First-Year Statistics

In order to understand the world, we usually need to measure it in some way. Psychologists often need to take measurements from people - how many choose to follow a particular action, how the speeds of men and women differ on a task, and so on. This course introduces you to the techniques needed to make sense of these numbers and to use them to answer research questions.

Major Topics

Data exploration


Tests of two means

stereograms.sav - these data come from an experiment where people saw random-dot stereograms (a bit like those Magic Eye pictures) and had to identify the shape there. One group was told what the hidden shape was and the other group was not told. The scores are the times taken by each person to identify the shape.

scents.sav - these data come from an experiment where participants completed two pen-and-paper mazes, one whilst they were exposed to a strong scent and one with no scent. The scores are the times taken to complete the maze.


These data sets will let you practice what you have learnt so far. For each, you should:

  1. Explore the data - use tables and/or graphs to look at the means and see whether the assumptions of parametric tests are met
  2. Analyse the data - use a t-test or an equivalent non-parametric test (as appropriate) to answer the question given

cycles.sav - these data are from the Department for Transport and show how many kilometres motorcyclists and pedal cyclists travel each year. Overall, do motorcyclists travel further than pedal cyclists?

f13.sav - these data look at whether people behave differently on Friday 13th. They show how many people visit a shopping centre on several Friday 13ths and the preceeding Fridays. In general, is there a significant difference between the number of people who go shopping on Friday 13th and the number who go shopping on Friday 6th?

Correlation, partial correlation, and regression

examrevision.sav - data on students' exam scores and various other measures

Cluster analysis


This course will be assessed by coursework at the end of the teaching. I have provided one past statistics test (Word document) and another in MS Word format and PDF format. If you can answer all these questions, you should be okay for the assessment. NB we haven't covered reliability (question 6 in the first test) this year, but feel free to look it up.

Here it is! - here is the 2005 stats assignment in PDF format. Please fill it in and return by 10 June.