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Inferential Statistics


Important Note

  • All Semester II bachelor and master psychology courses and examinations (2020-2021) will be offered in an on-line format.

  • If it is safe and possible to do so, supplementary course meetings may be planned on-campus. However, attendance at these meetings will not be required to successfully complete Semester II courses.

  • All obligatory work groups and examinations will be offered on-line during Central European Time, which is local time in the Netherlands.

  • Information on the mode of instruction and the assessment method per course will be offered in Brightspace, considering the possibilities that are available at that moment. The information in Brightspace is leading during the Corona crisis, even if this does not match the information in the Prospectus.

Entry requirements

This course builds on the Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics course, and presupposes the knowledge and skills taught there.


In this course the students’ knowledge of probability theory is refreshed and applied to the statistical tests most frequently used in psychology. The aim is for students to understand the following concepts: sampling distribution; statistical reliability; hypothesis testing; the principles and procedures for the various significance tests. Students learn to select and perform the appropriate test in a given situation.

Course objectives

  • Students will acquire an understanding of the concepts of sampling distribution, statistical reliability and hypothesis testing, as well as the principles and procedures of the various tests of significance.

  • Students will be able to select and perform the appropriate test in a given situation.

  • Students will acquire skills in working with statistical software used for these tests.

A complete list of course objectives for this course is available on Blackboard.


For the timetables of your lectures, work group sessions, and exams, select your study programme. Psychology timetables

Lectures Work group sessions Exams



The Student Services Centre enrolls first-year students in lectures and work groups. However, students must register themselves in exams.
After the first year, students must register themselves in the first year course component they need to repeat: lectures, work groups and exams. A second (or higher) year student who needs only to repeat the SPSS skills test is required to attend the four SPSS work group meetings again. As such, he/she must also register again for these SPSS work groups. Enrolling for workgroups


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the exam date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour lectures, 8 2-hour mandatory tutorial sessions and 8 optional extra tutorial sessions. The lectures will be made available as Weblectures.

The lectures

Each course week begins with a lecture to introduce and explain course material. The lectures also cover additional and new topics that are included in the examination. As preparation for the lectures students are required to study the chapters assigned for that week. The lectures primarily focus on course objectives 1 and 2.

The tutorials

The day after the lecture there is a tutorial session. In preparation for these sessions students have to complete a number of mandatory homework assignments, that will be checked by the teacher at the start. These sessions focus on applying the acquired knowledge in practice. Students also learn to work with SPSS, a software package for statistical data analysis. The material covered in these work group sessions is also included in the examination. Students are required to bring the exercise book to every session. Attendance is mandatory. The tutorials focus on course objectives 1, 2, and 3.

The extra tutorials

In the extra work group sessions at the end of the week students are offered the opportunity to get some further practice in statistical calculations, by hand or using SPSS. All students who would benefit from this extra support are free to attend these sessions.

Assessment method

The assessment consists of two components:
1. A written examination consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions, each with 4 alternatives, covering both theory and statistical calculations from the literature, the work group sessions, and the lectures (Course objectives 1 and 2).
2. An SPSS skills test covering the various aspects of students’ skills in working with SPSS as well as in describing and interpreting statistical output (Course objective 3).

The final grade is a weighted average of the examination grade (70%) and the grade for the SPSS skills test (30%).

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

  • Howell, D.C. (2016). Statistical Methods for Psychology. Leiden edition. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1-4737-2028-2

  • Pallant, J. (2016). SPSS Survival Manual. (6th edition) Berkshire: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-3352-6154-3

  • IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows (Version 25). Released 1012. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp., [].

  • Exercise book Inferential Statistics.

  • Additional materials are provided via Blackboard (including lecture slides, assignments, translated terms, errata, further instructions and explanations, etc).

Contact information

Drs. Sjoerd Huisman
Drs. Kees Verduin (SPSS)