Psychology lab report: results

time to complete: 30-40 minutes

Olson and Meyersburg (2008) recommend that here you present:

  • any steps taken to clean up your data
  • the analyses/tests used
  • the results of these analyses (including graphs, tables, figures, etc.)
  • how the results link to your hypotheses

Task 13: Look at the results section from the same lab report and identify these four elements. Take notes of your answers in order to check them later.

  • any steps taken to clean up your data
  • the analyses/tests used
  • the results of these analyses (including graphs, tables, figures, etc.)
  • how the results link to your hypotheses

Results

We wanted to know whether the age or sex of primary school children had any affect on their test-scores for the ‘Opposite Worlds’ subtest in the test of everyday attention for children (TEA-ch). Prior to analysis, the data was screened for outliers, missing data and coherence with the basic assumptions of the statistical test used. Two outliers were identified, one in 6-7 boys group of the no-distraction condition and the other in the 8-9 girls group of the distraction condition. As there is no reason to doubt the validity of these results, they will be retained for the analysis. However, the residuals from the ANOVA on the untransformed dataset were found to be non-normally distributed, and so the data was square-rooted for analysis. No other breaches of test assumptions were found.

Our first prediction was that boys would perform worse than girls on the ‘Opposite Worlds’ task when being distracted by a background event, and hence our null hypothesis was that sex would have no effect on performance in the distraction condition. Table one suggests that boys took longer than girls to complete the task in the distraction condition in all age groups. A two-way ANOVA carried out on the independent variables age(3) and sex(2) confirmed that there was a significant main effect of sex on performance F(1,90)=36.16, p<.01. This supports our hypothesis. Table two suggests that boys were affected to a greater negative extent than girls by the distraction, and a two-way ANOVA performed on the difference scores confirmed this F(1,90)=4.56, p<.05. In addition, a main effect for sex in the no distraction condition was also found by a two-way ANOVA, F(1,90)=11.82, p<.05. Table suggests that this interaction could mean that boys’ attention skills develop at a slower rate than girls.

Our second hypothesis was that, as it is known that attention skills increase with age, so performance at the Opposite World task should improve with age in both conditions. Hence our null hypothesis was that there would be no main effect of age. Table one suggests that there was a steady decrease in time taken, and hence increase in performance, as the children increased in age in the distraction condition, and table three suggests the same trend in the no-distraction condition. A two-way ANOVA was carried out for both conditions on the independent variables age(3) and sex(2). The results confirmed that there was a significant main effect of age on the performance at the tasks in both the distraction condition F(2,90)=9.53 p<.01 and the no-distraction condition F(2,90)=16.04, p<.01. These findings support our second hypothesis.

The two-way ANOVA’s conducted above also found a significant interaction between age and sex in the distraction condition F(2,90)=3.62, p<.05, whilst finding that there was no significant interaction in the no-distraction condition F(2,90)=.13, p<.10. Table one suggests that this interaction means that boys do not improve at the ‘Opposite Worlds’ task between the two higher age ranges, i.e. 6-7 years and 8-9 years.

Residuals from both ANOVA’s were screened for normal distribution and systematic variation with other variables. Correlation with original baseline scores was found to be significant for residuals from both distraction r(95)=0.21, p<.05 and no-distraction r(95)=.46, p<.01 conditions. This is expected to a certain extent, and so the ANOVA findings were maintained.

Adapted from BAWE (no date)

Answer key

Since the section is a little long, we will present the answers in smaller, more manageable bits.

Pay close attention to the highlights and what they refer to:

  • any steps taken to clean up your data
  • the analyses/tests used
  • the results of these analyses
  • your hypotheses and how they link to your results

 

You will also see some language in bold. The words/phrases in bold signal these elements or the connections between them.

Paragraph 1

Reveal answer
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We wanted to know whether the age or sex of primary school children had any affect on their test-scores for the ‘Opposite Worlds’ subtest in the test of everyday attention for children (TEA-ch). Prior to analysis, the data was screened for outliers, missing data and coherence with the basic assumptions of the statistical test used. Two outliers were identified, one in 6-7 boys group of the no-distraction condition and the other in the 8-9 girls group of the distraction condition. As there is no reason to doubt the validity of these results, they will be retained for the analysis. However, the residuals from the ANOVA on the untransformed dataset were found to be non-normally distributed, and so the data was square-rooted for analysis. No other breaches of test assumptions were found.

  • any steps taken to clean up your data
  • the results of these analyses

 

We wanted to know whether the age or sex of primary school children had any affect on their test-scores for the ‘Opposite Worlds’ subtest in the test of everyday attention for children (TEA-ch). Prior to analysis, the data was screened for outliers, missing data and coherence with the basic assumptions of the statistical test used. Two outliers were identified, one in 6-7 boys group of the no-distraction condition and the other in the 8-9 girls group of the distraction condition. As there is no reason to doubt the validity of these results, they will be retained for the analysis. However, the residuals from the ANOVA on the untransformed dataset were found to be non-normally distributed, and so the data was square-rooted for analysis. No other breaches of test assumptions were found.

Paragraph 2

Reveal answer
Hide answer

Our first prediction was that boys would perform worse than girls on the ‘Opposite Worlds’ task when being distracted by a background event, and hence our null hypothesis was that sex would have no effect on performance in the distraction condition. Table one suggests that boys took longer than girls to complete the task in the distraction condition in all age groups. A two-way ANOVA carried out on the independent variables age(3) and sex(2) confirmed that there was a significant main effect of sex on performance F(1,90)=36.16, p<.01. This supports our hypothesis. Table two suggests that boys were affected to a greater negative extent than girls by the distraction, and a two-way ANOVA performed on the difference scores confirmed this F(1,90)=4.56, p<.05. In addition, a main effect for sex in the no distraction condition was also found by a two-way ANOVA, F(1,90)=11.82, p<.05. Table suggests that this interaction could mean that boys’ attention skills develop at a slower rate than girls.

  • the analyses/tests used
  • the results of these analyses
  • your hypotheses and how they link to your results

 

Our first prediction was that boys would perform worse than girls on the ‘Opposite Worlds’ task when being distracted by a background event, and hence our null hypothesis was that sex would have no effect on performance in the distraction condition. Table one suggests that boys took longer than girls to complete the task in the distraction condition in all age groups. A two-way ANOVA carried out on the independent variables age(3) and sex(2) confirmed that there was a significant main effect of sex on performance F(1,90)=36.16, p<.01. This supports our hypothesis. Table two suggests that boys were affected to a greater negative extent than girls by the distraction, and a two-way ANOVA performed on the difference scores confirmed this F(1,90)=4.56, p<.05. In addition, a main effect for sex in the no distraction condition was also found by a two-way ANOVA, F(1,90)=11.82, p<.05. Table suggests that this interaction could mean that boys’ attention skills develop at a slower rate than girls.

Paragraph 3

Reveal answer
Hide answer

Our second hypothesis was that, as it is known that attention skills increase with age, so performance at the Opposite World task should improve with age in both conditions. Hence our null hypothesis was that there would be no main effect of age. Table one suggests that there was a steady decrease in time taken, and hence increase in performance, as the children increased in age in the distraction condition, and table three suggests the same trend in the no-distraction condition. A two-way ANOVA was carried out for both conditions on the independent variables age(3) and sex(2). The results confirmed that there was a significant main effect of age on the performance at the tasks in both the distraction condition F(2,90)=9.53 p<.01 and the no-distraction condition F(2,90)=16.04, p<.01. These findings support our second hypothesis.

  • the analyses/tests used
  • the results of these analyses
  • your hypotheses and how they link to your results

 

Our second hypothesis was that, as it is known that attention skills increase with age, so performance at the Opposite World task should improve with age in both conditions. Hence our null hypothesis was that there would be no main effect of age. Table one suggests that there was a steady decrease in time taken, and hence increase in performance, as the children increased in age in the distraction condition, and table three suggests the same trend in the no-distraction condition. A two-way ANOVA was carried out for both conditions on the independent variables age(3) and sex(2). The results confirmed that there was a significant main effect of age on the performance at the tasks in both the distraction condition F(2,90)=9.53 p<.01 and the no-distraction condition F(2,90)=16.04, p<.01. These findings support our second hypothesis.

Paragraphs 4 & 5

Reveal answer
Hide answer

The two-way ANOVA’s conducted above also found a significant interaction between age and sex in the distraction condition F(2,90)=3.62, p<.05, whilst finding that there was no significant interaction in the no-distraction condition F(2,90)=.13, p<.10. Table one suggests that this interaction means that boys do not improve at the ‘Opposite Worlds’ task between the two higher age ranges, i.e. 6-7 years and 8-9 years.

Residuals from both ANOVA’s were screened for normal distribution and systematic variation with other variables. Correlation with original baseline scores was found to be significant for residuals from both distraction r(95)=0.21, p<.05 and no-distraction r(95)=.46, p<.01 conditions. This is expected to a certain extent, and so the ANOVA findings were maintained.

  • the analyses/tests used
  • the results of these analyses

 

The two-way ANOVA’s conducted above also found a significant interaction between age and sex in the distraction condition F(2,90)=3.62, p<.05, whilst finding that there was no significant interaction in the no-distraction condition F(2,90)=.13, p<.10. Table one suggests that this interaction means that boys do not improve at the ‘Opposite Worlds’ task between the two higher age ranges, i.e. 6-7 years and 8-9 years.

Residuals from both ANOVA’s were screened for normal distribution and systematic variation with other variables. Correlation with original baseline scores was found to be significant for residuals from both distraction r(95)=0.21, p<.05 and no-distraction r(95)=.46, p<.01 conditions. This is expected to a certain extent, and so the ANOVA findings were maintained.