Psychology 521

Instructor: Jacob Feldman (website, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Teaching assistant: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Time and place: Thursdays 12pm - 3pm, Psychology 101

Overview: This course is designed to introduce psychology students to the basic ideas and techniques underlying the design of psychological experiments and the statistical analysis of data. Topics will include:

    • Basic experimental design

    • Probability and probability distributions

    • The logic of conventional null hypothesis significance testing (NHST)

    • Basic NHST techniques such as correlation, regression, t-tests, and analysis of variance

    • The logic of Bayesian inference

    • Basic Bayesian (and approximately Bayesian) techniques including Bayes factors, AIC and BIC. 

Primary texts:

    Gravetter, F. J. and Wallnau, L. B. (2007) Statistics for the behavioral sciences (any edition*). Wadsworth.

        *Any edition should suffice, though chapter numbers differ among editions, so be careful. Chapter numbers below are based on the 7th edition.

     McElreath, R. (2016): Statistcal rethinking: A Bayesian Course with Examples in R and Stan.  

Additional readings: There will be several additional readings, available on the Sakai site and linked below.

Software practicum: Serena will lead weekly sessions (during class time) focusing on the statistical package R. 

Assignments and other graded exercises: Links to problem sets will be added below as they are assigned. 

Announcements will be sent via Sakai. 

Schedule of topics and readings:  

  Topic: Read: Assignment:
Week 1 Introduction: Experimental design G&W chs. 1, 2; McElreath ch. 1  
Week 2 Descriptive statistics and distributions G&W chs. 3, 4; Cohen 1994  
Week 3 Probability; Bayesian inference G&W chs. 5, 6; McElreath ch. 2  
Week 4 Sampling distributions G&W chs. 7, 8; Wagenmakers 2007  
Week 5 Null hypothesis significance testing G&W chs. 9,10; McElreath ch. 3  
Week 6 t-tests G&W ch. 11; Gallistel 2009  
Week 7  One-way analysis of variance G&W chs. 12*, 13 (Introduction to ANOVA); McElreath ch. 4  
Week 8 Multivariate analysis of variance G&W ch. 14 (repeated measures), 15 (Two-factor ANOVA);   
Week 9 Correlation and regression G&W ch. 16 (correlation); 17 (Introduction to regression); McElreath ch. 5  
Week 10  Chi-square etc. G&W ch. 18 (Chi-square); 19 (Binomial)  
Week 11  Bayes factors, AIC and BIC 

McElreath Ch. 6; Masson 2010

Week 12 Presentations    
Week 13  Presentations    



Contact RuCCS

Psychology Building Addition
152 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8020


  • 848-445-1625
  • 848-445-6660
  • 848-445-0635


  • 732-445-6715