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Course name: Individual mind and behaviour development
Abstract [ the Abstract has its own separate word count of 250 words]
The Abstract should contain a brief but comprehensive summary of your report. It should contain the:
• aim, which describes the problem under investigation
• participants, including age and sex information (or a statement that this information was not recorded)
• essential features of the method
• basic findings from the Results section
• a conclusion sentence or two that contains the implications of the findings
Introduction [Included in the word count 900 words (10% leeway)]
The purpose of an introduction is to justify why the study is needed and is important. This should all lead to (and justify) the aim and hypothesis of the study. While doing this, you must provide research evidence and theoretical reasoning as you go. If it helps, you might want to visualise the introduction as an inverted triangle (▼) starting broadly with the general topic, and becoming more and more targeted in what’s covered, until it logically points to a specific aim and hypothesis.
Typically the order of an introduction is as follows:
• Begin by identifying the general relevance of this area of study, and tell the reader why the topic is important to study. By this, we mean that you need to begin with some sort of introduction to the issue relating to studying automatic processes in general. Think about this question as you write this section: What is the Stroop Effect and why is it important to study it?
• Your introduction then needs to focus on the relevant existing knowledge on the topic. You want to discuss the prior literature in relation to the following questions (i.e., use the prior literature to answer the below questions):
• How was the Stroop Effect demonstrated in the original (1935) experiment?
• How has a direct suggestion been used to reduce the Stroop Effect?
• What is another way in which we might be able to reduce the Stroop Effect?
• You end this section by leading into the current study (our study). When talking about the current study, you should mention the study’s aim and how it addresses the gaps/limitations in the prior literature that you just mentioned. This aim should logically follow on from what you have written up to that point in the Introduction, so really your aim should not be a surprising one, given the evidence and the arguments you have already presented. Your reader should think “Oh that makes sense. Of course, they are looking at that.”
• Once you have done all of this, you then outline what you expect to find (referred to as the hypothesis).
Method [not included in the word count]
Please copy and paste the supplied Method section into your report.
Results [not included in the word count]
Please copy and paste the supplied Results section into your report.
Discussion [Included in the word count 900 words(10% leeway)]
Your Discussion should start with a reminder of the aim of the study, followed by your hypotheses, and whether your findings supported your hypotheses. If it helps, you might want to visualise the discussion as a triangle ▲ stating specifically what was found, then becoming broader as you compare the finding of the study to previous research, ending then with a summary/conclusion of the lab report.
Typically the order of a discussion is as follows:
• You should start the discussion with a reminder of the aim of the study, followed by your hypothesis, and whether your findings supported your hypothesis.
• Once you’ve done this you need to explain and interpret your findings. This does not mean to repeat the results but to provide a brief explanation of key findings. Remember you must back up every claim you make with previous literature. Most of the time you use the literature you covered in the introduction to explain and interpret the findings. You must say whether the results are consistent with prior studies and or theories/arguments. If they aren’t, you must think about why not. When it comes to explaining your findings, you can’t ‘prove’ your interpretations, so be tentative. Often, these interpretations are important areas that future researchers need to investigate.
• Next, you need to talk about the study’s implications. What does the findings mean for our understanding of cognitive processes? What do we now know about cognitive processes that we didn’t know before we conducted our study?
• You should then outline any limitations of the study you’re aware of and explain how those limitations may have affected the results. You must also suggest ways that future researchers can rectify this – this is discussed more below. Remember you don’t want the reader to feel like the study was flawed and a waste of time. So, make sure that they are reasonable limitations as well.
• You should then go on to present some suggestions for future research. These recommendations should follow logically from the specifics of this study. You can scatter this section throughout the discussion if you would like. For example, some people like to put some suggestions when they interpret the findings and others when they overview the limitations. Just ensure that you provide some suggestions for future research.
• Wrap up your discussion with a brief conclusion (one paragraph at the end). Conclusions commonly summarise the study’s findings, but also mention the contributions that a study has made to our understanding of cognitive processes – what is the contribution of ours?
References [not included in the word count]
Please include a References list, using APA style 7. Include only the three required readings in your References
Please remember that you don’t need to find any extra papers, but you can cite ones that have been included in the three required readings.
The THREE required readings MUST be included in your complete lab report.
(1) Stroop (1935): Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions.
(2) Raz, Kirsch, Pollard, and Nitkin-Kaner (2006): Suggestion reduces the Stroop Effect
(3) Bargh, Chen, and Burrows (1996): Automaticity of social behaviour: Direct effects of trait construct and stereotype activation on action.