Kasandra Calkins and Stephanie Hammond-Thrasher (University of Alberta)

The use of the R language and environment for statistical computing and graphics has recently increased in the fields of linguistics and psychology. A likely reason for this increase is R’s power and flexibility in handling large datasets, computing complex statistics, and producing customizable, publication-quality plots. Through hands-on experience, this course will provide participants with a step-by-step, basic introduction to using R, which will culminate in the computation of a simple mixed-effects linear regression model. Utilizing a real dataset, participants will learn to load the data, check and transform its format, compute simple descriptive statistics, produce simple plots, and compute a mixed-effects linear model of fixation durations.  Through this process participants will discover typical issues that often arise and simple solutions that will lead to more confident usage of R for statistics and plotting. The skills obtained in this course can be easily transferred to other types of data. There are no prerequisites; however, it would be helpful for participants to bring their own laptop for use in this course.