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Experimental Psychology PSY 433. APA Format Reports: Results, Discussion, References. Exam on Thursday. Based on the textbook: Covers all chapters and pages noted on syllabus (Ch 1-5 plus Appendix A & pgs noted) No questions from labs No questions on APA format details

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experimental psychology psy 433

Experimental PsychologyPSY 433

APA Format Reports:

Results, Discussion, References

exam on thursday
Exam on Thursday
  • Based on the textbook:
    • Covers all chapters and pages noted on syllabus (Ch 1-5 plus Appendix A & pgs noted)
    • No questions from labs
    • No questions on APA format details
  • Powerpoints provide an outline of what I considered important enough to discuss in class – not a substitute for reading the book.
projects due in this course
Projects Due in This Course
  • Proposal – similar to the kinds of proposals submitted to granting agencies.
    • Contains parts of a full APA report plus extra info needed by the agency.
    • Written in future tense.
  • Final Report – similar to the manuscripts submitted to journals for publication.
    • Written in APA format.
    • Written in past tense because it describes what happened.
contents of proposal
Contents of Proposal
  • Required for the assignment due 5/10:
    • Title Page
    • Introduction
    • Methods (written in future tense)
    • References
  • Proposals to granting agencies also include:
    • Bios of the researchers
    • Budgets and performance timetables
    • Lots of forms
goals of a research proposal
Goals of a Research Proposal
  • Convince the reader that the question is important and needs to be explored.
  • Convince the reader that you are qualified to do the research (not part of the class project).
  • Describe what research has occurred previously and what the competing theories are.
  • Describe your plan for research in detail.
  • Demonstrate that you have the resources to carry out the plan.
  • Start by stating your research question.
    • Be specific, no general introductory remarks.
  • Next, review the literature by summarizing previous research.
    • At least 5 peer-reviewed sources required.
    • Do not describe each article sequentially – give an overview emphasizing what they found out.
  • Conclude with an overview of your study and a prediction about the outcome of your own study stated in terms of theory.
  • Include subsections (with subheads), as described in the APA Manual:
    • Subjects (participants)
    • Materials or apparatus (describe computer, your stimuli, any questionnaires).
    • Procedures
      • Describe design
      • Tell what happened to the subject in chronological order
      • Leave out things that happen in every experiment
goals of the final report
Goals of the Final Report
  • Communicate to the scientific community.
    • Clearly describe your project in sufficient detail to permit replication.
  • Convince readers that your findings support your conclusions.
    • How strong is the evidence?
    • Does it justify your statements about theory?
  • Summarize your contribution to the ongoing debate on an important question.
    • Pay special attention to your abstract!
contents of final report
Contents of Final Report
  • Must contain all sections listed in the APA Publication Manual, including:
    • Title page
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • References
    • Tables and Figures
you are telling a story
You Are Telling a Story
  • Introduction -- state your research question, review the literature, make your predictions (hypotheses).
  • Methods – describe how you explored the question in sufficient detail to permit replication.
  • Results – describe your findings and test your hypotheses using statistics.
  • Discussion – analyze your results and put them back into the context of your question.
  • This may be the only part of your paper that most people read, so make it count!
  • Write this last.
  • Tell the story of your study, with one sentence per report section.
  • Do not exceed 120 words.
use of tenses
Use of Tenses
  • For the final report, revise the sections that were written for your proposal because they will be graded again.
  • Your proposal was written in the future tense (e.g., “subjects will…”), but for the final report…
    • Put the Methods section in the past tense.
    • Report your results in the past tense.
reporting results
Reporting Results
  • Only include the results that are relevant to your research question, not all data collected.
  • Go from the general to the specific.
  • Provide tables for:
    • Multiple analyses.
    • Complex experiments (factorial designs).
    • ANOVA
  • Organize your results section around your hypotheses, testing one at a time.
describing data
Describing Data
  • Don’t forget to include descriptive statistics (means, SDs).
  • “The mean number of words recalled was calculated for each group. The means and the standard deviations for each group are shown in Figure 1.”
  • “Recall was higher for the drug group (M = 15, SD = 5.43) than for the placebo group (M = 10, SD = 4.98).”
reporting inferential statistics
Reporting Inferential Statistics
  • “The data were analyzed using an independent t-test. The t-test showed no significant difference between the mean of the placebo group and the mean of the drug group, t(34) = 1.35, p = .782.
  • “Using one-way ANOVA, gender differences were found to be significant, with females scoring higher on the average than males, F(1, 23) = 23.89, p =.025.”
  • Show more complex analyses in a table.
report exact p values
Report Exact p-Values
  • The old approach simply tested results against a standard of p<.05 by looking up the critical value in a table.
    • Significance was an all-or-nothing judgment.
    • Only the critical value (cutoff) was known, not the exact p-value for your statistic.
  • Today, SPSS gives exact p-values for every result. Report those exact values (p=.031).
  • NEVER report p > .05 for a non-significant result. It implies use of p > .05 as a standard.
ethics of reporting statistics
Ethics of Reporting Statistics
  • Don’t change your hypotheses (prediction) to fit what you actually discovered. Instead say you were surprised by your results.
  • Decide how many subjects to test in advance.
    • Don’t stop collecting data because you already have significant results.
    • Don’t add more subjects because your results are almost significant and would become so with a few more subjects.
    • State your reason for ending data collection.
avoid p hacking
Avoid “p-Hacking”
  • p-hacking is the practice of trying different approaches to data analysis until you find one that gives significant results. It is unethical.
  • Collect at least 20 observations per condition.
  • Report all experimental conditions, even failed manipulations (studies that didn’t work).
  • List all variables collected in a study, even if they are not analyzed in your paper.
  • If there is any doubt, report results with and without excluded subjects, covariates.
changes in reporting
Changes in Reporting
  • The internet is making possible different approaches to report writing.
  • Because journals are no longer limited in space, authors can supply complete data sets, stimuli (materials) and alternative analyses.
    • This represents a movement toward greater transparency.
  • Exact, not conceptual replications are needed results are marginal.
  • Format varies depending on the type of material being referenced (e.g., book, article, web site).
  • Only list the sources actually mentioned in the text of your report.
    • Everything listed in the references must be cited in text
    • Everything cited in text must be listed in the references.
  • When you mention a source referenced in another paper say: “as cited by…” and cite the source you actually read, not the original quoted by someone else.
tables and figures
Tables and Figures
  • Tables go first – always use APA format.
  • Tables contain numbers or words.
  • Figures are pictures and typically present graphs of data, sample stimuli, equipment setup, diagrams of experiment flow, flowcharts of cognitive processes or diagrams of theoretical models.
  • Tables have titles that go at the top. Figures have captions that go at the bottom.
  • Include at least 1 of each in your final report.
  • First, state what you discovered during your experiment.
    • Do not repeat results but interpret them and state whether your hypotheses were confirmed.
  • Tell whether your findings are consistent with what others have found.
  • Describe any threats to validity and problems with your experiment (confounds, bias, limitations of generalizability, problems).
  • Conclusion – what are the consequences?