Statistics I 2500-EN-O-21-n
In this course you will learn about statistical methods and inference necessary to analyze data and test the relationships between variables. To get to this point you will need a basic understanding of the principles of statistical reasoning. These are not so much mathematical principles, but rather logical principles. As a consequence the emphasis in this course lies on the verbal understanding of this logic. You will also learn how to apply this knowledge in practice, in the form of different statistical tests. However, all these tests are expressions of the same underlying logic, applied in different situations.
One of the main reasons to teach you all this is because it enables you to test your ideas, notions and theories. Any scientific theory has to be put to the test to see if its predictions are correct. An important part of this involves translating research questions into testable hypotheses which can be verified by applying the appropriate statistical techniques. Understanding of statistical inference makes it possible to make general conclusions about larger populations of people on the basis of research outcomes obtained from a relatively small number of tested participants. This course therefore helps you in forming a deeper understanding of the (empirical) scientific method, and complements knowledge of research methods.
A major goal of this course is to prepare you to become an independent researcher of course. But you will benefit from having knowledge of statistics in other, more direct ways too. It will make it easier for you to read, understand and judge scientific writing for instance. Because of your increased skills in statistical reasoning it will become easier to avoid common cognitive biases and logical thinking errors, which greatly helps with drawing correct conclusions. You will be much better able to distinguish between common sense beliefs and scientific beliefs, which helps a lot with seeing the flaws in bogus or pseudo science and pop-science often found in magazines. So this course in general also increases your critical thinking skills. Additional, forms of more professional skills you will acquire include an increased ability to communicate and explain research setups and findings, using numbers and graphs, and a better understanding of the construction, and use of psychological tests.
Type of course
- Knowledge how to use different statistical methods to describe, investigate and test relationships between variables
- The ability to solve research questions by translating them into testable hypotheses, applying the appropriate tests, and making the correct inferences to come to the most appropriate conclusions
- Understanding of statistical inference
- Understanding of the logic and reasoning underlying statistical principles, such as probability theory
- Understanding of the use of statistical methods in the broader context of the empirical scientific methods
a) Fourteen short in-class tests, worth 2 points each.
b) Mid-term exam, 36 points.
c) Final exam, 36 points.
97 or more = 5!
92-96 = 5
84-91 = 4.5
76-83 = 4
68-75 = 3.5
60-67 = 3
below 60 = 2 (fail)
Attendance is obligatory for both lectures and exercise classes. No more than 2 of each can be missed without valid excuse. For the exercises, missing more than 4 classes overall leads to course failure. For the lectures missing more than 50% leads to course failure.
Students must respect the principles of academic integrity. Cheating and plagiarism (including copying work from other students, internet or other sources) are serious violations that are punishable and instructors are required to report all cases to the administration.
This also applies to the exercises: do not copy solutions to exercises from a colleague. Students being caught copying work will be immediately excluded from the course (=fail) and referred to the University’s disciplinary commission.
Information on level of this course, year of study and semester when the course unit is delivered, types and amount of class hours - can be found in course structure diagrams of apropriate study programmes. This course is related to the following study programmes:
Additional information (registration calendar, class conductors, localization and schedules of classes), might be available in the USOSweb system: