Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 33 Darts Lab Thinking and Writing

We did a lab experiment that Psychologists would use to draw conclusions about how well your limbs and brain communicate and about how quickly your brain can adapt to changing information coming into it from your limbs and eyes (hand eye coordination).  The body's process of communication between what your body is doing and how your brain perceives and then acts upon that information is call "proprioception" .  

This is a picture of a couple of participants collecting darts from the targets for two dart throwing subjects . 

Results Chart of Entire Class Dart Throws

Below are the notes you should be using to help you complete your lab report on this experiment - they're a general outline and you should use them to help organize your ideas and get them into a useful format of writing.

These are notes for your to use to help you to write your Darts Lab Report.  It is based on the Handout, Report Writing in the Social Sciences.

Here is the published report on Buffering Effects of Religiosity on Substance Use.

Title: we are measuring ACCURACY of dart throws before, during and after a CHANGING field of vision.  The example that I used was the title of a prior study, "Buffering Effects of Religiosity on Substance Use."

Abstract: write this after the rest of the report is complete!  About 100 words.  Summary of:

Introduction: like any written work, introduce the topic to your audience to give it context.
Must include references (two in this case) to PREVIOUS studies on the same topic.  What did these previous studies conclude?  Google "proprioception studies "  to lots of results.

End the introduction with a statement of some predictions for the outcome of your study (hypothesis).

For example: you might predict that introducing prism glasses will result in a corresponding shift in accuracy in the same direction as the prism glasses, in this case approx. 11.5 degrees to the right.

Also, with practice, accuracy will improve.

Removing prism glasses will result in a corresponding shift in accuracy to the left of the target, i.e. in the opposite direction compared to when prism glasses were introduced, i.e. to the left.

Write a hypothesis using "if / then" statements.  e.g. "If prism glasses are introduced, then a corresponding loss in accuracy will result . . . . " etc.

Method:  in the first handout, "Prism Adaptation Experiment," I have listed the steps to perform for this lab.  Use it as a rough guide.  Use detail but not too much detail.

In the Method you will have several subheadings as follows:
Design: explain the tasks of each participant.  Explain the independent and dependent variables.
Independent variable: the non-changing process that you use, i.e. prism glasses @ 11.5 deg. right.
Dependent variable: the change as a result of indep. var., i.e. accuracy scores.

Participants: be specific, reference the class (HSB4U1), 27 people, (ages 16 - 18), one teachers.  Are there any characteristics that are important?  Could we generalize the results to other groups?  e.g. grade 3 class, the elderly, etc.

Apparatus & Materials: the simple list of what we used - it's good to use a graphic or two here.  Also, combine these as this is a very simple lab.  I've added a picture of the target boards in the Classes folder.

Procedure: refer to the handout with the bird on it and be specific about what everyone involved did.  A List works well here.

Results: start with a concise summary of results.

Explain how data was transformed into usable figures (in this case the graph).

In this case you need to explain each of the eight data points and the slopes of the parts of the graph.

Discussion: this is arguably the most important part of any lab report.

Start with a brief summary of results again, to refocus the audience's attention on the main points.

Explain each conclusion you make and support it with direct reference to the data.

Suggest further experimentation to do to cover the topic and any questions raised more fully.

Explain limitations and sources of potential error in your experiment, eg:
- we only studied one group of 30 adolescents.
- some people have better hand/eye coordination that others: significant because with such a small group our participants might be skewed, i.e. higher proportion of elite athletes than the general population.
- age, younger people tend to have better hand/eye coordination, thus limiting the scope of our findings to younger people.
- people stepping over the throw line
- a noisy environment
- distractions

Final paragraph stating conclusions and how further research could be conducted.

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