Research Methods 1.4 (Report Writing)

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  • Created by: studyssm
  • Created on: 07-05-16 09:55

Sections and sub-sections of a practical report: (

        Abstract                                                                                                           A summary of the research outlining the aim, method, participants, results and conclusions written at the end when the results have been analysed.

        Introduction                                                                                                       Considers the area of psychology in which the study is located and then focuses on previous research which has been carried out in the same area. This may include conflicting research which the current research aims to clarify or previous research which is being extended. It justifies the current research and identify the aim of the research it will probably end with the alternative and null hypothesis.

        Method (design, sample, materials/apparatus, procedure)                           Includes all the details necessary for someone to be able to carry out exactly the same research in the same conditions. 

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Sections and sub-sections of a practical report: (

Results: Will refer to the raw data and provide verbal summaries and descriptive statistics such as measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion and graphs. The graphs should show easily seen comparisons of the conditions. Inferential statistics will then provide evidence for the acceptance of either the alternative or null hypothesis which will be summarised at the end of the result section.

Discussion: Focuses on what the study has discovered relating it to the research in the introduction. Evaluation and alternative explanations plus suggestions for how to move the research on in terms of improvements or new ideas to pursue.

References: All works cited should be clearly referenced so that the original cases can be found by a reader.

Appendices: These will contain materials, calculations, raw data and anything else that needs to be understood by the reader.

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Citing Academic References

        The Harvard system of referencing e.g. Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioural study of obedience.  Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, (4), 371–378

-          What is important is that every detail is included these include the author, the date of publication, the title, the publisher and where it was published. When referencing an article then the name of the journal in which it was published comes after the article title followed by the volume, issue and page numbers. It is important to reference all internet sites for which you need the URL and date it was accessed. To avoid plagiarism, you must acknowledge any source of information. The references will appear in alphabetical order at the end of the article.

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Peer Review

        The role of the psychological community in validating new knowledge and ensuring integrity through the process of peer review

-          Peer review is the quality assurance process used to assess whether recently completed research has been carried out in an important area in an acceptable manner with the appropriate methodology and what the impact of the findings are. They will evaluate the new research before it can be published (can also be used before a piece of research is undertaken). Not all publications use peer review but the most prestigious ones do. Peer review is important to retain the credibility of new research and ensure validity of publications but it is a lengthy process and not always seen as positive. Reviewers may not pass research if contradicts their own and it may not be able to detect research using false data. However, it does attempt to ensure that only the most relevant research is published.

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