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Writing up the Method

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Philip Peatling

on 5 December 2013

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Transcript of Writing up the Method

Writing up the Method - Assignment 3
(Note that this is preferred over ‘subjects’ by some journals).
Describe how participants were recruited, from what group (e.g. undergraduate students), the number of participants and their sex.
Provide participant descriptive data (mean ± SD for age, stature and body mass (not weight) as minimum with appropriate SI units) and give other relevant information e.g. fitness levels, smoking habit, whether they are on any medication etc.

This section describes the procedures of your study in just enough detail so that others can repeat your results. Always write in the third person past tense.
NEVER provide a list of equipment/materials. You should only include detail that would affect the outcome of the experiment. On the other hand, the equipment used to analyse the blood is important (manufacturer, make, model) as different machines might give different results.
When the procedure is not standard more detail should be provided including theoretical justification for the steps.

Specific variables
(use the name of the variable as the subsection title!)
If you are measuring a number of dependent variables then you may want a subsection on each eg. Anthropometric measurements, Pulmonary measures etc.

Describe whether you used a between or within subjects design.
Describe the number of conditions, whether there was a control, whether conditions were blind and counterbalanced, time between conditions etc.
If your protocol was complicated you might consider using a figure (flow chart) to support the text and aid the reader.

Recap from last week
Quantitative data – Descriptive statistics

Choose the right Statistical Test
Parametric versus non-parametric

Choose the test from the tree (You looking for a difference or correlation)

Check the significance to 0.05
Do we have any errors to talk about?
Make the conclusions

Hypothesis (Research or Null)

One-tailed vs two-tailed

Type 1 errors

Type 2 errors
Research Design
What are you trying to find out?

Which design works best for the problem you have?

What type of research is it? (Experimental or Quasi Experimental)

How many groups and variables are within it?
The test is done
The testing is done

You make sure you have the right participants and testing procedures

Do you have a testing period?
Rank order
Frequency distribution
Grouped frequency distribution
Has it got 'Normal Distribution'?
One or two tail?
Measures of central tendency (Mean, Medium, Mode)
Measures of variability (Standard deviation)
Make a Hypothesis
Hypothesis (Research or Null)

Make a prediction that you will prove to be right or wrong

In most cases choose a research hypothesis
Understand the quantitative research process
Discuss the requirements of the assignment
Choose the quantitative design you will use for the assignment

Statistical analysis
This section should give clear information about the statistical methods used to analyse the data sets that are reported in the results section. (n.b. in Psychology papers the statistics are often described in the results section).
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