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Introduction to Methods and Statistics


Admission requirements

Math C (wiskunde C) at VWO level or equivalent is assumed. This course is only available for BA linguistics students.


In this course students will get familiar with basic concepts in methodology and statistics necessary to conduct research in (experimental) linguistics such as the empirical cycle, variables, measurement level, reliability and validity, sampling, the normal distribution, central tendency and variability, distributions, association and causation, experimental design, the null hypothesis significance testing process, limitations of null hypothesis testing, effect size, confidence intervals, statistical power, questionable research practices and principles of Open Science. The course focuses on correct application of statistical theory and correct interpretation of statistical results in order to answer research questions in linguistics, not on mathematics.
Students will acquire practical data analysis skills through several assignments that are imbedded in experimental linguistics research. The student can choose to use SPSS or R statistical computing software.

The course consists of obligatory lectures and workgroups.

Completion of this course is the compulsory entry requirement for the course “Inferential Statistics for the Language Sciences”.

Course objectives

Learning goal 1: student is able to describe basic concepts of methods and statistics in (experimental) linguistics
Learning goal 2: student is able to use SPSS or R software for basic statistics


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Weekly lectures + workgroups

Assessment method

(1) Exam (learning goal 1); (2) Assignments (learning goal 1 and 2)

Student are allowed to miss a maximum of 1 workgroup. Handing in at least 9 out of 10 assignments of sufficient quality is obligatory in order to be eligible to participate in the exam.


In order to pass: (1) Exam must be sufficient (55% correct) (2) 9/10 assignments need to be sufficient (submitted in time and of sufficient quality).

The final mark is based on the exam.


The exam can be retaken, the assignments cannot be retaken.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

All students need (1) Leary and additionally need (2.1) Field for SPSS or (2.2.) Field for R. The student is advised to make a decision about what software to use (SPSS or R) and hence which of the two Field books to buy at the start of the course.

  1. Leary, M.L. (2014). Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods (6th international edition). Pearson: Boston.
  2. Field, A. (2017). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (5th edition). Sage: London.
  3. Field, A. (2012). Discovering statistics using R. Sage: London.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory


For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar

For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies


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