Psyc 200: Measurement and Data Analysis in Psychology

Kenneth Abrams
Carleton College


This course is concerned with the role of measurement and data analysis in psychology. Students will gain proficiency in designing experiments; collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data; and constructing an APA-style manuscript to communicate results.

Course Size:

Institution Type:
Private four-year institution

Course Context:

This is a 200-level course with introductory psychology as the only pre-requisite. The course serves as a pre-requisite for some upper-level psychology courses and is a requirement for the psychology major. Almost all students in the course intend to major in psychology. The course has a required weekly lab.

Course Content:

Among the analyses we will study are tests of means, analysis of variance, correlation and regression, planned and post-hoc comparisons, as well as various non-parametric tests.

Course Goals:

It is my hope that, as a result of this course, students will be better equipped to critically evaluate reports of psychological research (and, more generally, numbers presented in the media), better prepared to conduct research, and have sharper quantitative and critical thinking skills.

Course Features:

Students are asked to write a research paper that integrates many of the design and statistical techniques covered in the course. More specifically, students choose a topic that interests them, conduct a literature review, design a study, and (after "making up" the data) present the results in manuscript format. The resulting paper should closely adhere to APA-style.

The required weekly labs focus on the application of statistical techniques and software (SPSS) to answer research questions.

Course Philosophy:

When students complete this assignment, they will be well prepared to conduct research in future psychology courses, to assist with the research projects of psychology faculty, to present their work at conference "poster sessions," and to write a psychology comps (thesis) paper.


Psyc 200 (Lecture)
Assignment % of Grade
Class Participation 10
Weekly Quizzes 50
Research Paper 20
Final Exam 20

Psyc 201 (Lab)
Assignment % of Grade
Active participation 10
Weekly Labs 90


Syllabus (Microsoft Word 39kB Aug4 11)

Teaching Materials:

Research Paper Assignment (Microsoft Word 43kB Aug4 11)

References and Notes:

Heiman, G. (2011). Basic Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author

Holcomb, Z. (2011). SPSS Basics: Techniques for a First Course in Statistics (3rd ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.