First, restate whether your findings support your hypothesis (-es). Briefly restate your results WITHOUT using statistics/numbers at both the operational definition

PSY2050. hypothesis
Discussion Section + Title Page and Abstract
Please save your draft as LastNameFirstInitial_DiscussionDraft1 (e.g., JohnsonC_DiscussionDraft1).
**Please consult your Lab PowerPoint and APA resources for more information on the formatting and contents of the Title Page and Abstract.

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**This is an individual assignment, so each group member should submit their own Title Page, Abstract, and Discussion sections. Please save and upload them as a single word document.

Main Parts of a Discussion Section:

Results Related to Hypothesis (-es):
First, restate whether your findings support your hypothesis (-es). Briefly restate your results WITHOUT using statistics/numbers at both the operational definition and conceptual level (this is important!).

Results Relationship with Previous Research:
You must link your results to findings from at least 2 other studies, whether those results agree with your results or not. Explain/explore this link thoroughly. If your results contradict previous research, give at least one possible explanation for why they contradict one another. If your results are similar to previous research, explain how the theoretical framework you laid out in your Introduction Section explains both the previous research results and your own research results.

Unpredicted/Exploratory Results:
Be sure to explain these findings using theory and to compare these unpredicted results to previous research. It is also important that you qualify these results by acknowledging that these results were unexpected/exploratory.

Strengths & Limitations:
Discuss the specific strengths and limitations of your study. Do NOT use an apologetic tone when reviewing your limitations, simply acknowledge them and use them when making your conclusions. Part of science is being completely honest about our own limitations and flaws, and taking them into account when you draw your conclusions. Furthermore, all studies, even those published in the most prestigious journals have limitations.
Similarly, you should also discuss at least 1 type of validity when talking about strengths and limitations. Be sure to mention the specific type of validity (internal, external, construct, ecological, etc.) you are evaluating, and explain why it is either strong or weak in your study. You can also discuss conditions, settings, circumstances, and contexts in which the results might be different, and why they might be different? However, please only include this if it is relevant to your discussion of strengths and limitations.

Alternative Explanations:
You should propose at least 2 alternative explanations for your research findings, and thoroughly explain these alternatives. What are all possible causes for your results? Then, explain why your explanation of the results is the more probable explanation than the alternatives you posed. Why are these alternative explanations less likely to be true than your hypothesis? This portion of the Discussion Section should be substantial and well-thought-out, because an important part of science is eliminating alternative explanations.

Implications & Applications:
You need to come up with at least 1 implication and 1 application of your research findings. Based on your results, what else might be true (implications)? How could these results be applied to real-world situations (applications)? This is also where you justify why your topic is worth researching. How is research on this topic important to knowledge, society, the world, etc.? You want to present clear justification for taking the time and effort to study this topic In other words, you want to convince readers that they should care about your study and the findings.

Future Research:
Discuss ideas for future research related to your topic. How should future researchers approach this topic differently than you did? How might they want to approach it similarly to how you did? What sort of questions still need to be answered by future research, and how can future research answer these questions?

Grand Conclusion:
Last in the Discussion Section, many researchers provide a grand, over-arching statement in which they either summarize the results or comment about the larger meaning of the results. This could be as short as a single paragraph, but you should have some sort of recap/sensible conclusion.

 

Tips on Writing a Discussion Section:

Care must be taken to provide additional commentary and NOT simply restate the results from your Results Section. You should only very briefly restate the results, while the vast majority of this section will be your interpretation and exploration of your findings.
Remember to organize your Discussion Section from the specific to general.
Organization is very important in a Discussion Section, so you should outline or otherwise map-out your section before you begin writing. This section should continue to tell the same story you laid out in the Introduction Section and extend on it based upon the study results, meaning organization with the rest of the paper and within itself are both crucial.
Use the same key terms you used in your Introduction Section so the reader has an easier time following along.
Although you want to outline the importance of your study, keep in mind that your study could not have solved the entire world’s problems on whatever issue you studied, so be careful of making claims that are too grandiose.
Though you are discussing a lot in this section, try to be concise/brief and not ramble on, or else you will lose the reader.
Only discuss the matters that are relevant to the specific story you are trying to tell.
Side issues should NOT be included, as these tend to obscure the message and confuse the reader. Stay on course and evaluate/explore only what is relevant. hypothesis

 

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