This crash course in statistical testing consists of 6 lectures, 6 practicals + assignment, and an exam.
During the practicals, you will encounter many of the tests and principles discussed in the lectures and learn how to use SPSS. To pass this course (i.e., receive the credits) you need to hand in all assignments and pass the final exam.


  1. Acquire basic knowledge of statistical theory and testing
  2. Choose appropriate statistical tests given hypotheses and data
  3. Interpreting statistical output / results

Lecture 1: Basics: e.g. measurement levels, descriptive statistics, formulating hypotheses, essence of testing, power, Type I error, analysis of contingency tables (cross tabs)
                 Field: Chapters 1, 2, 5, 18.1-18.5
Lecture 2: Correlation, regression, logistic regression
                 Field: Chapters 6.1-6.5.3, 6.6-6.9, 7, 8
Lecture 3: Tests for mean differences: between subjects design (Mann-Whitney, Kruskall-Wallis,
                 t-test, ANOVA)
                 Field: Chapters 9.1-9.3, 9.5, 10, 15.1-15.3, 15.5
Lecture 4: Tests for mean differences: within subjects design (Wilcoxon, Friedman, paired t-test, repeated measures ANOVA)
                 Field: Chapters 9.4, 9.6-9.8, 13, 15.4, 15.6
Lecture 5: Multi-level Modeling
                 Field: Chapter 19
                 Aarts et al., 2014 Nat Neuroscience; doi:10.1038/nn.3648
Lecture 6: Power in Neuroscience research
                 Button et al. 2013 Nature Reviews Neuroscience; doi:10.1038/nrn3475
                 Krzywinski & Altman, 2013 Nat Methods; doi:10.1038/nmeth.2738
                 Ioannidis 2005 PLoS Medicine; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124
                 Tsilidis et al 2013 PLoS Biology; doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001609

Desired background level of participants
In this course, the book of Andy Field Discovering Statistics using SPSS (2009) (or newer edition; to be decided) will be used.

Difference between PhD- and master-course
Not applicable

Duration of the course / ECTS
100 hrs / 3,6 ECTS. (P.S. This course counts in the category “extra courses.”)

Maximum number of participants

Dr. S. Sniekers
Dr. S. Sniekers, Dr. S. van der Sluis and Dr. S. Stringer

Schedule course

 Date  Lecture (11.00-12.45)  Practical (13.30-15.15) Exam (10.00-13.00)
 February 21  WN-F630  WN-S209  
 February 28  WN-F630  WN-S209  
 March 7  WN-F630  WN-S209  
 March 14  WN-F630  WN-S209  
 March 21  WN-F630  WN-S209  
 March 28  WN-F630  WN-S209  
 April 11      HG-08A33

Registration through
Els Borghols (els.borghols@vu.nl)