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Chapter 4

Data and Statistics

Statistics in APA Format

The following guidelines are based on the American Psychological Association (APA) standard for reporting statistics in the narrative of research papers, including Dissertation Manuscripts, and especially in abstracts. Discussion of in-text citations is found in Chapter 5. In a publication presented to APA, authors are required to present results either in the narrative or in a table.

As a dissertation author you may find it worthwhile to present certain findings in both tables and the narrative. Further, it is appropriate to reference key findings in the text, but attempt to avoid repetition of information that is presented in the tables. It is important to follow APA reporting style conventions, and to report your results with clarity.

 

Note: All the information you will need is found in your statistical program output. While you may choose to provide output as an appendix to your Dissertation Manuscript, please note that it is not acceptable to simply cut and paste output tables in your Chapter 4. Tables presented must follow APA style guidelines as presented in Chapter 5 of the APA Publication Manual.

The first and perhaps easiest results to present are descriptive, or means, standard deviations, and percentages.

Means and standard deviations are presented in parentheses.

For example: In a study sample describing a survey business leaders from across the United States you might say: Business leaders in this sample report on average over 10 years of leadership experience (M=10.85, SD = 2.44).

Percentages are also displayed in parentheses.

For example: In this study over half (51%) of the students are Hispanic.

Second (and a bit more complicated) is presenting inferential statistics. A few things to keep in mind are to follow the formulas exactly, except for the p values (as stated in Chapter 5 of the APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition, please report the actual p value in the text or table, unless this is graphically presented or in the abstract). Also pay attention to spacing – it matters in APA style.

First, let us tackle t-tests.

With a t-test, regardless of the type of t-test, you adhere to this model: t followed by the degrees of freedom in parentheses, then the t statistic (rounded to two decimal places), and the p value.

Please see the example below:

After examining the mean level difference between two groups, there was a significant effect found for age, t(60) = 6.45, p < .01, with older people receiving higher scores than younger people.

Now, let us look at chi-square, which are reported a bit differently than t-tests. Following is the formula for chi-square.

First, in parentheses, you report the degrees of freedom and then the sample size. Next, you report the Pearson chi-square value (rounded to two decimal places), and then the p value. 

Please see the following example:

A Pearson Chi-Square examined the percentage of participants by old versus young and found that did not differ by age, 2(1, N = 60) = 0.89, p > .05.

Next, let us turn our attention to ANOVA (all types), which are reported with two degrees-of-freedom numbers. The first degrees of freedom that is included is called the between groups degrees of freedom, then you report the within-groups degrees of freedom (separated by a comma). Next you report the F statistic (rounded off to two decimal places), and following the F statistic, is the p value.

Let us look at another example:

In this study there was a main effect found for the between group treatment, F(1, 125) = 6.53, p < .05.

Next, let’s review correlations. These are reported with the degrees of freedom in parentheses followed by the p value.

See below:

In this study, two variables were not strongly correlated, r(80) = .15, p < .40.

In terms of regression, the statistics are usually reported in a table. However, if you would like to report a regression in the narrative, here is an example.

In this study writing scores were found to explain a significant proportion of variance in reading comprehension scores, R2 = .25, F(1, 135) = 35.45, p < .05.

As a final reference, you might it helpful to explore the website provided by the folks at UCLA. They developed annotated statistical program output for most analysis procedures. You will find the website here: http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/Spss/output/.

 

References

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

UCLA: Academic Technology Services, Statistical Consulting Group. from http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/Spss/output/ (accessed January 14, 2010).