Write a lab report describing and analysing the scientific concept of ‘visual crowding’. You will formulate hypotheses, conduct an experiment, and present your findings and what they signify in relation to your experimental aims.
Your lab report will be broken up into two parts, Lab report 1 and Lab report 2. Together (1 and 2) will comprise of the following sections:
• Abstract—a brief synopsis.
• Introduction—introduces the topic area and states the hypotheses.
• Method—describes everything the reading might need to know to be able to carry out the experiment.
• Results—presents and analyses the data.
• Discussion—addresses the hypotheses you set up in the introduction.
• References—lists everything the reader needs to know to find where you got your information from.
These sections are separated into Lab report 1 and Lab report 2, as follows:
1. Method and Results – Assignment 1A: Lab report 1.
2. Abstract, Introduction, Discussion and References – Assignment 1B: Lab report 2.
Lab report 1 and Lab report 2 will be submitted separately. View the unit Schedule to keep track of your due dates.
This assignment supports unit learning outcomes 2, 3 and 4.
For Lab report 1, you will need to complete and submit the Method and Results sections of your lab report.
Work your way through the following steps to meet the requirements of this assignment.
Step 1: Read through the details that follow, explaining the method and results sections, and become familiar with their requirements prior to conducting the experiment.
Step 2: Conduct the experiment in Module 3.3 Experiment: Visual crowding, when you are working through Module 3. You will need to use the following documents to record and plot the results of your experiment:
• Crowding experiment data entry sheet (PDF 30 KB)
• Crowding experiment data result sheet (XLSX 45 KB)
• Lab report 1 (PDF 223 KB) .
Step 3: Write your method. Refer to the details that follow to help you do this.
Step 4: Write your results. Refer to the details that follow to help you do this.
Step 5: Proofread and edit your work.
Step 6: Submit your Lab report 1.
The method is a ‘recipe’ that describes in concrete terms what the experiment actually involves. Information must be described in detail sufficient for a reader to replicate the experiment. It includes the following subsections:
• Age (mean, standard deviation).
• Description of how they were selected (self-selected/volunteers).
• Lay out the basic conditions of the experiment.
• State the independent and dependent variables using the units in which they are measured:
o Independent variables – describe the different conditions.
Target – flanker separation (4 levels of separation + target alone baseline).
Target – flanker similarity (similar vertical flankers; dissimilar horizontal flankers).
o Dependent variables – what was measured?
Proportion of correct target identifications (you will need to explain how this was derived, i.e. the number of correct identifications for a given condition divided by the total number of trials presented in that condition).
• Hardware (computer/tablet/monitor).
• Software – what was used?
What were the dimensions of the line stimuli?
Measure and report how long and wide.
Where did they present with respect to the fixation point?
Where did the line stimuli appear relative to the fixation point?
Did their location vary across trials?
Were they pseudo-random, fully random or blocked?
o Time course:
Was there a fixation point between each set of line stimuli?
Was it also present while the lines were presented?
How long were the line stimuli on the screen for?
Did they remain until a response was made?
Note: At 57cm viewing distance, 1cm = 1 degree of visual angle, 2cm = 2 degrees of visual angle etc.
• What happens overall in the experiment? (Include instructions).
• What happens on each trial? Describe the events and how the participants recorded their responses.
• Where was the screen with respect to the participant? Was this controlled?
• How was performance measured?
• Were the conditions presented randomised or a blocked sequence?
The results section describes what was found. It generally contains statistical tests. This section presents the results of the experiment graphically or by using tables. The Crowding experiment data result sheet (XLSX 45 KB) will generate a graph for you. Findings are not interpreted in this section, as this should be done in the Discussion section for Assignment 1B: Lab report 2.
It is a good guide to ask yourself, ‘What information should I report to convince the reader that I have tested the hypotheses?’
When performing research one invariably has a hypothesis in mind prior to running the study. In the case of this lab report writing exercise, that is not true.
• Begin section with a description in sentence form of what was tested.
• Follow this with a series of sentences describing precisely what was found of direct relevance to the hypotheses.
• Explicitly refer to the independent and dependent variables used.
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