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Study Guide

Department

PsychologyCourse Code

PSY201H1Professor

Christine BurtonStudy Guide

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PSY201H1

FINAL EXAM

STUDY GUIDE

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PSY201 Textbook Notes

Chapter 1: Introduction to Statistics

Definitions of Statistics

Shortened version of statistical procedures

Used to summarize and evaluate research results in the behavioural sciences

Serve two general purposes

1. Used to organize and summarize the information so that the researcher can see

what happened in the research study and can communicate the results to others

2. Help the researcher to answer the questions that initiated the research by

determining exactly what general conclusions are justified based on the specific

results that were obtained

Statistics: refers to a set of mathematical procedures for organizing, summarizing and

interpreting information

Statistical procedures help ensure that the information or observations are presented

and interpreted in an accurate and informative way

Provide researchers with a set of standardized techniques that are recognized and

understood throughout the scientific community

Populations and Samples

Research in the behavioural sciences typically begins with a general question about a

specific group of individuals

Population: the set of all the individuals of interest in a particular study

Populations can vary in size, must be identified by the researcher, and need not be of

humans (can include animals)

However, populations tend to be very large

Therefore, researchers typically select a smaller, more manageable group from the

population known as a sample

Sample: set of individuals selected from a population, usually intended to represent the

population in a research study

Samples can also vary in size

Ex. A study examines a sample of 10 students in a graduate program

When a researcher finishes examining the sample, the goal is to generalize the results

back to the entire population

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Variables and Data

Variable: a characteristic or condition that changes or has different values for different

individuals

Ex. Height, weight, gender, personality characteristics that differ from individual to

individual

Ex. Temperature, time of day, amount of sunlight environmental conditions

Data (plural) are measurements or observations. A data set is a collection of measurements or

observations. A datum (singular) is a single measurement or observation and is commonly

called a score or raw score

Important to note that populations or samples can be referred to as scores, not just

individuals

Because research typically involves measuring each individual to obtain a score, every

sample of individuals produces a corresponding sample of scores

Parameters and Statistics

Parameter: is a value, usually a numerical value, that describes a population. A parameter is

usually derived from measurements of the individuals in the population

Statistic: is a value, usually a numerical value, that describes a sample. A statistic is usually

derived from measurements of the individuals in the sample

The research process begins with a question about a population parameter

However, the actual data come from a sample and are used to compute sample

statistics

Everyone population parameter has a corresponding sample statistic

Descriptive and Inferential Statistical Methods

Two categories of different procedures:

1. Descriptive statistics

2. Inferential statistics

Descriptive Statistics: are statistical procedures used to summarize, organize, and simplify data

Take raw scores and organize or summarize them in a form that is more manageable

Often organized in a table or graph

Another technique is computing an average of the set of scores

Inferential Statistics: consist of techniques that allow us to study samples and then make

generalizations about the populations from which they were selected

Researchers use sample statistics as the basis for drawing conclusions about population

parameters

One problem with using samples, however, is that a sample provides only limited

information about the population

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