Its about "Seeing what your data seem to say"


  • Authorship
  • Each student in a project group should think about what aspects of the project are personally most interesting, and what analyses are most relevant to their own specific interests. Each student is urged to plan their own data analyses, although cooperation with other students in the group is expected and encouraged. These analyses should use the statistical tests and techniques discussed in lecture and readings, within the guidelines given below.

    Each student is urged to write their findings up in their own formal APA-style paper, with emphasis on the aspects of the project in which they are most personally interested. It is acceptable for some or all of the students in a group to jointly co-author a paper, although it should be realized by all who do so that the grade they receive in the course will in part be in the hands of other students, and conversely. Papers will be graded keeping in mind that individually authored papers require more effort on the part of the author.

    Each student must prepare a short written description of their authoring arrangment and have it reviewed and approved by the TA during the next-to-last Lab session.

  • Purpose
  • The purpose of the paper is to report those analyses of the survey data which are of most interest to you. You should choose a general "theme" related to the survey, which you feel you can address to a reasonable extent using the statistical analyses listed below. Your paper will be a formal write-up of this theme and your hypothesis testing strategies with respect to your topic. Keep in mind that you will need to demonstrate knowledge of the following:

    1. Visualization of distributions for all variables used in your analyses;
    2. T-tests, with report and visualization;
    3. Simple ANOVA, with report and visualization.
    4. Two-way ANOVA, with report and visualization.
    5. Correlation, with report;

  • Due Date
  • The paper is part of the final examination process, and is due at the beginning of the final.

    If you wish to hand it in early, you can turn it in personally to the Prof. or T.A., or you can place it in one of their mailboxes in the mail room on the second floor of Davie Hall (Room 206).

  • Format of Paper
  • The paper should be in APA format, as defined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It should be about 10 double-spaced "typed" pages long. It should NOT (under any circumstances) exceed 15 pages, including references, figures and appendices.

    You should look in several different Psychology journals to get a feel for the writing style and format of articles published in Psychology. Make sure you get a sense of the sections included in papers and what information is presented in each section. The sections that would appear in the typical paper are summarized in the next section.

  • Paper Outline
    1. Title
      Author's Name(s)
      (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

    2. Abstract
      This section (which is placed before the body of the paper) is an abstract of the study you have conducted. It should not exceed 100-150 words in length. The abstract should include:
      1. a statement of the hypotheses or questions to be investigated;
      2. a statement of procedures, including a word or two about the subjects and main topics of the survey;
      3. a statement describing the main findings of the study; and
      4. a statement about the implications of the obtained results for future research in the are.


      1. You can do the next three sections before doing the analyses!
      2. You should pay attention to basic rules of grammar and writing!

    3. Introduction The purpose of this section is to inform the reader of the general area of your concern, the specific problem under study, and the reserch strategy. In writing the introduction, you should consider:
      • What is the point of the study that you are reporting?
      • What is the rationale behind the research design?
      • Why was the research design chosen in the way it was?
      • Are there theoretical implications of the study?
      • What is the relation between the current study and previous work in the area?
      A good introduction answers these questions and gives the reader a firm sense of what you are doing and why. In stating the rationale for your study, it is inadequate to state or to imply that you want to do your study because you wonder what will happen if you put variables X and Y together. You must justify, on some grounds, the general "theme" that you are investigating in the paper. In the introduction you will not be discussing the particular variables you have chosen to analyze or the tests that you will be performing.

    4. Experimental Hypotheses State each hypothesis, what tests you plan to use, and why you believe there to be the relation you are specifying. In other words, if you have a prediction, state it here and state why it's your prediction.

    5. Method The method section states how you (and the others collecting data on the survey) conducting the study. The method should be described in enough detail so that a reader could carry out the same study simply on the basis of the information you include in the method section. The following subsections are included under the method heading:

      This section should answer three questions:

      1. Who participated?
      2. How many participants were there?
      3. How were they selected?
      Give major demographic characteristics such as gender and age, as well as other relevant information. It is critical that the characteristics of the individuals who participated are made clear. Report selection and assignment procedures, payments, promises made, etc. If subjects were selected from some larger group on the basis of some selection criterion (e.g., only analyses will be performed on those who indicated current alcohol use), describe both the initial and the final subject samples.

      This section should include a description of the materials that were used (e.g., if questionnaire or survey: Which one? How was it designed? How many pages were there? How many items were there? What type of items were included?).

      This section should be a summary of each step in the execution of the research. It should include the instructions given to participants. This section should tell the reader what you (and the rest of the people collecting data on the survey) did and how you (and the others) did it.

    6. Results: This section should start with a review of each variable used in analyses, including descriptive statistics and visualizations for the variables. All inferential tests must be reported formally, you should systematically go through the hypotheses that you outlined and present statistical evidence to retain or reject your null hypotheses. Back up your information with formal reports and visualizations, when relevant. All analyses of variance must have a summary ANOVA table.

    7. Discussion and Conclusions What happened? Review what you tested and the major findings you obtained. What have you learned (or not learned) from this? Take a step back and look at the tests as a whole. What have you learned from your series of tests? Were there problems that should be noted in the interpretation of the findings? How can this research inform future investigations on this topic. You can be creative here.

    8. References End the paper with a list of all references cited in the text. The correct form for citing references and for listing references is in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Also, you may need to look at the information about citing email and web pages. Finally, you can look in APA journal reference sections for guidance on the form of the reference. Because this paper does not require that you consult outside sources, you will not need a reference section unless you do actually consult outside sources (in which case you will need to cite the sources).