7.7 Results

The results section directly follows the method section with a centered title in bold text called “Results.” Here, the type of data analysis is mentioned along with any rationale needed to justify a given statistical procedure. For example, Analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated a main effect of social modeling on pain endurance. This section highlights the main findings of the study in a technical manner without elaboration; do not discuss whether hypotheses were or were not supported – that is for the discussion. For example:

Participants in tolerant condition lasted significantly longer than individuals assigned to control and intolerant conditions. . . There was no main effect of monetary payment on endurance (Symbaluk et al., 1997).

The findings are generally noted as they pertain to the dependent measure(s) and are presented in the order in which the variables were introduced in preceding sections. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020) is very clear about how to present the information including abbreviations and symbols from specific statistical analyses (e.g., correlations, t-tests, ANOVA, etc.) so make sure you refer to this guide when you are writing this section of your report. A few examples are given below.

Descriptive Statistics. A comparison of the means showed that participants who recited the information aloud with a friend performed better on the exam (M = 83.5%, SD = 12.3.) than those who did not verbalize their notes (M = 78.8%, SD = 15.0).

Correlation. Early trouble in school was moderately associated with job instability, r (236) = .56, p < .001, and alcohol abuse, r (236) = .60, p < .001.

Analysis of Variance. Findings showed that athletes in the low-weight class had lower body masses (M = 20.4, SD = 1.7) than those in the high-weight class (M = 25.3 SD = 0.8), F (1, 12) = 13.31, p < .01.

You may want to include a table at the end of your report that summarizes the findings by listing the means (and standard deviations) for key variables. Make sure you use a transitional sentence that refers to your table, and works it into the report. For example:

 As shown in Table 1, participants in the tolerant condition endured pain longer than those in control or intolerant conditions or Participants in the tolerant condition endured pain longer than those in control or intolerant conditions.

Alternatively, you may wish to include a figure that displays the main results pictorially as a graph or chart. You can construct a figure using various computer programs (e.g., Microsoft Excel can produce a chart that is a pie, column or line graph). In this case, the independent (or predictor) variable is plotted on the horizontal (x) axis, while the dependent (or outcome) variable is plotted on the vertical (y) axis. Make sure you include labels so that it is clear what information is being conveyed. Again, you want to use a transition sentence that refers to the figure in the results section For example:

Participants in the tolerant condition endured pain longer than in the intolerant or control conditions as shown in Figure 1.

Note that both tables and figures should go at the end of your paper, as discussed later in this chapter. 

Results Checklist

❏ Follows the method section

❏ Begins with the heading “Results,” centered and in bold text

❏ Page numbering continues from the previous section

❏ Double-spaced

❏ Indented new paragraphs

❏ Main findings are reported

❏ Optional Table at end of paper lists data in columns and rows

❏ Optional Figure at end of paper shows the main results


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Navigating an Undergraduate Degree in the Social Sciences Copyright © 2019 by Diane Symbaluk, Robyn Hall, and Geneve Champoux is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.