Study Tips: Top tips for writing a psychology laboratory report

hello today we’re going to talk about lack reports so I’ve got some top tips on writing the lab report if you are studying an undergraduate degree in psychology it’s more than likely that you’ll be writing lab reports it’s pretty inevitable at the moment and psychology degrees it’s an important part of psychology training which is conducting the border to experiments some people love writing lab reports some people are indifferent to writing lab reports and some people like me really don’t like committing lab reports at all so I’ve got three top tips and tip number one is make sure you write in the third person what does that mean well the third person is all about pronouns the first person uses pronouns like I me so I would say I am presenting to the camera and making a podcast the third person refers to programs like them or him or her or we could say with the role so in this instance it would be the presenter is creating a podcast henceforth you have to refer to yourself only in the third person right okay so I know what so instead of saying I am listening you say Cesar is listening or Cesar listens makes it seem more mental so when you’re writing a lab report you refer to yourself in a role you don’t use the first don’t use personal pronouns you don’t say I conducted an experiment you refer to your roles so what you will write is the experimenter conducted the study or the researcher conducted the experiment now this feels weird it’s weird saying it and it feels weird to write it it’s unusual you do hear people talking in the third person they tend to be people who’ve got a from a sense of self-importance like politicians there’s nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA then Donald Trump Vinick also be celebrities and in that instance people’s identity is their brand so their name is the brand and so they’re constantly wanting to reinforce the brand by referring to their name rather than using a personal pronoun no it’s the Kylie Jenner I just also always wanted to say that I don’t know now it is weird talking like that and writing like that but when you think about what a laboratory experiment is in the sense of the scientific paradigm it’s working within in relation to psychology then it’s not weird at all because it’s positivism there’s a scientific paradigm is positivism positivism says that truth exists independently of our sins if it exists in the outside world so we accumulate knowledge and that knowledge is subjective it doesn’t matter what my personal beliefs are it doesn’t matter what my politics are doesn’t matter what my life experiences me discovering truth is independent of those things all I need is the skills to be able to conduct research so in this paradigm it doesn’t really matter who the researcher is so we don’t want to invite questions like who was the researcher what did they believe what was their religion what was their politics so we try to avoid those questions because we don’t think there are other questions I actually think they’re extremely valid questions but in positivism nah we don’t think those things affect that thing that is being observed so that’s why we don’t use the personal pronoun because we don’t want to engage in this at a personal level of analysis about who the researcher is so we use the third person we just say the researcher now actually the sweet spot in positivism isn’t we can get people to forget that there’s actually a researcher there at all and that’s where you use the passive tense in your sentence so passive tense would be something rather than saying the research conducted an experiment you would remove the researcher entirely in your sentence construction you would just say an experiment was conducted it just happened so if that’s the convention so once you understand the paradigm then you understand why we don’t use the personal pronoun so that’s tip number one tip number two is also in relation to writing style and in this instance it’s about your use of the verb tense whether you write about things in the past in the present or in the future you are too concerned with what was and what will be is a saying yesterday is history tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift that is why it is called present what you need to do is write about the thing using the tense that describes when it happened so when you’re writing about an experiment you conducted keep it all in the past tense so when you’re writing about a hypothesis that you developed past tense if you’re writing about literature that’s being that exists right there it’s been written about it’s all in the past tense because that stuff’s already been written occasionally you’ll write in the present tense and that’s when you’re talking about the states of the literature at the moment and what’s happening in the research community in regards to this area of investigation then that could be the present tense and you’d only shift into the future tense when you’re describing what you would like to see how in regards to research in relation to the research question typically you just measure that stuff in your discussion so in your introduction and in your method section and in the reporting of your results it’s all pretty much past tense occasionally present tense when you’re referring to the present state of literature so keep the tenses reflective when the things happen that you described don’t mix your tenses up too much okay so keep some consistency there the final tip is in relation to how you handle the truth the truth you can’t handle the truth what you want to avoid are statements like this proves that or there is a definite link between this and that we know for certain that basically you want to avoid anything that would suggest that you are putting forward an absolute truth so saying that you discovered something to be true you don’t do that in experiments I mean in experiments all we can do is say that we think something is probable we have I think something is probably true or probably untrue we don’t definitively say it is definitely true or definitely false so what we’re dealing with is probabilities so avoid saying things like this experiment proves that such and such is the case avoid the word proof and if you’re going to use the word significant make sure you only use the term significant if you’re using significance testing that’s where you test to see if the level of probability is high enough for us to have good a good level of confidence that this thing actually did kind of happen and it’s probably not so much due to chance so avoid the word significant unless you’re using significant tests and avoid the word proof so those are my three top tips for writing and best of luck if you’re writing one just now see you next time kids

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