Research Report II Assignments

Psychology 311

Fall, 2007

This second research report will build upon the first. Again, the objectives are:
·  To give you experience in searching, reading, and writing about the scholarly literature in Psychological research
·  To give you practice in conducting, interpreting, and writing about statistical analyses to answer specific research questions
·  To begin learning how to write scientifically, specifically according to APA format.
·  To obtain feedback on all of the above, providing an opportunity for learning and improvement

Your second research report will build upon your first. The main difference is that the second report will require more sophisticated analyses than the first. Specifically, you’ll conduct and report some form of multiple regression analysis, using the same class data set that was available for your first paper.

Overall format of the paper

This paper should be formatted exactly as the first – APA style. Please see the first research assignment for information about this formatting

Pick an issue or coherent set of questions

It is up to you to identify an issue or coherent set of questions that can be addressed by some form of multiple regression analysis – either an in-depth simultaneous regression or hierarchical regression (please do NOT use a stepwise regression, as it is less applicable for question-driven research). An efficient way to proceed would be to build upon the theme that you chose for your first paper. For example, if you focused on correlates of alcohol use in the first paper, then you might now form some questions/hypotheses about the relative strength of some variables as unique predictors of alcohol used. You can then plan a reasonable hierarchical regression analysis to examine your specific question or hypothesis.

Your analysis/interpretation should articulate clearly the way in which your regression-based examination differs from a simple correlational examination.

Again, your paper will essentially be a report of the results of your analyses – what was/were the psychological research question(s), how were the data collected, what were the results of your analyses, and what are the implications of those results for the psychological question that motivated the research?

Revise your Title page (if necessary), Abstract, Intro, Methods, Results, and Discussion

Although you’ll be able to use much of your first report, you’ll need to make some revisions for two reasons. First, your new paper will focus on a new set of questions, so you’ll need to revise various sections of your paper. The abstract and intro should be revised (moderately) to reflect the new set of questions. In addition, you’ll obviously need to expand your results section to include the results from your multiple-regression analysis. Finally, your discussion will need to reflect your psychological interpretation of your new results.

Second, your new paper might benefit from your lab instructor’s feedback/evaluation of your first paper. No one writes a perfect paper – there’s always room for improvement. Please take this opportunity to think carefully about any comments, questions, or critiques on your first paper. Even though you’ll be revising the content of the paper (from what was in your first report), many of your lab instructor’s comments might apply equally well to your new paper. Thus, please think about their specific comments, and any general principles or issues that those comments represent.


In the results section

For specifics of the content of the different sections of your paper, see the assignment from the first research report. In terms of what kind of information to include, the primary change will be in the Results section. For the results section of the second research report, please provide:

1)  Descriptive statistics (means, std devs, etc) of all the relevant variables in you multiple regression analysis

2)  Zero-order correlations and statistical significance of those correlations (this information could be retained from your first research report). Please provide basic information about the simple correlations between the variables in your multiple regression analysis. It’s generally a good idea to provide this basic information, as a complement to the more sophisticate regression analysis that you’ll be presenting.

3)  Multiple regression analysis. Again, you should: a) identify an issue or coherent set of questions, and then b) conduct a multiple regression analysis that allows you to address the issue or questions. Think about this as an opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding of the elements and use of regression analysis.

As with the first paper, we will be looking for:

·  Properly-formatted information regarding effect sizes and inferential statistics.

·  Clarity (in writing and organization) about which questions are addressed by which analyses. Eg “to examine the association between X and Y…..”).

·  Accurate statistical interpretations of the results (eg, sig or non-sig?)

·  The degree to which the analysis “fit” the questions/issues raised in the introduction