The major assignment for HPS301/781 casts you into the role of a Research Psychologist. You will be required to analyse some data obtained from a research study and to write a report based on your findings. The assignment must be presented as a formal laboratory report (see example lab report on CloudDeakin and/or Burton, 2010 An Interactive Approach to Writing Essays and Research Reports in Psychology or equivalent writing guide) and should contain an abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, and reference sections. Given that this is a Research Methods unit, the assessment of your report will focus primarily on the results and discussion sections and this is reflected in the weighting of marks (see below).
Thus, the primary aims of this assignment are to:
Develop your skills in using appropriate statistical techniques to test a specific research question,
Broaden your understanding of research designs,
Develop your report writing skills; particularly the ability to report statistical results, the ability to interpret statistical results in the context of past research, and to integrate previous work into a structured argument.
A secondary aim is to apply the work you have been undertaking in HPS301/781 to a real world problem in psychological research. Hopefully, you will come to appreciate the way we use statistical methods to help answer questions about important issues.
You will be provided with a data set, some key readings, and specific research questions. The data set will be contained in an SPSS file. Your task will be to perform the appropriate analyses, interpret the output and then write a report on the results. Thus, you will need to draw on the SPSS skills you have been developing over the course of the trimester in order to successfully interpret the output. You can consult the HPS301/781 weekly seminar materials for help with selecting and running the appropriate analyses, and interpreting the output. Furthermore, a Blackboard session (date to be advised) will be scheduled closer to the due date for any student queries regarding the assignment. Stay tuned to CloudDeakin for announcement of the Blackboard session time and date.
The main focus of the assessment is on your ability to conduct the appropriate statistical analyses to test the hypotheses and to report the results correctly. Overall, your ability to write a psychology laboratory report (following APA conventions) as a whole will be assessed.