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Psychology Paper

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❶This type of manuscript does not follow as standard a format as a research report.

General Format

Psychology Paper


The purpose of this section is to describe in detail how you performed the study. Someone should be able to replicate your study based on the information you provide in this section. Make it sound professional, that is, do not make it sound like a class project. Assume you are writing for submission to a scientific journal.

Avoid unnecessary details like the data were displayed on the computer screen and recorded on the data sheet s. This is similar to the empty word problem described in I. For an experiment, this section is typically divided into four subsections: The order of design followed by procedure is arbitrary.

In other words, you could have the procedure come before the design. Sometimes researchers combine the design and procedure sections, however, in an experimental psychology or research methods class, a separate design section is typically required. For a survey study i. If animals are used, use the term subjects. If humans are used, use the term participants.

Do not purposely start a new page for this section. Type the appropriate title for this subsection flush with the left margin and italicize it. On the next line, begin typing normal paragraphs. Indicate who participated in the study, how many, and how were they selected. With human subjects, be sure to address the issue of informed consent. Include any details which are relevant to the study.

For animals, include the gender, age, strain, weight. If the subjects were human, what type of reward or motivation was used to encourage them to participate? Apparatus Do not purposely start a new page for this section. Type the word Apparatus flush with the left margin and italicize it. Describe what materials were used and how they functioned in the study.

If you use a piece of equipment, you must give the model number, company, and state where the company resides as a two-letter abbreviation. You must give the dimensions and perhaps other descriptive details of any important items used in the study. Standard equipment such as furniture, stopwatches, pencils and paper, can usually be mentioned without providing a lot of details. In fact, you may often simply mention these items in passing as part of the procedure.

Be careful not to describe procedures in this section. You should make clear what purpose the apparatus served, but do not give a lot of details on the use of the apparatus at this point.

One hint in this regard is to avoid using action verbs in this section. Design Do not purposely start a new page for this section. Type the word Design flush with the left margin and italicize it. Describe the design and clearly spell out the independent and dependent variables. Indicate what the levels of the independent variables were, and whether the factor s were repeated, matched, or independent.

Describe how the subjects were assigned to groups. Describe any control procedures used. Procedure Do not purposely start a new page for this section. Type the word Procedure flush with the left margin and italicize it. Carefully summarize each step in the execution of the study. Indicate what a typical test, trial, or session involved.

Describe any phases that the study had or any instructions that the subjects received. When referring to groups, try to use descriptive labels. For example, instead of saying Group 1 or the experimental group , you might say the drugged group. Another technique in this regard is to use abbreviations that emphasize meaning. Results Do not purposely start a new page for this section. Simply center the word Results and continue typing on the very next double-spaced line i. Look carefully at the results.

That is, take a good hard look at all those numbers you collect. Think of different ways to summarize them describe , as well as to make sense of them analyze. You might find my Psychological Statistics Site helpful. Briefly state the main findings in words. That is, first give a general description, then go into the details.

When presenting the results of statistical tests, give descriptive statistics before the corresponding inferential statistics. When presenting means, it is reasonable to use one additional digit of accuracy than what is contained in the raw data. In other words, if the raw data consisted of whole numbers, then the means should contain one decimal place. When presenting nominal or ordinal data, give the percents rather than frequencies since percents are independent of the sample size.

The general format for presenting an inferential statistic is: Note that exact p values are preferred. Also, if the computer output says the probability is. When possible, include some statistical estimate of effect size. When actually presenting the results, try to emphasize the meaning of the statistics. That is, clearly describe what it is you are testing and what significance means for the variables involved. See some examples of the correct way to present the results of several common statistical tests.

Do not discuss the implications of the results in this section. Do not talk about the meaning of the alpha level or the null hypothesis, and what chance factors have to do with it.

Since you are writing for the scientific community, you can assume the reader will have a working knowledge of statistics. If you are presenting a lot of material here, you may wish to employ subheadings as is done in the methods section. These subheadings should have meaning and relevance to the data and should help to organize your presentation of it.

In other words, they should not be organized by the type of analysis employed. Since this is not expected by the reader, it is a good idea to precede the subheadings with a paragraph informing the reader of the logical organization of this section.

In cases where the reader would expect something to be significant and it is not, you should address the issue. Do not provide raw data unless, for some reason, you require a single subject approach. Be careful with the word "prove". Since statistical tests are based on probability and can be in error, they do not really prove anything. You can only use wording that implies causality if you actually manipulated the independent variable i.

For example, suppose you manipulated whether subjects received a drug while employing appropriate control procedures, etc. In this case, you would be able to conclude that the drug caused the difference in memory ability; it impaired it. As another example, suppose that you compared drug use as determined from the results of a survey with memory ability and found a correlation greater use went along with poorer memory performance.

Since correlation doesn't say much about causality, we could only conclude that there is a relationship between drug use and memory ability.

Discussion Do not purposely start a new page for this section. Simply center the word Discussion and continue typing on the very next double-spaced line i. The purpose of this section is to evaluate and interpret the results, especially with respect to the original research question. Start off with a brief, non-technical summary of the results.

In other words, tell the reader about the main findings without using statistical terminology. Then go on to discuss the implications of the results. In other words, whatever was found needs to be discussed. It is also important to discuss how the results relate to the literature you cited in the introduction. In other words, emphasize any theoretical consequences of the results.

You might or might not also mention any limitations of the study and any suggestions for future research in this section. Finally, you need an ending paragraph in which you make a final summary statement of the conclusions you have drawn. You are also encouraged, when appropriate, to comment on the importance and relevance of your findings.

How are your findings related to the big picture? Thus, this section should contain an absolute minimum of three paragraphs: References Start on a new page. Center the word References at the top. As usual, double space. Any citations made in the manuscript must be presented in this section and vice versa. That is, if something is not cited in the text, then it should not appear in this section. In still other words, this is not a bibliography. In any of the previous sections, whenever you say something like studies have shown you must provide a citation.

This section tells the reader where they can find these citations. This section is alphabetized by last name of the first author involved in the study. A hanging indent is employed for each reference, that is, the first line is not indented and the rest are five-space indented. For each author, give the last name followed by a comma and the first and middle initials followed by periods.

After the author s comes the year in parentheses and followed by a period. For a journal reference, italicize the title of the journal and the volume number. Note that issue numbers are typically not included. Also, capitalize the important words of the journal title. For a book reference, just italicize the title. Only capitalize the first word of the title.

Do include the city, state as a two-letter abbreviation without periods , and the publisher's name. See the example reference section.

It provides several types of references, including: Single and multiple author, journal articles, book, and book chapter, web page, as well as a government document. Other Sections After the above sections come any tables, the page s with the figure captions, and finally any figures, respectively.

Each belongs on a separate page multiple figure captions can appear on one page however. Tables and the figure captions page have a manuscript page header and page number just like all the other typed pages. Note that figures are not typed, and so do not have a manuscript page header and page number. Tables and figures should be able to stand alone i. A big help in this regard is the table title or the figure caption.

Use these wisely to explain what is going on in the table or figure. In other words, do not be afraid to be a little bit verbose in your table titles and figure captions. Tables and figures should not duplicate the same information. Likewise, you should not repeat the data point values in a table or figure in the text of the manuscript. Tables and figures are more expensive to include in the manuscript than text. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Include a page header also known as the " running head " at the top of every page.

The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation. Your essay should include four major sections: The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name , and the institutional affiliation.

Include the page header described above flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page. After consulting with publication specialists at the APA, OWL staff learned that the APA 6th edition, first printing sample papers have incorrect examples of running heads on pages after the title page.

This link will take you to the APA site where you can find a complete list of all the errors in the APA's 6th edition style guide. Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page.

APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced. Beneath the title, type the author's name: Do not use titles Dr. Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation , which should indicate the location where the author s conducted the research.

Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header described above. Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings.

Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract should be between and words. You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if you were starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.

The page template for the new OWL site does not include contributors' names or the page's last edited date. However, select pages, like the Citation Style Chart , still include this information. Purdue Online Writing Lab.


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research has focused mainly on how nutrition affects cognition. However, as Green, Elliman, and Rogers () point out, the effects of food deprivation on cognition have received comparatively less attention in recent years. Center the title one inch from the top. Double-space throughout.

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In the current research, therefore, we compared young and older adults’ detection of four categories of emotional information (positive high arousal, positive low arousal, negative high arousal, and negative low arousal) with their detection of neutral information.

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Mar 05,  · Apa psychology paper guidelines. If you are a student in the faculty of social sciences in any university, you have to learn how to write a psychology paper. This is because it is the format closest to the social sciences and humanities, so most of these faculties make use of it.5/5(66). Psychology/Neuroscience How to Write an APA Style Research Paper An APA-style paper includes the following sections: title page, abstract, introduction, method, results.

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In this list of psychology research paper topics we have attempted to capture psychology’s vast and evolving nature in more than psychology research topics. We believe that our choice of traditional and cutting-edge topics reflects contemporary psychology’s diverse nature READ MORE HERE. Guide to Writing a Research Report for Psychology • Use APA guidelines for documenting sources. • The references listed in the Reference section must match those used in the body of the report. Guide to Writing a Psychology Research Paper Author.