PSYB07H – Lecture 1
May 5, 2010
• Chapter 1
• What is statistics?
• Aset of methods and rules that help us organize information, (especially in pyschology
when we're interested in human behaviour), summarize and interpret info.
• We interpret when we get data and generalize to the larger population
• We use observe human behaviour and when you're doing research, most often, you get
numbers that come back to you to indicate something
• Translate human behaviour into mathematical form
• Ascientific generalization
• Statistics don't guarantee truth or objectivity
• There could always be other explanations (other variables that could have influenced your
• Only when study is conducted over and over again, and when results remain consistent
overtime that you actually have a case.
• Abehaviour that needs to be measured is called a variable
• Avariable is a characteristic or condition that can chanage or take on different values.
• Independent: the variable that is being manipulated
• Most research begins with a general question about the relationship between two variables
for a specific group of individuals.
• The entire group of individuals is called the population.
• For example, a researcher may be interested in the relation between class size (variable 1)
and academic performance (variable 2) for the population of third-grade children.
• Usually populations are so large that a researcher cannot examine