Unit 01

Unit 1:
Welcome to Statistical Thinking
Unit 1: Assignment #1 (due before 11:59 pm Central on MON JUN 15):

  1. BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS COURSE:
    1. Assess your anxiety about statistics by taking this Statistics Anxiety Self-Assessment.
    2. Assess your attitudes toward statistics by taking this Attitudes Toward Statistics Self-Assessment.
  2. Your textbook for this course is the free (no cost to you) open-access textbook titled, Statistical Thinking for the 21st Century.
    1. The textbook is authored by Dr. Russell A. Poldrack, who is a Psychology Professor at Stanford University.
    2. Whenever you are assigned chapters to read in the textbook, you will always be given a link, here on the Course Website. Clicking that link will take you directly to a PDF of the part of the textbook you are assigned to read to complete that assignment.
  3. To learn what statistics anxiety is and to appreciate the fact that many students taking a Basic Statistics course have statistics anxiety, read from Poldrack’s (2020) textbook Chapter 1, “Introduction: Dealing with Statistics Anxiety.”
  4. Read closely (and thoroughly) the Course Syllabus.
  5. Read How to Email an Instructor.
  6. Copy and paste the contents of the Course Contract into the contents of an email message.
    1. Fill in the blanks of your email message with the information you learned from the Course Syllabus. You will also need to confirm that you have assessed your anxiety about statistics by taking the Statistics Anxiety Self-Assessment and assessed your attitudes toward statistics by taking the Attitudes Toward Statistics Self-Assessment.
    2. Email your completed Course Contract, in the body of an email message, not as an attachment, to your Instructor Chelsea Andrews with the subject of your email message, PSY 210: Course Contract
  7. Your instructor will reply to your PSY 210: Course Contract email message. In her reply message, she will tell you how to complete the last part of Unit 1: Assignment #1, which you must complete.

Unit 1: Assignment #2 (due before 11:59 pm Central on MON JUN 15):

  1. From the Course Syllabus, learn how to take advantage of the Flexibility Accommodation that is built into this course.
  2. From the Course How To:
    1. Learn “How to Control the size of the Display on Your Screen.”
      • Practice adjusting the size of the display on your screen with the Course Website Homepage.
      • You’ll probably want to adjust the size of the display on your screen until the Course Website’s Homepage looks like this image.
    2. Learn “How to Access the Course Website” (and learn that you should bookmark the Course Website’s URL and that you should NOT try to access the course through Learn@UW or directly through Canvas).
    3. If you plan to access the Course Website or Discussion Boards on a smartphone or tablet, learn “How To Work on the Course Using a Mobile Device” (and learn that you should NOT use the Canvas mobile app).
    4. Learn “How to Upload a Photo to your Discussion Board Profile” and upload a picture of yourself to your Discussion Board profile.
      • Be sure to learn that you’ll need to crop your photo to show as much of your face as possible and ONLY your face (not a lot of background and no pets or friends, because they’re not taking this course; you are!).
    5. Learn “How to Turn On or Off Discussion Board Notifications” and set both your Submission Comments (which are comments from your TAs or instructor) and your Discussion Board notifications so that they will be sent to you at your desired frequency.
  3. From the Course How To:
    1. Learn “How to Make a New Discussion Board Post.”
      • Learn that if you compose your post elsewhere and copy/paste it into the text box, you might see extra blank lines (meaning more than one blank line) between your paragraphs. You’ll need to delete those extra blank lines (extra means more than one blank line) before you click “Post.”
      • Learn why it’s important to break each of your Discussion Board posts into multiple paragraphs, by skipping a blank line in between paragraphs (but only one blank line). Learn that a good rule of thumb is no more than three or four sentences per paragraph.
      • Learn that you should always check to make sure that your Discussion Board post appears on the correct Discussion Board. Learn that it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that ALL of your posts appear on the correct Discussion Board.
    2. Learn “How to Edit Your Discussion Board Post.”
      • Learn that in this course you cannot directly edit or delete a previous Discussion Board post.
      • Therefore, learn that BEFORE you post any assignment, you must check and double-check it against the requirements.
      • Learn how to check the URLs you embed in your Discussion Board posts before you click “Post Response” (by right-clicking on the link and selecting “Open in New Tab” or “Open in a New Window”).
      • Learn that if you submit only one part of a multi-part assignment, the part you submit initially is the part that will be considered your initially submitted assignment, even if you submitted that part before the due date or before your assignment was graded.
      • Learn that if you re-post an assignment or add to or otherwise try to correct an assignment (by making a repeated, corrected, or additional post for any assignment), your self-corrected post will be considered a correction (eligible to earn 2 points, but not eligible to earn 3 points) even if you made the correction before the due date or before your assignment was graded.
  4. Learn how to access the transcript of any YouTube video and how to adjust the speed of any YouTube Video.
  5. From each of the following videos, article, and infographics, identify one unique reason why taking a statistics course is important. By unique, we mean different from the others.
    1. To explore the diverse applications of statistics, watch This is Statistics’ (2015) video, “Why You Need to Study Statistics.”
    2. To appreciate why everyone should take a course in statistics, watch This is Statistics’ (2018) video,Statistics is for Everyone.”
    3. To learn from a variety of individuals why statistics are important in their field, watch This is Statistics’ (2017) video, “Statisticians in Other Fields.”
    4. To discover how statistics apply to psychology, read Cherry’s (2019) article, “Why Are Statistics Necessary in Psychology?
    5. To learn what an infographic is and why they are used, read Neidger (2019).
      • To explore the wide variety of careers that use statistics, read the infographic from Andrews (2019) on “Careers that use Statistics.”
      • To learn some ways you can use statistics in your daily life, read the infographic from Andrews (2019) on “Statistics in the Real World.”
  6. Go to the Unit 1: Assignment #2 and #4 Discussion Board and make a new Discussion Board post of at least 200 words. In your post,
    1. tell us your preferred name;
    2. tell us which specific 4 hours on which specific 4 days of the week and which 2 hours on 2 of the other 3 days of the week you will be working on our course (e.g., 12 pm – 4 pm on Mondays, 12 pm – 4 pm on Wednesdays, 12 pm – 4 pm on Fridays, 10 am – 2 pm on Saturdays, 4 pm – 6 pm on Tuesdays, and 4 pm – 6 pm on Thursdays);
    3. tell us why you chose those specific times on those specific days; and
    4. from each video, article, and infographic you watched and read
      • list the one unique reason you identified for why taking a course in statistics is important. Therefore, you should list six unique reasons.
      • When you identify each reason, also tell us which video, article, or infographic it comes from by telling us the author’s name and the date. For example, write “From This Is Statistics’ (2018) video” or “From Cherry’s (2019) article.”
    5. Of the six reasons you identified, tell us which one reason is the most relevant to your life AND why it’s the most relevant to your life.
  7. From the Course How To, learn how to find out which section you are in and find out which section you are in.

Unit 1: Assignment #3 (due before 11:59 pm Central on TUE JUN 16):

  1. To become familiar with the topic of statistical thinking and how it differs from anecdotal evidence:
    1. Learn from Vocaculary.com (no date) the definition of anecdotal.
    2. Learn from Collins Dictionary (no date) the definition of anecdotal evidence.
    3. Read Frost’s (2020) blog post, “Learn How Anecdotal Evidence Can Trick You!” While reading Frost’s blog post, write down
      • four differences between anecdotal evidence and statistical evidence;
      • four reasons why humans are attracted to anecdotal evidence; and
      • one example of anecdotal evidence misleading people.
    4. Read Primer’s (2019) article, “First-Hand Experience Can Be a Double-Edged Sword.” While reading Primer’s article, write down
      • two examples of anecdotal evidence misleading people, and
      • five steps in statistical thinking.
    5. Read an excerpt of Rousseau’s (2017) article, “Anecdotes Versus Data in Public Discourse.” While reading Rousseau’s (2017) article, write down
      • a primary reason why we “make the mistake of overvaluing intuition, anecdote, and personal experience”
    6. Read Shermer’s (2008) article, “How Anecdotal Evidence Can Undermine Scientific Results.” While reading Shermer’s (2008) article, write down
      • three reasons why humans are attracted to anecdotal evidence, and
      • two examples of anecdotal evidence misleading people.
  2. To understand how statistical thinking differs from intuition:
    1. Learn from Collins Dictionary (no date) the definition of intuition.
    2. Learn from Vocabulary.com (no date) the definition of intuition.
    3. Read Poldrack’s (2020) Chapter 1 “Introduction: What is Statistical Thinking.” While reading Poldrack’s (2020) chapter, write down
      • two features of statistical thinking, and
      • one example of intuition misleading people.
  3. Teach three separate people you know (roommates, friends, family and the like) about statistical thinking, what it is, and how it differs from intuition and anecdotal evidence.
    1. You can teach each person via email, phone, text, Facebook, Skype, in person, or any other communication medium. But you must teach three separate people, at three separate times.
    2. When you are teaching these three different people about statistical thinking, be sure to provide ALL the information you have learned about the difference between statistical thinking versus anecdotal evidence and intuition, including definitions and examples.
    3. To make sure that each of the three people has learned the difference between statistical thinking versus intuition and anecdotal evidence, ask each person to tell you
      • their definition of statistical thinking, anecdotal evidence, and intuition;
      • their favorite reason why intuition or anecdotal evidence misleads people;
      • an example from their own life (one that you did not tell them) that demonstrates the difference between statistical thinking versus intuition and anecdotal evidence
  4. Go to the Unit 1: Assignment #3 Discussion Board and make a new Discussion Board post of at least 200 words in which you do the following:
    1. Identify the medium you used to teach the three persons (email, phone, text, Facebook, Skype, in person, etc.
    2. State each of the three persons’ 3 letter initials of their name (e.g. CMA); if the person doesn’t have three names, use X for the initial of their middle name (e.g., CXA).
    3. State each person’s approximate age.
    4. Report each person’s
      • definition of statistical thinking, anecdotal evidence, and intuition;
      • favorite reason why intuition or anecdotal evidence misleads people;
      • example from their own life (one that you did not tell them) that demonstrates the difference between statistical thinking versus intuition and anecdotal evidence.
    5. Remember to break your post into multiple paragraphs, by skipping a blank line in between paragraphs (but only one blank line). Remember that a good rule of thumb is no more than three or four sentences per paragraph

Unit 1: Assignment #4 (due before 11:59 pm Central on TUE JUN 16):

  1. From the Course How To, learn how to make a reply to a Discussion Board post.
  2. From the Course Syllabus, review “What’s the best way to respond to another student’s Discussion Board post?” Remember that your responses to other students should always include at least two of the four recommended components.
  3. Go to the Unit 1: Assignment #2 and #4 Discussion Board and read your Instructor’s and TAs’ posts and then read ALL the other students’ posts. Then, make a response (a reply) to three other students’ posts.
    1. Each of your three responses must be at least 200 words and
      • one response must be to a student whose “most relevant” reason is the most similar to the reason you chose for why statistics is important;
      • one response must be to a student whose “most relevant” reason is least similar to the reason you chose; and
      • one response can be to any other student
    2. If three other students have not yet posted on the Unit 1: Assignment #2 and #4 Discussion Board, you will need to wait until they do.

Unit 1: Assignment #5 (due before 11:59 pm Central on WED JUN 17):

  1. Read, then download and save to your computer, the Course Journal Instructions
    1. Create your Course Journal entry for Unit 1.
    2. Remember that each of your Course Journal entries must
      • list two specific things you have learned during the Unit;
      • summarize in at least 100 words what you have learned about each of those two things; and
      • discuss in at least 100 words how you will apply to your life or the life of someone you know what you have learned about each of those two things.
    3. Name your Unit 1 Course Journal entry YourLastname_PSY-210_CourseJournal_01.xxx where xxx is .pdf, .jpg, .wav, BUT NOT .docx, .pages, .pptx

  2. Go to Unit 1: Assignment #5 and upload your Course Journal entry for Unit 1. The Unit 1: Assignment #5 link is an Assignment link, rather than a Discussion Board link, so it will look a bit different than the other submission links you’ve seen in this course so far.
    1. Click “Choose File” to attach/upload your Course Journal entry file.
    2. Immediately after submitting your assignment, check to make sure that your uploaded file opens correctly.

Congratulations, you have finished Unit 1! Onward to Unit 2!