| Lecture: Mondays & Wednesdays, 11:00 am - 11:50 am
be a weekly lab section to accompany the course. Each student should register
(if you have not done so already) for one of the following sections:
Labs will begin the thrid week of class (Jan 26). Lab attendance is mandatory.
Class webpage: http://www.uic.edu/classes/psych/psych343f/spring2004
Books & Materials
Phillips, J. L. (1999). How to think about statistics (4th - 6th Editions.). New York, NY: W. H. Freeman. [Strongly recommended, but not required. This book is an excellent one for people who may be feeling a bit of math anxiety.]
Please obtain an inexpensive calculator (one that allows you to do square roots easily). You will need to bring it to sections and class. If you already own a calculator, please bring it to class and lab.
Overview of Course
The objective of this class is to provide you with a better understanding of the ways in which mathematics and statistics can be used to deepen our understanding of psychological phenomena.
The lectures will primarily focus on the concepts and ideas underlying quantitative methods in psychology. The lab/discussion sections will give you the opportunity to gain "hands-on" experience in working through specific quantitative problems.
Important Notes Regarding the Class Webpage
I will post
lecture overheads on the class web page within the hour following each
lecture. I plan to post the overheads online because I want you to spend
your class time listening and thinking carefully, not copying notes from
the board or overhead. If class attendance begins to decline, I will discontinue
web notes. You will be able to access the lecture overheads by clicking
on the links in the lecture schedule below. If you have PowerPoint on
your computer, you can download the actual PowerPoint file from which
the overheads originate by right-clicking the PowerPoint link and "saving
target as" to your computer.
You should treat the class web page as your primary syllabus. I will post reading assignments, lecture notes, practice test questions, answers to exams you've taken, and exam grades to date on the class web page.
If you do not have Internet access at home, please visit one of the many student computer facilities on campus on a regular basis.
Grading & My Teaching Philosophy
courses are often dreaded by psychology majors. As a general rule, many
students decide to major in psychology because they are not attracted
to the quantitative demands of other sciences.
There will be four required exams over the course of the semester. These exams will not be cumulative in the strict sense of the term, but the subject matter will build on itself, so mastering material for the second exam, for example, may require that you keep yourself refreshed on earlier material.
If you are unhappy with one of your four exam grades, you can take the optional final and use that grade as a substitute for your lowest of the required four exams. The final exam, however, will be cumulative in the strict sense of the term; I will ask you about anything that has been covered in the course. You will be allowed to substitute the optional final exam score for only one of your exams.
Why do I have this "optional final exam" policy? I allow this because emergencies (e.g., death in the family, oversleeping on exam day, traffic problems) will crop up at some point during the semester, and you might have to miss an exam. I do not give traditional make-up exams under any circumstances; the fact that you can take the optional final and use that grade for your lowest of the four required exams covers all make-up exam situations.
In light of this policy, your best strategy is to plan to study hard for each exam and hope nothing bad happens. Then, if something bad does happen along the way (e.g., decapitation in a cooking accident), you'll know that you can take the optional final and substitute that grade for your missed exam. If you oversleep for exam 1 and then a relative dies for exam 2, you can use the optional final as a substitute for only one of your two zero's. (If you have a genuine medical emergency, the university will sometimes allow for make-up exams. In such an event, it is necessary that you provide me with a copy of your medical bill. A simple doctor's note will not be accepted.)
schedule for the semester is posted on the class webpage. It will not
be changed, so please determine as soon as possible whether your schedule
will prohibit you from making it to certain exams. It might be wise for
you to drop the class (or change to another section) if you can foresee
possible problems in scheduling from Day 1.
Note: If you need to know your discussion section grade at any point in the semester, please contact your TA.
Note: I do not "curve" exam scores. I use the standard "10% rule" for assigning letter grades (e.g., A = 90% - 100%, B = 80% - 89%). It is possible for everyone to earn an A in my class, but it won't be easy. If everyone does earn an A in my class, I will be thrilled and eat cake for a week.
Students with disabilities who require accommodations for access and participation in this course must be registered with the Office of Disability Services (ODS). Please contact ODS at 312/413-2103 or 312/413-0123.