Discussion and References of a Laboratory report
This report is based on an experiment, link provided. There are 4 papers to be used
Link to experiment: http://infotech.scu.edu.au/psychology/SCI11005/SCI11005.html
Please make sure it is a high quality, I need a C grade to pass this assignment.
Word limit: 800 +10%
(Includes citations and titles; excludes cover sheet, figure captions and references)
Weighting: 35%
Resources: Content: Various lecture slides, but most importantly all those from Week 10 and the results slides from Week 6 (Find in uploaded files)
Form: Writing for Psychology, Sections 2.8, 2.9, 4.5, 5.1-5.5 (O’Shea & McKenzie, 2013)
In many ways, the Discussion allows for the greatest amount of creative freedom out of all the lab report sections and subsections. Thus, note well that the following ‘skeleton’ represents just one possibility of how you might structure your Discussion section – remember also to consult the other resources listed above (particularly O’Shea & McKenzie, 2013).
Queries of a general nature are best broadcast on Discussion Board – that way everyone benefits from an answer. Please understand that due to student equity concerns, teaching staff cannot comment on specific bodies of work prior to submission
Your Introduction should have convinced the reader why your predictions are worthy of testing, whilst your Method should have detailed how you designed your study in order to test those predictions. In turn, your Results should have described what your data say about your predictions, ultimately leaving your Discussion to explain and theorise why your results turned out the way they did.
The Discussion ought to clearly and logically:
• Review the findings of your study;
• Interpret the meaning of your significant and non-significant, as well as expected and unexpected, findings;
• State the contribution to theory and practice inferred by your findings;
• Make suggestions regarding present limitations and future directions;
• Conclude your study.
Adequate review of finding 3 marks
Sounds interpretation of Sif Effect (StimSex) 7 marks
Sound Interpretation of Non-Sig Effect 7 marks
Statement on contribution to Theory/Practice 1 mark
Present Limitations / Future Directions 4 marks
Conclusion of Study 3 marks
Overall Focus of Content 4 marks
Overall Logic of structure 4 marks
Overall Usage of Apa Style 2 marks
In the results section, you reported your results. Now, in the discussion section, you explain those results. Focus on your hypothesis, link your findings to your original hypothesis. Be sure to include research from previous studies- whether they support your findings or not. For example: Similar to
Smith and Smith (2010)….. Or Contrary to Smith and Smith (2010).
Begin the discussion by reiterating the aim of your research. Next summarise all the important findings and state whether the support your hypothesis. Remind the reader what your aim was, e.g.:
“…to investigate whether MB will appear when we ask participants to categorise something other than sex. Specifically…”
NB: This aim is derived from theory has lead you directly to a testable prediction (i.e. that participants will report female face profiles as ‘androgynous’ more often than male face profiles).
• How did you test that aim (i.e. brief summary of method)?
• What did your data show, and did they support your hypotheses?
– Effect of target sex?
– Effect of presentation duration?
Opening sentence(s) should clearly relate finding to theory, e.g.: “The finding that participants report
female face profiles as ‘androgynous’ more often than male face profiles is supported by previous
research (citations).”
• Summarise the major similarities and difference from your findings and past research.
• Summarise the theories that these findings support.
• Consider alternative explanation which might account for your findings.
• How is this result similar to those of previous studies?
• Cite studies which have demonstrated discrimination response patterns that differ by target
sex when cues are ambiguous, and describe any relevant features of those studies. E.g.:
– Which of those studies have utilised partial body stimuli?
– Which of those studies have employed a sex perception task?
– Which of those studies have measured response criteria?
– How is this result different to those of previous studies?
• Are there studies in which male bias (MB) has been operationalised differently? E.g.:
– as a change in reaction time
– as a single criterion shift
– as a difference in correct response rates or error rates
• How are these similarities and differences relevant to theory?
Again, opening sentence(s) should clearly relate finding to theory, e.g.: “The finding that
‘androgynous’ responses were reported more often as a function of shorter presentation duration is
surprising in the context of previous work (provide citations here).”
• How is our result different to those of previous studies?
– Cite studies which have utilised similarly degraded stimuli
• Are there some studies in which presentation duration affected performance?
– Describe any relevant features of those studies E.g.: did they use a different gauge of performance (e.g., accuracy or reaction time)
– In other words, to achieve an effect of presentation duration, what did these studies do, that you didn’t do (e.g. they may have used different/more conditions of exposure time)?
• How is this result similar to those of previous studies, e.g.:
– Are there studies in which performance did not vary by presentation duration?
– If so, in what ways are they comparable to your study?
•How are these similarities and differences relevant to theory?
• Consider amendment to the study to increase its power
• Challenge the suitability of theories you used to develop your hypothesis, or are there any theories that a consistent with your non-significant results?
• Identify possible suppressor variables
How do your findings complement existing theory? E.g.: They support the notion that we process biological sex information in a similar manner irrespective of stimulus or categorisation type; Dual mechanism MB as a behavioural signature of sex processing allows us to infer that there might be a common neural signature as well.
•How do your findings challenge existing theory? E.g.: In this case, MB is apparently dependent on physical- and not temporal-ambiguity: Reducing exposure time does not make the bias stronger; This outcome is in contrast with another study (Gaetano et al., 2014)…
•What about the practical applications of your work? E.g.: A more complete understanding of how the brain processes social cues (such as sex) might inform diagnoses of associated impairments (e.g. autism). Or could there be implications for other areas such as forensics/ law enforcement / defence? Are there benefits to everyday human interactions?
•What is a practical use for your research? What is a practical use for sex discrimination?
N.B: Avoid recommendations that are not closely linked to your work. .
•Internal validity: Were the hypotheses validly tested? How might you improve the design of this study in future? Consider the link between theory and de
sign (IV).
• Instruction and task appropriateness (e.g. would results differ if we changed the wording of the instructions?
• Representativeness of the selected materials and conditions (e.g. did we need a greater number of face exemplars? Different conditions of ambiguity? Non- ambiguous control condition? Race / age of the models?). http://pics.psych.stir.ac.uk/2d_face_sets.htm Set:
“Stirling faces”. Consider the link between theory and output (DV).
• Potential measurement issues (e.g. was information lost when transforming our raw scores?
Would scale measures [1-7 Likert] rather than binary measures [Y/N] lead to different interpretations of participant criteria? Was there another way we could’ve quantified MB
[e.g. reaction time vs. criteria scores]?);
• Issues relating to data collection (e.g. with our anonymous online platform, how could we be sure participants were SCI11005 students aged 18+? How could we be sure that they were engaged in the task?);
• Factors influencing the strength of our effects (E.g. did ambiguity need to be increased, and if so, to what extent?).
• External validity: How might the present results generalise to other situations and groups?
– Cohort effects (e.g. are these results specific to Australian participants, or might they also arise among other national groups?);
– Context effects (e.g. are these results specific only to the current experimental situation, or might they also explain behaviour under different circumstances?);
– Sampling biases (e.g. only those ‘willing’ enough to participate did so – maybe
‘willingness’ to participate just so happens to correlate with proneness to a MB?);
– Sample validity (e.g. 1st year psychology students – could have guessed hypotheses early on due to curiosity about the topic).
• Future research: Your limitations should lead to ideas for future research. For example, if you had time constraints, how would you conduct your research next time to overcome this limitation?
• What new experimental procedure or groups could you add to your design in the future to strength your research?
• Restatement of the aim and main findings.
• What theories do these findings support? When sex cues are ambiguous, human observers tend to both loosen their criteria for what is male, and tighten their criteria for what is female; MB appears to results when we ask observers to categorise something other than sex; MB seems to be a more general phenomenon.
• We can speculate – briefly here and/or in more depth earlier (‘Theoretical & Practical
Importance’) – on whether the MB in nature is, e.g.:
– Evolutionary (E.g. failing to detect a stimulus might be riskier for male than for female targets);
– Demographic (E.g. participants may have been sampled from a population in which there are more males than females, and that prior inequality might have a bearing on the frequency of subsequent ‘male present’ judgements);
– Ethnographic (E.g. it might be a phenomenon specific to Western cultural values);
– Biological (E.g. overall the level of post-pubertal variability in male features might differ to that in female features);
– Something else or some combination of the above possibilities (as the author, you must decide which ideas are most logical or relevant to your study).
• Summary of the most salient limitation(s) of the study.
• Brief statement on the potential benefits arising from this study now that it has been conducted. Here, you can present the implications of your research. Based on the results, what suggestions could you give the scientific community or society more generally? Review the recommendations of the 4 peer review papers. Did they have any good suggestions that you could adapt to apply to your research?
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author…….
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A more complete understanding of how the brain processes social cues (such as sex) might inform diagnoses of associated impairments (e.g. autism). Or could there be implications for other areas such as forensics/ law enforcement/ defence? Are there benefits to everyday human interactions?