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Materials section of a psychology lab report

Saul McLeodpublished 2011 Conducting a piece of research is a requirement for most psychology degree courses. Of course, before you write up the report you have to research human behavior, and collect some data. Final year students often find it difficult to choose a suitable research topic for their psychology lab report, and usually attempt to make things more complicated than they need to be.

Ask you supervisor for advice, but if in doubt, keep it simple, choose a memory experiment you don't get extra marks for originality. Remember to make sure your research in psychology adheres to ethical guidelines. You will also be likely to write your paper according to APA style. If you are researching on private property, such as a shopping mall, you should seek permission.

Unless you are observing public behavior, participants should be volunteers and told what your research is about. If possible obtain informed consent. You should only withhold information if the research cannot be carried out any other way.

Experimentation with animals should only rarely be attempted.

  • Make sure the results are presented clearly and concisely;
  • If you have been using websites then you may have a problem as they might not provide a reference section for you to copy.

You must be trained to handle and care for the animals and ensure that their needs are met food, water, good housing, exercise, gentle handling and protection from disturbance. Naturalistic observation poses fewer problems but still needs careful consideration; the animals may be disturbed especially where they are breeding or caring for young. When conducting investigations, never: Infringement of any ethical guidelines may result in disqualification of the project.

Lab Report Format Title page, abstract, references and appendices are started on separate pages subsections from the main body of the report are not. Use double-line spacing of text, font size 12, and include page numbers. The report should have a thread of argument linking the prediction in the introduction to the content in the discussion. This must indicate what the study is about.

Lab Report Format

It should not be written as a question. The abstract provides a concise and comprehensive summary of a research report. Your style should be brief, but not using note form. Look at examples in journal articles. It should aim to explain very briefly about 150 words the following: What does it all mean? Mention implications of your findings if appropriate.

The purpose of the introduction is to explain where your hypothesis comes from. Two or three studies is sufficient. This means the studies outlined should lead logically into your aims and hypotheses. If your hypothesis is unlikely, why are you testing it? The aims should not appear out of thin air, the preceding review of psychological literature should lead logically into the aims.

Use previously cited research to explain your expectations. Later these expectations are formally stated as the hypotheses. State the alternate hypothesis and make it is clear, concise and includes the variables under investigation. Write in the past tense. Only give enough detail for someone to replicate experiment - be concise in your writing. Name the dependent variables and make sure it's operationalized. Identify any controls used, e.

Say how you obtained your sample e. Give relevant details, e. Describe in sufficient detail to allow for replication of findings. The results section of a paper usually present the descriptive statistics followed by inferential statistics. Avoid interpreting the results save this for the discussion. Make sure the results are presented clearly and concisely. A table can be used to display descriptive statistics if this makes the data easier to understand. DO NOT include any raw data.

The exceptions to this rule: Numbers which can never exceed 1. Percentages and degrees of freedom: Statistical symbols that are not Greek letters should be italicised e. M, SD, t, X2, F, p, d. Include spaces either side of equals sign.

  • Are your results similar or different?
  • Mention implications of your findings if appropriate;
  • Next, copy and paste the APA reference into the reference section of your essay;
  • This provides a few basic points particularly relevant to writing a method in a lab report;
  • It is often good to include information on the statistical power implications of the planned or obtained sample size.

The type of statistical test being used. If you have four to 20 numbers to present, a well-presented table is best, APA style. Clarification of whether no difference or a significant difference was found the direction of the difference only where significant.

The effect size this does not appear on the SPSS output. Are your results similar or different? Acknowledge limitations, but only if they can explain the result obtained. If the study has found a reliable effect be very careful suggesting limitations as you are doubting your results.

How to Write a Lab Report

Unless you can think of any confounding variable that can explain the results instead of the IV, it would be advisable to leave the section out. Say what your findings mean for the way people behave in the materials section of a psychology lab report world.

Perhaps you could base this on a limitation of your study. The reference section is the list of all the sources cited in the essay in alphabetical order.

It is not a bibliography a list of the books you used. In simple terms every time you refer to a name and date of a psychologist you need to reference the original source of the information.

If you have been using textbooks this is easy as the references are usually at the back of the book and you can just copy them down. If you have been using websites then you may have a problem as they might not provide a reference section for you to copy.

References need to be set out APA style: Journal Articles Author, A. Journal Title, volume number issue numberpage numbers A simple way to write your reference section is use Google scholar.

Just type the name and date of the psychologist in the search box and click on the 'cite' link. Next, copy and paste the APA reference into the reference section of your essay.

Once again remember that references need to be in alphabetical order according to surname. How to reference this article: