Essay Cove

Essay Cove

Your final paper should be a
complete, APA-style Results and Discussion section for your study, including
References, Tables, and Figures. You are now the researcher in this study;
you should therefore write your paper in first person, active voice (“I
analyzed…”).
Organize your final paper
according to the following outline, using APA-style headings and subheadings as
indicated here. Note that your paragraphs and sections should be substantially
longer than mine! At every step, explain what you are doing and why.
Define what terms mean (in your own words); write as to a reader who has not
taken this class. When I write “interpret” and “discuss” below, I mean that I
expect you to translate the results into concepts; if a particular value is
“statistically significant,” explain what we now know about the relationship
between those variables at the conceptual level.
As you prepare your paper, please use your APA Manual or Easy Guide and
the Paper Grading Rubric provided at the end of this document. Final Paper Outline
Your final paper should be
organized as follows, containing all of the information described here:
Results
Sample
Describe the demographic
characteristics of your sample here, including the total sample size and
proportions or percentages by ethnicity and any other demographic variables.
For variables that were manipulated in the study, indicate how many participants
were in each condition or combination of conditions.
Descriptive Statistics and
Correlations
Describe the central tendency
and variability of each of your measured (that is, continuous)
variables. Choose appropriate descriptive statistics for each variable and
report the exact values you obtained, rounded as always to 2 decimal places.
Include a table in which you
report the means, standard deviations, and correlations among all measured
variables in the study. Discuss this table and any trends that are apparent in
the data at this point (e.g., relationships as expected or not, outliers,
variables with more or less variance than you anticipated), but be careful not
to overinterpret these very preliminary analyses!
Your covariate is measured via
a multi-item scale; assess the internal consistency of this scale and determine
whether it is appropriate to use in further analyses.
Recruitment Method
Differences
In each of these studies, the
researchers used two different methods to recruit participants to the study.
They want to rule out the possibility that these different methods are
associated with differences in the dependent variable. Perform, report, and interpret
the results of a t-test for recruitment method differences.
Specifically, report and interpret the shape of the effect, the size of
the effect (Cohen’s d), and whether this result is statistically significant
(include your α level, exact value of the test statistic, and p-value).
Effects of Independent
Variables [substitute the names of your actual IVs here]
Perform and report an analysis
of variance (ANOVA) to test the first three hypotheses from the study (two main
effects and an interaction). State each hypothesis clearly and then evaluate
it. Provide a table of means and standard deviations for all conditions.
Use another table to report the appropriate sum of squares, df,
mean squares, η2
and F statistic for all
effects in the ANOVA. Evaluate and interpret the shape, size, and
significance of each main effect (include your α level), reporting the
most relevant values from your ANOVA in the body of your paper (not just the
table!) to support your conclusions about each of those three properties. Where
appropriate, perform and report post hoc comparisons, and explain why you
performed these tests. Clearly state whether each hypothesis is supported.
Include
a figure describing the interaction between the two independent
variables. Report and interpret the shape, size and significance of
the interaction, again reporting the most relevant values from your ANOVA in
the body of your paper to support your conclusions. Clearly state whether each
hypothesis is supported.
Covariate [substitute the
name of your actual covariate here]
Perform, report, and interpret
the results of a simple linear regression analysis evaluating the relationship
of the covariate to the dependent variable. Include the standardized regression
coefficient, test statistic, α level, and p-value. Evaluate and
interpret the shape, size, and significance of this effect
and whether your hypothesis about the covariate is supported.
Optional ANCOVA
If you choose, for 5 points
extra credit, perform, report, and interpret the results of an ANCOVA testing
all four hypotheses simultaneously. Report all necessary test statistics, p-values,
and estimates of effect size, and report the appropriate ANOVA table (this
means you will have two). Evaluate and interpret the shape, size, and significance
of each effect and whether each hypothesis is supported; compare these
results to your prior findings and discuss whether any of your conclusions
change when you take the covariate into account. Do not substitute the ANCOVA
for the other analyses; it needs to be clearly in addition to the required
analyses and you need to explicitly compare the results.
Discussion
Begin your discussion by
summarizing the main findings of the study in conceptual terms; what are the
key takeaways you want a reader to remember from this study? What do these
findings mean?
In what ways are these findings
consistent with what we know from the research literature? What past research
helps support the argument that these findings are reasonable? How do your
findings build on or extend past research? You should refer to at least 1-2
sources in addition to those mentioned in the Introduction. [This
section should be at least 2-3 paragraphs]
In what ways are these findings
surprising, or inconsistent with past research? What was unexpected, or which
predictions (if any) were not supported? What plausible explanations do you see
for these results? Again, you should refer to at least 1-2 sources in
addition to those mentioned in the Introduction (and in addition to those
mentioned above). [This section should be at least 2-3 paragraphs]
Contributions
Why is this study valuable?
What important thing(s) did we learn from this study? What about the study was
well done? Why should we have confidence in the results and in the conclusions
you’ve made? [You should be able to identify at least one realistic
contribution and 2-3 realistic strengths of the study, explaining each] What
are the practical implications of your study? That is, how might psychologists
(or others) use these findings in practical settings (e.g., therapy, education,
business)? It is OK to speculate a little here if you do so in appropriate
language, making it clear where you are speculating (“Although full clinical
trials would be needed, therapists might be able to incorporate these
principles in therapy by…”).
Limitations
Realistically, what reasons do
we have to be cautious about this study? To whom do the results generalize?
What threats to internal and/or external validity can you identify (name them
precisely)? How, specifically, do those factors limit your ability to draw
conclusions based on these data? [You should be able to identify at least
2-3 realistic and important limitations and explain why they
limit your conclusions]. Where appropriate, argue for why your study still
has value despite these limitations (“Although the sample was not
representative, it was large and diverse…”).
Future Directions
In your view, what is the next
step for researchers interested in studying this topic? Be specific and defend
your position – why this particular next step and not another? Your future
directions should follow logically from the conclusions, contributions, and
limitations you identified earlier.
End your paper with a summary
paragraph that reinforces the single most important thing you want the reader
to take away from the study. Don’t overstate your conclusion, but leave the
reader with a clear sense of what you learned and why it matters. [This is
the hardest paragraph to write – do your best!]
References
Provide a complete APA-style
reference list that includes every article you mentioned in the body of your
paper. At a minimum, this should include the two sources you used from the
Introduction and the four new sources you found in your Discussion Plan &
Bibliography Worksheet, for a total of at least six peer-reviewed articles.
You are welcome to cite additional articles (or other types of sources) if you
like; make sure they are included in your References in proper APA format.
Tables
Place your table of descriptive
statistics, your table of cell means, your ANOVA table(s), and any other tables
you choose to include here. Your tables should follow APA format as presented
in class and your APA Manual or Easy Guide. Do not paste screen
shots of R output; I want to see that you know what values to look at and
report.
figure[s]
Include your interaction figure (and any others you
choose to include) here. You may paste screen shots of figures you obtained
from R, but ensure that they are labeled appropriately and that they are clear
and readable.

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