PSY2DEV 2017 Lab Report Part 1: Introduction and Methods
Instructions for Students
Lab Study: Describing and Understanding Attitudes about Parenting and Child Development.
Due Date: Thursday August 24th, 4pm
For part 1 of the lab report, you will be writing the introduction (including aims and hypotheses) and
methods section for the lab study “Describing and Understanding Attitudes about Parenting and Child
Development”” in the format of a psychology laboratory report. American Psychological Association
(APA) 6th edition formatting must be used. The abstract, results and discussion sections for your
report will be included in Lab Report Part 2 (so not here).
Please ensure you attend tutorials, as this is where we will discuss the lab study and report in detail.
Total word limit: 1000 words
Please note this is the maximum word limit, which will be enforced, so please write concisely.
Research journals strictly enforce their word limits for research articles, so it is good to start
practicing writing clearly and succinctly. As a guide only, approximately 70% of your total word count
will be for your introduction, and approximately 30% for your methods section. The reference list is
NOT included in the word count. In text citations ARE included in the word count.
Key starting references (more will be discussed in tutorials):
• Bornstein, M.H., Cote, L.R., Haynes, O.M., Hahn, C., & Park, Y. (2010). Parenting Knowledge:
Experiential and Sociodemographic Factors in European American Mothers of Young Children.
Developmental Psychology, 46(6), 1677-1693.
• Sanders, M.R., & Morawska A. (2014). Can Changing Parental Knowledge, Dysfunctional
Expectations and Attributions, and Emotion Regulation Improve Outcomes for Children?
Available from http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/parenting-skills/according-experts/canchanging-parental-knowledge-dysfunctional-expectations-and
• Ferrier-Lynn, M. & Skouteris, H. (2008). Parent cognitions and parent-infant interaction: the
relationship with development in the first 12 months. Australian Journal of Early Childhood,
Key references for writing Psychology lab reports:
• There is a Lab report template uploaded in the assignments folder on LMS
• APA (2010). Publication manual of the APA, 6th ed.
• APA style central website (through La Trobe Uni library)
• Burton (2010). An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology
(3rd ed.). Milton: John Wiley & Sons
Remember the research articles you read will give you a good feel for the sort of information that is
included in each section of a research study report. However, keep in mind that the exact order and
formatting for each journal may differ, and not be in the APA style that you need to follow. When in
doubt, look at the APA publication style manual, or APA style central website (through the library).
PSY2DEV 2017 Lab Report Part 1 Instructions for students 2
• Not included in word count
• The title page should include a clear title telling the reader what the project is about, in about
12-15 words or less, as well as your name, etc. (see Burton p. 65)
• Include the key variables (i.e. key topics/constructs/ideas) of interest in the title
The introduction needs to provide the reader with the background research and relevant theory for
the study, covering the main variables under investigation in the study. This helps the reader
understand what important questions remain unanswered in the literature, or why we need to know
more about a certain topic or research question, and thus provides the rationale for why we are
doing our study. An introduction should start with the broader topic under investigation (e.g. lay
theories about child development and parenting), then become more specific as you lead the reader
towards the rationale for our study. The final section of the introduction should include clearly stated
aims, and hypotheses for the study.
Use the starting references to begin reading about theories of child development and parenting, and
how these 1) influence parenting and child outcomes, and 2) are associated with different factors
such as parent age and background.
You will then need to do your own literature review to look for other references that are relevant to
your study in order to build a background for the research in your introduction. You should aim for a
total of between 10-20 references (including references for the measures/questionnaires we use),
but there is no set number as long as you can build a strong rationale for your study and aims.
This section should provide the reader with enough information about how you did the study so they
could replicate it themselves. The methods section should include information on participants (e.g.,
who they were, how they were recruited), procedures (i.e., how we collected the data) and measures
(i.e., the questionnaires). Make sure you remember to cite the references for the measures we use.
Your tutors will spend more time with you in Tutorial 2 on the methods section, including ensuring
you understand the measures and where they came from (i.e. how to cite them).
Make sure you appropriately cite and reference the research and literature that you use in your lab
report in both the introduction and methods sections. It is critically important that you use APA style
(6th edition) for your citations and references, and this will be included in the marking rubric for your
lab report. Please refer to the APA publication manual, APA style central website, or Burton textbook
and please ask your tutor if you have any questions about psychology lab report style/formatting.
PSY2DEV 2017 Lab Report Part 1 Instructions for students 3
Marking Rubric for Lab Report PSY2DEV 2017 Part 1: Introduction and Methods (total marks /25)
Title page /1 mark
• Clear and accurate title page
o Title mentions key variables we are interested in for our study
Introduction /10 marks
• Starting focus is appropriately broad
• Provides details from past research that is relevant to our study and helps reader understand
what has been done previously in this area
• Builds clear rationale for current study
o What (if anything) is missing from previous literature, why are we interested in doing
• Clearly states study aims and hypotheses
o Each aim has a hypothesis (prediction) about what you think we will find
o Hypotheses are informed by previous research cited in introduction (e.g. you need to
base your predictions on what you expect based on previous studies)
o Hypotheses are specific and include direction of predicted relationship (e.g.
negative/positive relationship between variables)
Methods /10 marks
• Describes participants
o Who, how many
• Mentions recruitment
o How were participants recruited?
• Outlines general data collection procedure
o How did we get the data, in what format was it collected, where and when?
• Names and cites all questionnaires and measures
• Method written so as to permit replication
o This means there is enough detail for someone to know exactly what we did
General /4 marks
• Writing style is clear and understandable
• Text has been proof-read
o Look for punctuation errors, missing words from sentences, spelling mistakes, etc.
• Formatting follows APA 6th ed. style
o Particularly pay attention to things like line spacing, how to write numbers in text,
headings, layout. Please use the manual and the APA interactive style guide at the
• Sources are properly cited, reference list complete – in APA 6th ed. style
o This is about academic integrity and making sure you cite the information you are
referring to, as well as making sure all your formatting of citations and references is
correct and in APA style.
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