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Inferential Statistics


Admission requirements

Students can only register for the examination if they have either passed or been exempted from the maths test. This course is a continuation of the Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics course, and presupposes the knowledge and skills taught there.


In this course students’ knowledge of probability theory will be refreshed, and applied to the statistical tests used most frequently in psychology.

The aim is for students to understand the following concepts:

  • sampling distribution;

  • statistical reliability;

  • hypothesis testing;

  • the principles and procedures for the various significance tests. Students should be able to select and perform the appropriate test in a given situation.

Course objectives

  • Students will acquire an understanding of the concepts of sampling distribution, statistical reliability and hypothesis testing, as well as the principles and procedures of the various tests of significance.

  • Students will be able to select and perform the appropriate test in a given situation either manually or in SPSS.
    A complete list of course objectives is available on Blackboard.


Inferential Statistics (2013-2014):



First-year students will automatically be registered for the course.


Students will not be automatically enrolled for an examination — they can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.

Mode of instruction

Instruction for the Inferential Statistics course will be over 8 successive weeks. The course will comprise lectures, work group sessions and extra work group sessions.

Each course week will begin with a lecture to introduce and explain course material. The focus will be on knowledge of core concepts of statistics. The lectures also cover additional topics that will also be covered in the examination. As preparation for the lectures students should study the chapters prescribed for that week.

Work group sessions will take place on one of the days following the lecture. In these meetings the focus will be on the application of the acquired knowledge in practice. Students will also continue learning to work with SPSS (version 21), a software package for data analysis. Students should bring both the workbook and the textbook to every work group session. The material covered in these work groups is also covered in the examination. Attending the work groups is obligatory.

In the extra work groups at the end of the week students are offered the opportunity to get some extra practice in statistical calculations, by hand or by using SPSS. All students who would like this extra support are free to attend these sessions.


The extent to which the students have mastered the course objectives will be assessed in two ways:

  • A written examination consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions, each with four alternatives, covering both theory and statistical calculations from the literature, the workbook, and the lectures.

  • An SPSS skills test covering students’ skills in working with SPSS as well as describing and interpreting analysis output.
    The final grade will be a weighted average of the examination grade (0.7) and the grade for the SPSS skills test (0.3). To receive the course credits students must get a final grade of 5.5 or higher, and both examination and skills test grade must be 5.0 or higher.
    Within thirty days of the final exam results students will have the opportunity to attend a debriefing session on their examination performance.

Since 1 January 2006 the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has implemented the Ephorus system, for use by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud.


The Inferential Statistics course is supported by the Blackboard digital learning environment.

Blackboard will be used to provide study material (lecture slides, translations of specific terms, etc.) and practice questions, and to provide students with an opportunity to consult with fellow-students and course instructors during the course.

Literature and Course Material

  • Howell, D. C (2013). Statistical Methods for Psychology (8th edition).

  • IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21. Released 1012. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp., [ 19.75 euro]. The DVD contains the following digital manuals:

    • IBM SPSS Statistics 21 Brief Guide
    • IBM SPSS Statistics 21 Core System User’s Guide
    • IBM SPSS Statistics Base 21
  • Extra material (that is part of the course) will be provided via Blackboard

If you are a member of the study association Labyrint you may purchase books at a reduced price via their study book service. Alternatively there are the academic book shops.


Coordinator for Inferential Statistics

Coordinator for SPSS