Psychology Lab Report

Psychology lab reports are documents which provide the reader with all the necessary information needed to understand that particular research. Both students for writing theses and professional psychologists use them for publishing research in an academic journal. The same lab report structure is often used by companies, hospitals, government departments and universities1)

General information

Although professors tend to discourage the utilization of a single template, all formal papers published in the field of psychology follow the American Psychological Association (APA) format and citation style.2) Custom-Writing service recommends stick to the format and structure described below.

A psychology lab report must be typed and not written, on a standard-sized paper. Lines and paragraphs must be double-spaced, with 1“ margins for the entire document in the lab report example psychology.3) Avoid using obscure and unreadable fonts in your psychology lab report example. Instead, use regular formatting for all the sections, and if the font style and size have not been specified, the APA suggests using 12-point Times New Roman.4)

Structure

StructureThe structure of your sample psychology lab report should be similar to that of an empirical journal article, which also contains the following sections5) :

  1. Title
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Method
    1. Design
    2. Participants
    3. Apparatus and Materials
    4. Procedure
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. References
  1. Title

    The title must not contain more than 15 words. Just like a title of an article, it needs to informative enough for the reader to quickly identify the paper in the journal’s index.6))

  2. Abstract

    A lab report abstract is a summary of the main points of the research. It is often written last but is the first thing people will read. They can be descriptive or informative, depending on the style of your report7) . It should be approximately 100 words long.

  3. Introduction

    The introduction identifies the experiment being undertaken and it needs to provide the information about the existing theories and findings, the exact problem you are investigating and how you are investigating it and the results gained from your research.8)

  4. Method Structure2

    A lab report method describes to the reader what is done in the research, in such a way that the reader can replicate your study simply by reading this section. It should be broken down into four main sub-sections9) , including:

    1. Design. It categorizes the variables in the study into dependent and independent variables. Independent variables are measured and they include statistics such as nationality and age while the dependent variables can be manipulated by the researcher (time measured.10)
    2. Participants. This section describes who took part in the experiment precisely. It must provide details such as age, sex and any characteristics which are relevant to the research, such as left-handedness or right-handedness. It is important to state whether the participants were volunteers or were they paid for their participation, which group are they in (research or control).11)
    3. Apparatus and Materials. In the context of the investigation, these include computers, questionnaires, stopwatches and the information includes brand names, model numbers, etc.12)
    4. Procedure. This section explains how the experiment was carried out in practice. It must provide the information regarding what was done to the participants, or what the participant did in the experiment, which test was administered to each of the participants and how long every individual or group sessions lasted.13)

  5. Results

    This section provides the reader with descriptive statistics, including means used for each condition or group. It defines the standard deviation for this research, followed by inferential statistics, a group of results used to determine whether the differences between conditions or groups are actual and not obtained by mere chance. The results should be described, but their interpretation must be made in the Discussion section.14)

  6. Discussion

    This section should contain five crucial parts15) , including the hypothesis, any previous research, limitations, future research and the impact this paper might have. The University of Richmond has provided an excellent lab report sample, which can be accessed for free.16)

  7. References

    Proper use of referencing is significant, as the reader who needs to follow up the work in greater detail needs to do so effortlessly.17) The APA referencing style is the most frequently used one, as it provides a clear format for citation of a wide range of media18) , including books, research papers, websites, etc.

For any additional information, the Purdue University has provided a lab report example, for the psychology of bilingualism.

1) Graham Pluck, A Guide to Writing Student Psychology Lab Reports, 1.
2) APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition
3) Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2016, May 13). General format. Retrieved from https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html
4) APA Publication Manual (6th ed., sections 5.07–5.19, pp. 128–150; Table 5.1, p. 129, illustrates the basic components of a table; section 8.03, p. 228
5) Writing a Lab Report in Psychology by Melanie Cooke, Tori Giaimo and Athena Hensel Retrieved from http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/psychology/labintro.html
6) A quick guide to writing a psychology lab-report, University of Sussex (A quick guide to writing a psychology lab-report
7) Writing an Abstract, Writing Centre Learning Guide, University of Adelaide, 2014
8) Pete Bibby, HOW TO WRITE A LABORATORY REPORT, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham
9) Prof. Andy Field, Writing Up Research, 2012, 1.
10) APA Method Section, Rochester Institute of Technology
11) M. Plonsky, Ph.D, PSYCHOLOGY WITH STYLE, A Hypertext Writing Guide (for the 5th edition of the APA Manual), University of Wisconsin
12) Dr. Andy Field, Writing Lab Reports & APA Format, University of Sussex, 2008
14) How to Write a Lab Report, Simply Psychology
15) Cooke M., Giaimo T., Hensel A., Writing a Lab Report in Psychology, University of Richmond.
17) THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO WRITING RESEARCH REPORTS, Newcastle University, 2011
18) Citation guide: APA (6th ed., 2010): General notes, retrieved from https://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/cite-write/citation-style-guides/apa
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