Its about "Seeing what your data seem to say"

Psych 30 at a Glance

What is the purpose of this course?

The Psychology Department requires all majors to take statistics because statistics is fundamental to understanding the field of Psychology, both as a scientific and as a clinical enterprise.

  • Scientific Psychology: If you are interested in using the scientific method for understanding human behavior and cognition, you will need to know how to design studies or experiments and how to evaluate the results. In nearly all cases, statistical analysis will be needed to evaluate the results.
  • Clinical Psychology: If you are interested in becoming a Clinical Psychologist, you may never design studies or experiments, but you will still need to know how to critically evaluate other studies or experiments in order to understand their import for your actions as a therapist.

That's not what I'll do, so why should I take it?

Even if you don't plan to continue in Psychology after you graduate, you will certainly be a consumer of statistics. This course will help you:

  • know how to evaluate statistical reports in the news, made by politicians, etc.
  • learn how to understand polls.
  • evaluate policy reports.
  • learn how to draw your own conclusions from such reports.

Who is this course for?

This course, Psych 30, is offered to B.A. Majors in Psychology.

Who is the Professor?

Prof. Forrest W. Young. He has taught this course for more than 30 years. He is an international authority on the design of software for learning statistics. He has spent a decade developing ViSta, the Visual Statistics System, the statistical software used in the course. This software is based on Prof. Young's cognitive theory for learning statistics.

What is unique about this course?

The emphasis on "seeing what the data seem to say" (in Prof. John Tukey's words) a visual approach to an intuitive understanding of data. Prof. Young shows how such an intuitive understanding complements the classical inferential approach (also taught in the course). ViSta brings these two approaches together.

Do I have to know about computers?

Just the basics ... you'll learn a lot more. What you learn about computers will be very useful to you, both while you are at UNC, and after you finish. You will:
  • use the web, which foreshadows the nature of computing in the twenty-first century.
  • get experience using today's major computing environment.
  • learn skills that will improve your employment qualifications.

How is the web used?

This is a totally web-based course. All of lectures, labs, demonstrations, and homework, as well as the project, involve using the web.

What is required of me?

There are homework assignments, midterms, an optional final and a term research project which is written up as a paper. More details are available by looking at the web site.