This booklet is designed to help you understand the rationale, expectations, and background to the
laboratory report assignment. Do not use this booklet as a source of evidence in your report – you
must use the primary sources of evidence (video and core readings) provided to you on Cloud Deakin.
The laboratory report
This exercise is designed to provide you with practical experience at preparing a laboratory report
from a simple research design. The report that you write from this study will be worth 40% of the
final mark for this unit. The report should be no longer than 2000 words (not including abstract and
references) and is due on Thursday the 24th of August at 2:00pm (middle of Week 6).
Laboratory reports (i.e., lab reports or research reports) are what we use in psychology to
disseminate research findings. They require a clear understanding of the scientific method to flow
logically, as well as the ability to write concisely. We hope to help you develop these skills, along
with a few others:
1. You will gain an understanding of some social and developmental psychology theories
which have shaped the understanding of our patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
This is important because these pivotal theories have helped shape our current
understandings and explanations of certain human behaviours.
2. You will learn how to apply these theories to recent social psychology research and
develop skills that allow you to expand scientific knowledge in the area of interest.
By writing this laboratory report you should gain an understanding of how science builds on
and expands previous knowledge and how you can contribute to the development of
3. You will develop your analytic and communication skills.
Many of you may be aiming to go on and do second and third year psychology, then
perhaps complete post-graduate studies in psychology or other disciplines. As you will be
writing laboratory reports in these courses it is very important that you learn the basic skills
in first year on how to write a laboratory report. This is why we dedicate many HPS121
seminars to help you in your understanding of the requirements of a good laboratory
If you do not plan to continue beyond first year psychology, research has shown that both
employers and recent graduates rate communication skills as an important factor affecting