the distributions that are given as examples in the book.
The last thing that I would recommend is trying to understand statistics, not just memorize the equations. When you do that, the class is so much easier to understand.
My advice would be for distance ed students to try to get together during the semester and chat about the class, homework, problems, or solutions. This method seems to help in other D.E. classes and could be a real advantage here too.
I wish there was advice when I first started the class!
For both live and distance-education classes I would tell them to pay strict attention to the side notes (in the textbook margins) and definitely listen to the lectlets whether they are distance ed or not. For me, it really made a difference in my comprehension of difficult principles.
I think it is a very good idea to have input from prior students because an online course- especially this course!- can be very intimidating.
I found that the strong points of the course were in the organization of the material. There was not any concept that I could not learn if I just went back and listened again to the lectlets or went over the ESTAT lessons again. I found they were more helpful than the book, which was easier to get lost in.
My best advice is to make sure to set aside Monday night or a night early on in the week to do the lectlets and quizzes..... Make it like an actual classroom hour. Too many times I had to rush a quiz out in the end because I procrastinated.
I really felt that this was an easy class to comprehend if you put the normal amount of time in to it you would any class -- nothing extraordinary. It is that explicative and interactive.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology


Many students find it useful to work with a tutor for Psy 210. Often, having a tutor is less time consuming and less frustrating than failing the course and taking it again. In my experience, 1 hour of tutoring per week is usually sufficient.

The Academic Success Center (ASC) provides tutoring and academic assistance for all UNLV students taking UNLV courses. Students are encouraged to stop by the ASC to learn more about subjects offered, tutoring times, and other academic resources. The ASC is located across from the Student Services Complex, #22 on the current UNLV map. Students may learn more about tutoring services by calling (702) 895-3177 or visiting the tutoring web site at: http://academicsuccess.unlv.edu/tutoring/



D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

Disability Resource Center

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) coordinates all academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The DRC is the official office to review and house disability documentation for students, and to provide them with an official Academic Accommodation Plan to present to the faculty if an accommodation is warranted. Faculty should not provide students accommodations without being in receipt of this plan. 

UNLV complies with the provisions set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, offering reasonable accommodations to qualified students with documented disabilities. If you have a documented disability that may require accommodations, you will need to contact the DRC for the coordination of services. The DRC is located in the Student Services Complex (SSC-A), Room 143, and the contact numbers are: Voice (702) 895-0866, fax (702) 895-0651. For additional information, please visit: http://drc.unlv.edu/.

D.E. LogoPSY 210: Statistical Methods in Psychology

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