COURSE TITLE: Exploring the Human Experience: Methods and Statistics for Psychology I
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr Heather Looy, Dr Leanne Willson
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 1.5)
CALENDAR DESCRIPTION: In this course, students will acquire a working knowledge of research design, data collection and analysis, and will critically examine foundations and assumptions of scientific psychology. Students will have opportunities to develop statistical skills while learning about the psychological research contexts in which these statistical tools are used. Topics will include epistemology, ethics, hypothesis development, descriptive statistics, measurement, probability, and naturalistic methods. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be explored.

Students with credit in SSCI 309 cannot receive credit in PSYC 301.

Prerequisites: PSYC 250 or 251
  • Coolican, H. (2009).  Research methods and statistics in psychology (5 th  edition).  London, UK: Hodder Education.
Midterms 35%
Assignments 30%
Final Exam 35%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Do you ever wonder whether it is really true that depression is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, why young people become suicide bombers, whether cell phones really interfere with driving, or whether Christians are really happier and healthier than other people? Psychologists and Sociologists explore human experience and social life in an effort to understand what we do and how we feel.  
This course introduces you to the skills and broader knowledge you need to engage in and evaluate social scientific research.  Research is an intentional, systematic, and communal  process of collecting and analyzing information in order to increase our understanding and guide our actions. There are many different, legitimate ways to accomplish this.  
Many of you may never conduct social science research yourselves, but all of you will continue to encounter and be affected by this research in your everyday lives.  Knowing how to sift good research from bad, how to ask questions and critically appreciate this research, and understanding the values and the limits of science will empower you to respond appropriately when important decisions are being made on the basis of this research.  
This course is hands-on.  That means that the only way you can learn this material is by doing it.  You will be engaging in discussions, demonstrations, and lots of exercises during class as well as during lab sessions.   
COURSE OUTLINE: Sept 5 – 12 Foundations
Sept 14 – 19 Measurement/operationalization, reliability and validity
Sept 26 - 28 Observation
Oct 5 – 12 Descriptive statistics & graphing
Oct 17 Populations & Samples
Oct 19 - 24  Surveys
Oct 26 - 31 Correlation
Nov 2 Science & Faith
Nov 14 - 21 Inferential statistics
Nov 23 Qualitative methods
Nov 28 Interviewing
Nov 30 - Dec 7 Ethics

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