Topic outline

  • Course Overview

    This beginner course in statistics introduces you to the principles behind the many statistical practices such as sampling, variables, and inference, and shows how these concepts fit into the research design process. It helps to build a mental map to enable you to work your way through statistical tests and procedures. 

    Learning Outcomes 

    This course will help you to: 

    1. Identify and recognize the different types of variables and the factors involved in choosing types of variables 
    2. Interpret and summarize a set of values for a variable 
    3. Identify relationships between variables in graphs 
    4. Ask the right questions about relationships between variables and describe their existence, their sign, and their strength 
    5. Identify how the process of sampling determines the degree of uncertainty you will have in your result 
    6. Choose a suitable form of sampling for your projects, evaluating the degree of uncertainty in your chosen form of sampling 
    7. Describe what happens to uncertainty in statistical analysis 
    8. Apply a null hypothesis test, evaluate the results, and recognize the limitations of null hypothesis testing 
    9. Select the appropriate statistics test for your research, explain the logical structure of a statistics test and results, and report these results

    • Course Author: Professor Roger Watt

      • Professor Roger Watt

        Roger Watt was a Professor of Psychology at the University of Stirling for 32 years and is now Emeritus Professor there. He has done research and taught in many areas of psychology, and focussed in the second half of his career on teaching research methods. Before moving to Stirling he was a Scientist with the Medical Research Council in Cambridge. In 1995 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh for his scientific research and leadership in Psychology. In teaching Statistics at Stirling to psychology students, he introduced a number of innovations, including novel methods of delivery some of which contributed to Stirling being attracting the inaugural BPS Award for Innovation in Psychology Programmes in 2014. He has a long-standing involvement in the impact of his discipline and research. He was appointed as an expert witness for the Cullen Inquiry and was personally credited with establishing the most likely cause of the Ladbroke Grove train disaster. During his time at Stirling, he was twice the Head of Department in Psychology and was also Dean of Human Sciences for 4 years. He is the proudest grandfather on the planet and is also an amateur trumpet player, baker, and gardener.

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      • Module One: Variables

        This module will help you to: 

        1. Identify variables   
        2. Recognize the different types of variables
      • Module Two: Values and Summaries of Variables

        This module will help you to: 

        1. Identify the factors involved in choosing types of variables   
        2. Interpret the values of a variable 
        3. Summarize a set of values 
      • Module Three: Relationships Between Variables

        This module will help you to: 

        1. Identify relationships between variables in graphs   
        2. Ask the right questions about relationships   
        3. Describe a relationship between variables, its existence, its sign, and its strength 
      • Module Four: Sampling

        This module will help you to: 

        1. Identify how the process of sampling determines the degree of uncertainty you will have in your result   
        2. Choose a suitable form of sampling for a project   
        3. Evaluate the degree of uncertainty in any chosen form of sampling   
      • Module Five: Inference and the Null Hypothesis

        This module will help you to: 

        1. Describe what happens to uncertainty in statistical analysis 
        2. Apply a null hypothesis test and evaluate the results   
        3. Recognize the limitations of null hypothesis testing   
      • Module Six: Doing Tests and Reporting Results

        This module will help you to: 

        1. Recognize the process for conducting a statistics test and obtaining results   
        2. Select the appropriate statistics test for your research   
        3. Report the results of a statistics test