PSY 230: Introduction to Statistics

  • CANVAS - Maricopa ID and password

  • EBOOK - Password and username: mcc

The Department of Psychological Science at MCC requires that all students who take PSY 230 must also be enrolled in one credit of PSY 231 with the same instructor, concurrently. The laboratory for statistics will focus largely on reinforcing statistical concepts through computer applications and project-based work. On this page you will find resources to support you in your lab and lecture experiences.


Have you ever heard the phrase, "The last one to know that it's wet is the fish"? What??? Makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If the fish has spent its entire life under water, the only thing that it knows is "wet." It doesn't know what "dry" feels like. And without another experience to compare and contrast with its own, the fish doesn't really understand wet, it only understands what has always been, what is, and what may always be. Only when the fish jumps out of the bowl can it truly appreciate the place from which it came.

man floating in fish bowl

This is really a valuable metaphor to think about--particularly when it comes to psychology. Very few of us have the opportunity to "jump out of the bowl." That is, to consider other perspectives, and compare and contrast those with our own. Most of us, myself included, do not find this an easy path. When it comes to making decisions, human beings have a strong tendency to trust in gut instincts, anecdotal evidence provided by friends and even our own poorly-designed, personal experiments in life. The careful application of statistics provides us with frequently more valid and reliable understandings of the world around us.

Part of the challenge of studying statistics and thinking like a scientist is to use our understanding of the world to connect with important psychological theories, BUT THEN move beyond our assumptions and prejudices using statistical models designed to eliminate as much error from our decision-making as possible. In fact, statistics is one of the best ways for us to answer the all-important question: HOW DO YOU KNOW? Dealing with this question is something that you will become more and more comfortable with as you move through this course. During your study of statistics, you will come to realize that it is only after you have jumped out of the bowl that you are better able to wrestle with questions like, "How do you know?"


  • Corequisites: You must be enrolled in one of my PSY 231 (Statistics Lab) sections concurrent with your enrollment in PSY 230.
  • Prerequisites: Successful completion of a course in college-level algebra (MAT 092) or higher or equivalent test scores. Though PSY 101 is listed as a pre-req, this is misleading. A PSY 101 course provides little (if any) extra preparation for a course in introductory statistics.
  • Calculator: Need calculator that will calculate descriptive statistics like averages and standard deviations. Don’t need overly fancy calculator (i.e., T I-83); simple scientific one ($12 - $15 at the bookstore) will work fine. Check with me. Can use calculator during exams.
  • USB Stick or Cloud Storage: You are required to have a storage device by the THIRD LAB. Failure to meet this requirement will result in a lab penalty.

Student Email

You will need a student email account so that your instructor can communicate with you regarding course work and performance in this class. This is available to all MCC students at no charge. Contact your instructor through your Maricopa email or through Canvas. Emails from accounts other than Maricopa (Yahoo, msn, Hotmail) may go into spam and be deleted immediately.

Recommendations For Success

It's no secret that this can be a challenging class. For every hour you spend in class, you should spend at least two (2) hours outside of class studying the material and completing your assignments. For example, if you take a class one (1) hour a day, three days a week, you should devote at least 6 hours a week outside of class.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

Our goal at MCC is to excel in teaching and learning. We are here to empower individuals to succeed in their local and global community. As part of this commitment, Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (iSLOs) have been created with the goal of embedding educational experiences in all MCC courses. ISLOs are skills and knowledge students attain through courses and experiences. Students who complete a degree, program or certificate will know they leave MCC with these skills or knowledge. MCC’s iSLOs are known as MCC’s 4Cs. They are Critical Thinking, Communication, Civic Engagement, and Cultural and Global Engagement. The iSLOs embedded into this course are Critical Thinking and Communication. Visit Student Learning Outcomes for more information.

F1 Students

If you are an F-1 student, I'm so glad that you're in my class! You bring diversity and a world perspective to the classroom, and that helps me to fulfill one of MCC's student outcomes: Cultural and Global Engagement. Please know that you must adhere to the attendance policy that is set for this class and is listed in this syllabus. If you are withdrawn by me for the class for non-attendance, I will not place you back into the class. If you earn a W or Y (for non-attendance) and this brings you below the required 12 credits that you need to maintain your F-1 status in the USA, I will not change your grade to an F. You are given the grade that you earn. If you fall out of status, you can go through a process called "F-1 Reinstatement" with the International Education (IE) Office located in Building 36N. IE regularly sends you messages to your MCC email regarding immigration matters. Be sure to check it regularly! They also check attendance reports for all F-1 students on a weekly basis. You are here in the USA to be a student on your F-1 full time study visa, and we'll help you to maintain that status.

The following constitute the only acceptable excuses for missing lecture/lab and missing lab/homework with no penalty.

  1. Medical/illness
  2. Death in family
  3. Official MCC Activity
  4. Military or civic (e.g., jury duty) commitment
  5. Religious observances

No other excuse is acceptable for missed/late attendance/lab/homework. No exceptions. I understand that other important, significant events can keep you from on-time, schoolwork submission. I encourage you to earn extra points to make up for points missed due to unexcused submission failures. See later section in this syllabus.

About The Exams

Four MULTIPLE CHOICE exams. An exam will be given in class after each module of the course and will cover material only from that part of the course. The first three module exams are each worth 50 points. The exam for the fourth module (i.e., the final exam for the course) will be worth 100 points, though it is not cumulative. These four exams comprise all of the major testing for this class. Other smaller quizzes may be incorporated into the class.

You will be responsible for knowing all of the textbook material for each chapter covered in each exam.

  • Module 1 Exam: For the Module 1 Exam, you will not be allowed the use of any notes during the exam.
  • Modules 2, 3 and 4 Exams: The Module 2, 3 and 4 Exams are divided into two parts: 1) CONCEPTUAL, and 2) CALCULATION. The conceptual part is closed-book, closed-note. For the calculation part,  you will be allowed to use a single, 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper, on which you may have only your hand-written notes You will be responsible for including formulas on your note paper, as I will not be handing these out during the test. The Exam Reviews (located in the Downloads section of this syllabus) provide you with a guide as to what should be included on your note paper.
  • Tables: For exam problems requiring the use of statistical  tables, you may use the tables in the back of your Instructional Manual.
  • Time: You will have an entire class period to complete each of the exams for Modules 1 and 2. For Modules 3 and 4, you will have extra time to complete exams.

About Your Exam Gear

  • You may have one 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper with hand-written notes (front and back) for the calculation part of Exams 2, 3 and 4.
  • You will be allowed to use your calculator for the exams. You will NOT be allowed to use a mobile device.
  • You will need a pencil and a thin, green Scantron form.

Points for lecture and lab are combined into a single class grade that will become your grade for both PSY230 and PSY231. In other words, you will receive the same grade for lecture and lab. Here is how it will work.

There are 360 points possible for lecture (PSY230): exams (250 pts.), attendance (50 pts.), homework (60 pts.)

Each lab (PSY231) will be worth a total of 4 points. We have about 30 labs during the semester. This means that you will have a total of about 120 points possible for lab.

This means that there will be about 480 points possible for both lab and lecture. As you can see, lab points will make up about ¼ of the total and lecture points will make up about ¾ of the total. These proportions correspond with the credit hours assigned to lab (1 credit) and lecture (3 credits), such that the weighting of the points is appropriate.

Grades will be based on percentage of total points earned during the semester and assigned as per the following: A (90-100%), B (80-89%), C (70-79%), D (60-69%), F (0-59%)

Academic Integrity

Academic misconduct and dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, excessive absences, use of abusive or profane language, and disruptive and/or threatening behavior.  All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Chair of the Department of Psychological Science and other appropriate authorities.  Students displaying acts of academic dishonesty are subject to grade adjustment, course failure, probation, suspension, or expulsion.  See the student handbook for more information regarding cases of academic misconduct.


Academic Support

  • PIRC Lab Tutoring Center (MCC @ Southern & Dobson)
    The Psychological Science Department maintains it's own tutoring center within the Psychology Instructional Resource Center (PIRC). Tutoring focuses primarily on Introduction to Statistics, Research Methods, and Introductory Psychology. The PIRC is located in Building AD 42. Check with the PIRC to get the most current tutoring schecule.
    P: 480-461-7888
  • Learning Enhancement Center (MCC @ Red Mountain)
    Many students find that college coursework provides new academic challenges. Students who wish to deepen their understanding of course concepts, extend their skills, and improve their performance in their course(s) are encouraged to use the free tutoring and other support services in the Learning Enhancement Center. The LEC is located on the 1st floor of the Desert Willow Building.
    P: 480-654-7735
  • Writing Center (MCC @ Southern & Dobson) 
    The Writing Center provides one-on-one appointments to help students during any phase of the writing process: brainstorming, prewriting, researching, drafting, and revising. The Writing Center is located on the 1st floor of the Elsner Library.
    P: 480-461-7513

Disability Services

If you have a documented disability, including a learning disability, and would like to discuss possible accommodations, please contact the MCC Disabilities Resources and Services Office at 480-461-7447 or email

To ensure equal access, all required course materials provided in web links are expected to meet AA Standard of Compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.   All internal and external course links should be evaluated by the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool.  Course materials are expected to be in compliance, or an alternative option provided upon the student’s request.

Students with disabilities must have an equally effective and equivalent educational opportunity as those students without disabilities.  Students experiencing difficulty accessing course materials because of a disability are expected to contact the course instructor so that a solution can be found that provides all students equal access to course materials and technology.

Information for Pregnant or Parenting Students: If you are a pregnant or parenting student you are protected under Title IX regarding classroom accommodations.  Please request your accommodations through the MCC Disabilities Resources and Services Office at 480-461-7447 or email

Early Alert (EARS)

Mesa Community College is committed to the success of all our students.  MCC has adopted an Early Alert Referral System (EARS) to aid students in their educational pursuits.  Faculty and Staff participate by referring students to campus services for added support.  Students may receive a follow up call from various campus services as a result of being referred to EARS.  Students are encouraged to participate, but these services are optional.

Below are links to homework activities and answer keys. Keep in mind that each of the answer sheets provides only about half of the answers for the homework. There are four parts to each homework assignment: 1) work through problems, 2) check your work, 3) revise your work, 4)submit your work. Due Dates and other details listed in syllabus.


Algebra Review

Basic Terms

Frequency & Graphing


Central Tendency




Normal Curve

Hypothesis Testing

One Sample t-Test


Two Sample t-Tests


Correlation & Regression


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