Psychology 300 

This course is designed to provide you with an overview of how computers are used in psychology. The range of applications is enormous, so I have tried to select some of the most common application programs. This course will also give you the necessary background and confidence needed to learn new application programs, not covered in class, on your own.

The prerequisites for this course are Psychology 101 and Psychology 201. For the purposes of instruction, I will assume that you have had no prior computer experience. As part of the course requirements, you are required to attend all class meetings. In addition, I will expect you to be on time for each class meeting.

The course will be taught using personal computers (PC's), since the trend is clearly in this direction. Each class period will be divided about evenly between lecture and lab time. We will be using the IBM compatible computers in the Computer Teaching Lab (H-521) and the open lab (H-512). In order to do well in class, you will need to spend a minimum of three hours per week in addition to the regular class time practicing your computer skills. The exact amount of extra time you will need will depend on many factors, including your anxiety level about learning how to use a computer, your typing skills, and the speed with which you learn new material. Extra effort on your part will be rewarded.

 Homework Assignments:

 A homework assignment will be given for each of the major application programs covered in the course. Each assignment will allow you to apply the information that has been covered in the lectures. Unless otherwise directed, each assignment will be due at the start of class. If you are late for class, your homework will not be accepted. In keeping with department policy, these assignments are to be your own work. No late final projects or homework assignments will be accepted. Your homework assignments will be graded on the basis of their accuracy, quality and comprehensiveness. Extra effort on your part, beyond the minimum requirements, will be rewarded.


A final research report will be required for the course. More information will be provided on the project later in the course.


You will be expected to keep a small, 5.5" x 8.5",loose-leaf notebook for the course. You will be asked to turn in your notebook on the day your final report is due. You will be allowed to use this notebook during the "open book" section of the mid-term examination.


The examination will cover the content of the first half of the course and will be given about halfway through the course. It will consist of two parts. The first part will be "closed book" and will consist of essay, multiple choice and fill-in types of questions. The second part of the examination will be "open book." In this section you will be able to use your notebook and notes you have taken during the course. This section will test your ability to use the application programs we have covered in class.

Course Grades:

Your tests, research report, and assignments will be evaluated on the basis of their accuracy, completeness and quality. No extra credit assignments, papers or projects will be given as substitutes for poor performance on any of the work required for the course. Your final grade will be based on your performance in the following areas:

Point Distribution

Homework 12x10 120
Research Report 100
Examination 100
Notebook 20

Total 340

Letter grades will be based on a percentage of the total possible points in the course with 90% or above equal to an "A", 80% to 89% equal to a "B" etc.

Minimum Point Requirements

A = > 304
B = > 270
C = > 236
D = > 202

Office Hours:

You are welcome to call me at any time for help. If I am not in my office, you can leave a message on my message machine. You can also send me an E-mail message on the VAX.

Required Materials:

1. Computers in Psychology, Resource manual, - Perkins
2. Star Series: Windows 3.1; Excel 5.0; Word 6.0
3. Two, 3-1/2 inch, high density (DS,HD) diskettes
4. Stapler, ruler
5. Small, 5.5" x 8.5", loose-leaf notebook with tabs
6. Scantrons 1- #20787 1- #20788-ERI (blue)


 I. Introduction to Windows
 II. Introduction to the VAX
 III. Using the Internet
 IV. Computer Hardware and Software Lecture notes.

A. Hardware
B. Software
C. Operating Systems
D. Word Processing

 VI. Graphs and Charts

Midterm Examination

VII. Spreadsheets
VIII. SPSS/Windows

A. Data Preparation

1. Constructing a Data File
2. Data Coding

a. Numeric Data
b. String Variables
c. Missing Values

3. Importing and Exporting Files

B. Data Information File

Variable Labels
Value Labels
Missing Values

C. Data Selection and Transformations

3. IF

D. Statistical Commands and Interpretations of Output


Last updated: February 25, 1997