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Prospectus

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Preparatory Statistics

Course
2019-2020

Entry requirements

It is assumed that the student has a basic knowledge about basic statistical concepts (like mean, variance, correlation) and research methods (the difference between correlational/longitudinal studies and an experiment, the difference between a between-participants and a within-participants study). A basic understanding of SPSS is helpful but not required.

Description

The Preparatory Statistics Course teaches students statistical knowledge and practical skills at a conceptual level, useful for the quantitative research process used in most master theses. The topics cover part of the bachelor statistics program with specific attention for formulating research questions, data handling in SPSS, interpreting and reporting SPSS results (APA style), and drawing conclusions based on these results.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will:
1. Have acquired statistical knowledge and practical skills for the independent completion of data analysis and reporting in the context of a psychology Master’s thesis;
2. Have a basic understanding of the statistical techniques that are often used in empirical psychological research (t-test, ANOVA, linear and logistic regression); and
3. Be able to apply these basic statistical techniques to empirical data by means of the IBM SPSS software.

Timetable

For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme. Psychology timetables

Registration

Course

Students need to enroll for lectures (and work group sessions). Please consult the Instructions registration.

Examination

Students are not 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.

Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

The course consists of:
6 2-hour lectures
8 2-hour supervised work group sessions (computer practical).

Attendance of work group sessions is obligatory.

The course is fully in English (lectures, practicals, assignments, SPSS and final exam).

Assessment method

The final grade is based on
1. 1 SPSS exam (in week 3) which assesses the students’ practical skills in using IBM SPSS for data handling.
2. 6 take-home assignments (1 assignment per lecture topic, 1 assignment each 2 weeks) in which the statistical techniques discussed during the lectures are applied in the form of a short research report.
3. Final exam (at the end of the course, 3h). The final exam takes the same form as the practical assignments and covers all of the topics addressed during the lectures and the work group sessions.

Students receive extensive feedback (during the practicals) on both the assignments and the SPSS exam.

The final grade is determined by combining (each with a weight of 50%): (1) the average grade on the assignments/SPSS exam (the average grade across the 6 assignments and the SPSS exam) and (2) the grade of the final exam, (3) in combination with sufficiently active participation in the compulsory work group sessions. The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for compulsory attendance. Students are required to attend all work group sessions. Non-attendance (due to illness, for instance) should be announced beforehand. Students who miss more than 2 of the 8 work group sessions will not pass the course. Non-attendance cannot be compensated by extra assignments. To complete the course successfully, the SPSS-exam, all 6 take-home assignments as well as the final exam should be completed.

To pass the course students should have: (1) an average grade on assignments/SPSS exam equal to or greater than 5.5 (the average grade across the 6 assignments and the SPSS exam) AND (2) a final grade equal to or greater than 5.5

When a student does not have an average grade on assignments/SPSS exam equal to or greater than 5.5 (the average grade across the 6 assignments and the SPSS exam), the student has to redo all assignments/SPSS exam with a score below 5.5. The resit consists of upgrading the assignment/SPSS exam (so, the assignment/exam will be the same). As the student received extensive feedback on the first version of the assignment/exam and questions stays the same, the maximum score for the upgraded assignment/exam is 6/10.

When a student does have an average grade on assignments/SPSS exam equal to or greater than 5.5 (the average grade across the 6 assignments and the SPSS exam) but a final grade smaller than 5.5, the student has to resit the final exam (but not the assignments or the SPSS exam). The resit consists of upgrading the report for the final exam (the exam questions will stay the same). As the student received extensive feedback on the first version of the final exam and questions stays the same, the maximum score for the upgraded final exam is 6/10.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

  • Andy Field (2012). Discovering Statistics using SPSS. Fourth Edition. Sage: London.

  • IBM SPSS 19/20. . A student version of IBM SPSS can be purchased through www.surfspot.nl.

Contact information

Dr. Tom F. Wilderjans t.f.wilderjans@fsw.leidenuniv.nl