Psychology: Parts of the Thesis

In Psychology, a thesis has four specific chapters.

1. Introduction

Taken from the Background section of the proposal, updated to incorporate any new papers that may have been published since you finalized your proposal.

  • Integrate any new background necessary to explain your results

2. Method

  • Updated to include the actual number of participants (i.e. how many were approached, how many agreed to participate, how many completed the study protocol)
  • Describe any changes from the proposed method
  • Analysis Plan is not necessary - this will appear in Results

3. Results

  • Demographic characteristics of the sample
  • Descriptive statistics for each variable (Mean, Standard Deviation)
  • For each hypothesis, what statistic was calculated, and the result. This information can appear in tables and figures or in text, but you should not repeat the exact same findings both ways

If you are discussing mean differences (e.g., t-tests, ANOVA, etc), be sure to include the direction of the findings in the body of the text (e.g., “As expected, males were more likely to report poor sleep than females, t (71) = 3.25, p < .05")

  • Include both significant findings and those that failed to reach significance

  • Use conventional p-values (p < .05, p < .01, p < .001, p < .0001)

  • Do not do any interpretation in this chapter

4. Discussion

In one paragraph or less, reiterate why you did this investigation and what was predicted or hypothesized.

  • For each hypothesis, restate the finding without the statistics and then explain what you think it meant. This is actually easier to do when things did not go as predicted!
  • Draw some conclusions - overall, what did you find out?
  • List or describe some next steps or future directions