# Research methods 2- Study One Methods, Results, and Discussion

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Purpose of Paper II: Study One Methods, Results, and Discussion

1). Psychological Purpose

The psychological purpose behind Paper II is to make sure you can tell your reader what

you did on your study, how you did it, and what you found. By now you have read several

empirical studies in psychology, and you should be familiar with the Methods, Results, and

Discussion sections. Now is your chance to write Methods, Results and Discussion!

Like those prior studies you looked at in Paper I, you will provide information about your

participants, materials, and procedure in your Methods section. Your participant section

goes first, and it includes descriptive statistics about your sample (means and standard

deviations for age as well as percentages for gender and race/ethnicity). Your materials and

procedure sections include information about what you did and how you did it. You should

write this section for an audience who is unfamiliar with your specific study, but assume

that they do know research methods. Thus educate your reader about your materials and

procedure, giving enough detail so they could replicate the study. This includes explicitly

describing your independent and dependent variables and talking about how you presented

those variables to your participants. My suggestion is to look over the articles you

summarized in Paper I and see how they wrote their Methods. This will give you a good

idea regarding the level of depth and detail you need in your own Methods section.

Your Results section follows. The purpose of this section is to make sure you can show

how you analyzed the data and describe what you found. You will have a lot of help in this

section from your lab instructors.

Finally, I want you to include a short description of your findings. Tell me if you supported

or did not support your hypotheses and explain why you got those results (you can actually

speculate here if you like, but make it an “educated” speculation!)

2). APA Formatting Purpose

The second purpose of Paper II: Methods, Results and Discussion is to once again teach

you proper American Psychological Association (APA) formatting for these sections. In

the pages below, I will tell you how to format your paper using APA style. There are a lot

of very specific requirements in APA papers (as specific as what to italicize), so pay

attention to the instructions below as well as Chapter 14 in your textbook!

3). Writing Purpose

Finally, this paper is intended to help you figure out how to write a Methods, Results, and

Discussion section. Many students find statistics daunting, but my hope here is that writing

this paper will help you understand both the logic and format of statistics in results

sections. We will once again give you a lot of feedback and help in this paper, which you

help you when you write Papers IV and V later in the course. Make sure that you write this

PAPER II: METHODS AND RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS

3

for an audience familiar with APA methods and results, but also for someone who needs

you to tell them what you found.

Note: The plagiarism limit is higher in this paper (up to 65%) since your classmates are doing the

same design. Don’t go higher than that, though! 65% is the maximum allowed!

Sorry for the length of the instructions! They are long, but take it one section at a time and you will

get all of the content you need in your paper and get a great grade!

PAPER II: METHODS AND RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS

4

Methods

1. Title Page: I expect the following format

(1 point)

:

a. The title page for your Paper II is identical to the one you used for Paper I:

Literature Review Study One. For proper APA formatting, either copy your title

page from Paper I or review the title page instructions I gave you in Paper I. You

can change your title if you like, but make sure it helps to describe your study

(much like a title in PsycInfo describes what the authors did in their paper)

2. Abstract?

a. You DO NOT need an abstract for Paper II: Methods, Results, and Discussion

(Study One). You cannot write it until you run both study one and two, so omit it

for now

3. Methods Section: I expect the following format

(15 points)

:

a. For this paper, the methods section starts on page 2.

b. Write

Method

at the top of this page, make it bold, and center it (see the top of this

page as an example!)

c. The participants section comes next. The word

Participants

is bolded and left

justified. In this section …

i. Tell me who your participants were (college students, family members,

friends?) and how many there were.

1. Note: If a number starts a sentence, then spell out the number. That

is, “Two-hundred and five participants participated in this study.”

2. If a number is mid-sentence, you can use numerals. “There were 205

participants in this study.”

3. But keep numbers consistent. If you spell out a number at the start of

the sentence, carry that through and spell out other numbers in the

sentence.

4. For statistics, always use numbers (for the mean, SD, %, etc.)

ii. Provide frequencies and descriptive statistics for relevant demographics.

1. For some variables—like ethnicity and gender—you only need to

provide frequency information (the number of participants who fit

that category). “There were 100 men (49%) and 105 women (51%)

in the study.” Or “The sample was 49% male (

N

= 100) and 51%

female (

N

= 105).”

2. Other variables—like age—are continuous (rather than categorical),

so use descriptive statistics here (the range, mean, and the standard

deviation). “Participants ranged in age from 18 to 77 (

M

= 24,

SD

=

3.50).” or “The average age of participants was 24 (

SD

= 3.50).”

Your TA can help you find the mean and standard deviation for this

assignment, though information is also available in a lab powerpoint.

3. Make sure to italicize the

N

,

M

, and

SD

(the letters, not the numbers)

d.

Materials and Procedure

i. For this section, things are flexible. Some studies include Materials and

Procedure in the same section while others break them up into two sections.

This is a matter of choice.

PAPER II: METHODS AND RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS

5

1. In general, the more complex the design, the better it is to split up

the methods and results. In one section, the author may describe the

materials; in the next, they describe what participants did with those

materials (the procedure). This is one option for you. However …

2. However, your “Paper II: Methods, Results and Discussion (Study

One)” is simple enough that I strongly recommend combining them

into

one

overall Materials and Procedure section.

ii. Again, the words

Materials and

Procedure

are flush left. In this section …

1. Provide information about your materials and your procedure.

a. I suggest starting with your procedure. Tell your reader what

your participants did in the order participants did them. Be

specific here. I have the following recommendations:

i. First, talk about the oral informed consent procedure.

ii. Second, talk about the three versions of the Selfie

study questionnaire. Provide enough detail so that

your readers know how the three conditions differ. As

a reader, I need to able to replicate your design, so

you need to give me enough detail so I can do so.

(Hint: Copy and paste the various questions or refer

the reader to an appendix that has those materials!)

1. I want to stress that – pretend I have no idea

what you did, but I want to repeat your design

and procedures. That means you need to be

VERY clear and detailed about what you did

and how you did it.

2. At the end of the semester (for Paper V),

someone other than your instructor / TA may

grade your paper. They may know NOTHING

about your topic, though they do know

methods. Thus go into painstaking detail about

what EACH section of the survey page looked

like, including the participant instructions and

the pictures

iii. Third, talk about your dependent variables (that is,

your survey questions. For these dependent variables,

once again provide enough detail so I know exactly

what questions you asked. For example, “Participants

provided their gender, age, and race”. For other

dependent variables, tell me how the responses were

recorded (yes/no, true/false, a scale of 1 to 6, etc.). If

you used a scale, note the endpoints. That is, does a 1

mean it is high or is it low? “Participants were asked,

‘How frustrating was this task?’, and they responded

on a scale from 1 (very frustrating) to 9 (not at all

frustrating).’” Your study has a few really important

DVs (including several DVs about their impressions

of Emma Wood, the Instagram user, on elements of

how frequently she changes her picture / posts to

PAPER II: METHODS AND RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS

6

Instagram and how narcissistic, egotistical, self-

absorbed, or selfish she is). For these DVs, you again

need to tell me what they are specifically!

iv. Fourth, make sure to highlight which specific DVs

you analyzed. If there are DVs participants completed

but you did not analyze it, feel free to say those that

participants completed them but since they were not

analyzed, they are not discussed further.

v. Finally, make sure to be specific about your attention

/ manipulation check question!

vi. Finally, mention debriefing

e. There is no set minimum or maximum on the length of the methods section, but I

would expect at least a page or two (though probably more. After all, your own

research script took up several pages – you should provide a similar level of depth

and detail in your methods section!). Missing important aspects of your IVs and

DVs or presenting them in a confused manner will lower your score in this section.

f. Remember, make sure that another researcher can replicate your study based on

your methods section. If they can’t, then you may not have enough detail!

4. Results Section: I expect the following format

(10 points)

:

a. The results are the hardest part of this paper, and your lab powerpoints will help

you with this part of the paper (also refer to the crash course statistics quizzes,

which walk you through similar analyses!).

b. First, write

Results

at the top of this section, center it, and use boldface. This

section comes directly at the end of the methods section, so the results section

DOES NOT start on its own page.

c. For this assignment, include statistics about the most important variables in your

study, including your IV (Photo Condition – Selfie, Groupie, and Professional) and

the DVs you feel are most important to your hypotheses. I require you look at ONE

dependent variable from Part I of the survey (either Question #2 or Question #3)

ONE dependent variable from Part II (either narcissistic, self-absorbed, selfish, or

egotistical). All of these variables really focus on your predictions. Note that some

instructors may not do this Selfie study at all, but the results section should follow

the same guidelines regardless of your study topic.

d. More specifically,

you must run at least three different analyses on three

different dependent variables

. One must be a chi square for the question asking

participants which to recall the theme of the advertisements (our manipulation

check, which looks at the three options for the nominal variable in Part V). At least

one of the remaining two analyses must be a One Way ANOVA (I actually

recommend that both of your last two analyses focus on One Way ANOVAs). The

third analysis can be either an ANOVA or a

t

-Test. Questions #2 and #3 in Part I

have a nice scale to them (0 to 5), so an ANOVA or t-Test are good for both. The

four traits in Part II use a 0 to 5 scale as well, so an ANOVA and t-Test are good for

those, too. Now, you could run an ANOVA on the question “Emma seems selfish”

OR you could run a

t

-Test on the question “Emma seems selfish”, but because it is

the same dependent variable, that only counts as one DV. We count the number of

DVs you analyze – NOT the number of statistical tests you run!

i.

Chi square

: Your first analysis will be a chi square, which you use if your

DV is categorical (yes / no; yes / no / maybe; male / female, or … in our

PAPER II: METHODS AND RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS

7

case, we have our “Theme” based questions in Part IV (The photo was a

selfie, groupie, or professional photo). So let’s discuss the chi square, which

does not look at means but rather counts how many responses there are

compared to how many you would expect.

1. Consider the DV in Part VI of your questionnaire – “Which of the

following BEST describes Emma’s A, B, and C photo options?

(

Mark one with an X

)” The options were selfie, groupie, or

professional. Here, you can run a chi square looking at the

frequencies of the three answer options

2. We are interested in the chi square (

χ

2

) and

p

value. We also provide

percentages for each of our groups (rather than means and

SD

).

a. “Using the photo condition as our independent variable

(selfie, groupie, or professional) and the photo participants

recalled seeing as the dependent variable, we saw a

significant effect,

χ

2

(4) = 68.49,

p

< .001. Most participants

in the selfie condition recalled selfies (98%); most

participants in the groupie condition recalled seeing groupies

(96%); and most participants in professional photo condition

recalled seeing professional photos (90%). This indicates that

participants saw our manipulation as intended.”

b. Alternatively, you can just look at correct versus incorrect

responses. This is a bit trickier to run in SPSS, since you

need to add up all those who correctly remembered the ad

(those in the selfie condition who recalled selfies + those in

the groupie condition who recalled groupies + those in the

professional condition who recalled professional photos) and

compare them to people who recalled an incorrect photo. In

this instance, you wouldn’t want the chi square to be

significant. That is, you might conclude that

χ

2

(4) = 1.49,

p

>

.05, indicating that there was no difference between those

who got the photo correct across the three different

conditions. (In other words, participants weren’t more correct

in one condition compared to another). My advice is to go

with the chi square in a. above

c. Make sure to italicize the

χ

and

p

ii.

ANOVA

: Since you have a condition independent variable with three levels

(e.g. Selfie, Groupie, or Professional), the most appropriate test is a One-

Way ANOVA if your DV is scaled (like a 0 to 5 scale or a 1 to 5 scale).

Your lab and lecture powerpoints show you how to conduct an ANOVA, but

there are some guidelines I want to give you about how to write your results.

Below, I am going to walk you through one analysis specific to this paper.

However, keep in mind that you can run ANOVAs on several different DVs.

1. First, there are several dependent variables to choose from. For my

example analysis below, I want to focus on Part II in your survey

(impressions of Emma Wood). Since each of the ten questions

(especially the four we mention in our predictions) in Part II are

scaled variables that range from 0 to 5, each uses an interval scale,

PAPER II: METHODS AND RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS

8

which is perfect for an ANOVA. However, I want you to look at

either Question #2 or #3 in Part I as well

2. Second, given that this study has one IV with three levels and one

DV that is on a continuous (ratio or interval) scale, a One-Way

ANOVA is the best test to use to see if there are significant

differences among the levels. We look first at the ANOVA table (or

F

table) and focus on the between subject factor. We note the

degrees of freedom, the

F

value itself, and the

p

value. (We’ll get

into two-way ANOVAs later in this course, but here we only have

one independent variable, so it is a one-way ANOVA. Yes, we have

three levels to our IV, but it is still only one IV).

3. If the

p

value is significant (less than .05), we have one more step to

take. Since this is a three level IV, we need to compare mean A to

mean B, mean A to mean C, and mean B to mean C. We do this

using a post hoc test (try using Tukey!). That will tell us which of the

means differ significantly. You then write up the results. For

example, let’s say I ran an ANOVA on the dependent variable

“Emma seems selfish”. My write up would look like this (though

note: I completely made up the data below, so don’t copy the

numbers!) …

a. “Using the photo condition (selfie v. groupie v. professional)

as our independent variable and ratings of “Emma seems

selfish” as the dependent variable, we found a significant

condition effect,

F

(2, 203) = 4.32,

p

< .05. Tukey post hoc

tests showed that participants thought Emma seemed more

selfish in the selfie condition (

M

= 4.56,

SD

= 1.21) than

participants in both the groupie (

M

= 2.24,

SD

= 0.89) and

professional (

M

= 2.23,

SD

= 0.77) conditions. The groupie

and professional conditions, however, did not differ from

each other. This supports our prediction that participants

exposed to selfies are more likely to rate Emma high in

selfishness than those who are exposed to groupies or

professional photos.”

i. Note there are lots of possible outcomes. The one

above essentially says that condition S (Selfie)

differed from G (Groupie) and P (Professional), but

that G and P did not differ from each other (In other

words, S

≠

G = P). However, we might also find that

NONE of the three conditions differ from each other,

so they are all equal (S = G = P) or we might find that

ALL conditions differ from each other (S

≠

G

≠

P), so

they all differ

ii. As an example for this latter (S

≠

R

≠

E), I would

predict no differences between the three conditions

for the dependent variables “Emma seems happy” and

“Emma seems smart”

b. Make sure to italicize the

F

,

p

,

M

, and

SD

(as in the example)

PAPER II: METHODS AND RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS

9

c. Pretty simple, right! I suggest doing this same procedure for

one DV in Part I (Question #2 or #3) and one DV in Part II

(like questions 4, 7, 9, or 10).

d. However, if you choose you can do a

t

-Test on one of those

other dependent variables as well. Here’s how:

iii.

t

-Test

: If you have only two levels to your IV (e.g. Selfie or Professional

only), things are even more simple.

1. Here, you will run a

t

-Test (a

t

-Test looks at differences between

only two groups). Again, your lab presentations tell you how to run

this, but you can do it on your own as well (you can even run this if

your study originally has three levels to the IV – when you go into

the

t

-Test menu in SPSS, choose “define groups” and select 1 and 3

(Selfie = 1 and Professional = 3). This will let you look at two of the

groups! You could also select “2 and 3” or “1 and 2” where the

Groupie condition = 2).

2. Rather than an

F

value, we will look at the

t

value in the

t

-Test data

output. Here, we have one number for the degree of freedom, we

have the

t

value, and we have the

p

value.

3. The nice thing about a

t

-Test is that since you only have two groups,

you do not need a post hoc test like Tukey (you only need that if you

have to compare three means. Here, we only have two means, so we

can just look at them and see which one is higher and which is lower

when our

t

-Test is significant). Then just write it up …

a. “Using the priming condition (selfie v. professional) as our

independent variable and ratings of “Emma seems selfish” as

our dependent variable, we found a significant condition

effect,

t

(203) = 8.12,

p

< .05. Participants rated Emma as

more selfish in the selfie condition (

M

= 5.56,

SD

= 1.21)

than participants in the professional condition (

M

= 2.23,

SD

= 0.77).”

i. Note my means for this

t

-Test, and compare them to

the means for the ANOVA. The selfie and

professional means and SDs are identical between the

ANOVA and

t

-Test, because both the

t

-Test and

ANOVA use the same means! Thus DO NOT run a

t

–

Test and ANOVA on the same DV, as it is repetitive.

b. Repeat for other dependent variables

c. Make sure to italicize the

t

,

p

,

M

, and

SD

(as in the example)

iv. Statistics order recommendation: For this paper, start your results section

with the chi square (your manipulation check). Then talk about your main

analyses (Questions #2 or #3 in Part I, and the Emma impression questions,

4, 7, 9, or 10 in Part II). Make sure the analyses line up with your

hypotheses.

e. There is no page minimum or maximum for the results section, though I would

expect it to be at least a paragraph or two for each dependent variable

5. Appendices

(4 points)

PAPER II: METHODS AND RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS

10

a. I want to make sure you are including the correct numbers in your results section,

so I want you to include all relevant SPSS tables for each of your analyses in a

series of appendices.

i. Appendix A: Include your tables for age, gender, and ethnicity.

ii. Appendix B: Include your tables for your chi square and the crosstabs

iii. Appendix C: Include your tables for your first dependent variable (This

must be an ANOVA table, the descriptive statistics table for that ANOVA,

and the post hoc test whether it is significant or not)

iv. Appendix D: Include your tables for you second dependent variable

(Although I prefer a second ANOVA like iii. above, you could include

t

–

Test tables here. This would involve both the descriptives for the

t

-Test and

the

t

-Test output itself

b. Hint: The best way to get these tables is to copy them directly from SPSS. In the

SPSS output, right click on the table, copy it, and then paste it into your appendix.

Another alternative is to use a “snipping” tool (search “snipping tool” in Microsoft

Word to find it). You can highlight an area on any computer page and save it as a

picture. Copy the picture and paste it into your appendix. Easy!

c. Make sure to give a proper name to the appendix (e.g. Appendix A – Study One

Demographics)

6. Discussion Study One

(2 points)

a. In this section, tell me about your findings and if they did or did not support your

results. It might help to refer back to your hypotheses “We expected to find A but

instead found B” or “We expected to find A and our results supported this

hypothesis.” Explain using plain English why you think your study turned out the

way it did.

b. IMPORTANT – Do NOT give me statistics again here. I can find those in your

results section. Here, all I want is a plain English summary of your findings.

c. Also, don’t give me results for a DV if you did not run an analysis on that DV. Only

tell me about the results you actually looked at in the results section.

d. There is no length requirement for this section, but I recommend at least four or five

sentences

7. Overall writing quality

(3 points)

a.

Make sure you check your paper for proper spelling and grammar. The FIU writing

center is available if you want someone to look over your paper (an extra eye is

always good!) and give you advice. I highly recommend them, as writing quality

will become even more important on future papers. I also recommend visiting the

FIU Research Methods Help Center if you need additional guidance with writing or

statistical analyses. Also, remember to upload this paper through the Pearson writer

before uploading to blackboard!

b.

Make sure to use the past tense throughout your paper. You already did the paper,

so don’t tell me what participants are going to do. Tell me what they did!

Other Guidelines for Paper II – Methods and Results (Study One)

1). Page size is 8 1/2 X 11” with all 4 margins should be one inch. You

must

use a 12-point

font in Times New Roman.

PAPER II: METHODS AND RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS

11

2). PLEASE use a spell checker and/or Pearson Writer to avoid unnecessary errors.

Proofread everything you write. I actually recommend reading some sentences aloud to see

if they flow well, or getting family or friends to read your work.

Use the Paper II Checklist on the next page before you turn in your paper to make sure it is

the best paper you can write!

Finally, go look at the supporting documents for this paper. Like Paper I, there is a

checklist, a grade rubric, and an example paper for Paper II. All will give you more

information about what we are specifically looking for as well as a visual example of how

to put it all together in your paper. Good luck!

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