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PSYB07H - Data Analysis.odt

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University of Toronto St. George
Matthias Niemeier

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 behaviour) • Only when study is conducted over and over again, and when results remain consistent overtime that you actually have a case. • Variables • 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 • Dependent: • Most research begins with a general question about the relationship between two variables for a specific group of individuals. • Population • 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. • Sample • Usually populations are so large that a researcher cannot examine
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