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TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM VARIOUS WEBSITES When actually presenting the results, try to emphasize the meaning of the statistics. That is, clearly describe what it is you are testing and what significance means for the variables involved. Be careful with the word "prove". Since statistical tests are based on probability and can be in error, they do not really prove anything. You can only use wording that implies causality if you actually manipulated the independent variable (i.e., performed an experiment). For example, suppose you manipulated whether subjects received a drug (while employing appropriate control procedures, etc.) and found a significant difference in memory performance (with the drug users performing more poorly than nonusers). In this case, you would be able to conclude that the drug caused the difference in memory ability; it impaired it. As another example, suppose that you compared drug use (as determined from the results of a survey) with memory ability and found a correlation (greater use went along with poorer memory performance). Since correlation doesn't say much about causality, we could only conclude that there is a relationship between drug use and memory ability. “While the correlation was not significant using the standard alpha level of .05, the p-value was less than .10.” BUT, you must provide a rationale for why you should still be able to discuss this non-significant correlation (e.g, power, effect size issues). You may cautiously interpret such a correlation. Don’t make grand conclusions or use strong language based on the existence of a marginally significant finding. Also, you should indicate that a marginal finding is non- significant in a table; only refer to the statistic as “ approaching significance ” in the text of the paper. When reporting a significant difference between two conditions, indicate the direction of this difference, i.e. which condition was more/less/higher/lower than the other condition(s). Assume that your audience has a professional knowledge of statistics. Don’t explain how or why you used a certain test unless it is unusual. Were differences statistically significant (i.e., p =.05 or below)? Don't merely give the statistical numbers without a supporting sentence. You also cannot use statistics as though they were parts of speech (i.e., nouns). For example do not write “The correlation between private self-consciousness and college adjustment was r(60) = - .26, p = .01.” DO NOT WRITE THIS. Instead, translate important data for the reader into words and provide the statistics as evidence for your reported results. For example, EXAMPLES --- TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM VARIOUS SITES – SEE LIST AT BOTTOM “The negative correlation between private self-consciousness and college adjustment indicated that increased self-consciousness predicted poor adjustment, r (60) = - .26, p = . 01.”
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This note was uploaded on 11/05/2011 for the course 090 250 taught by Professor Jamesreed during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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