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Assignment: Lab reports.
Students will use the following guide to scientific inquiry. Each student will produce three individually prepared lab reports and participate in one group-prepared lab report, each that presenting knowledge of hypothesis testing, data collection, and analysis. See further help/assistance from your Lab Instructor re: scientific inquiry and lab reports. A report template and examples are posted for you.
See the video on Canvas for more info on using biofeedback thermometers for lab reports!
Please list your name, and your lab date, time and section at the top left side of your paper. Please always staple your lab report.
Lab report #1: Once you have become acquainted with several relaxation techniques (e.g. autogenic training, labyrinth, meditative breathing, etc.) you are ready to assess, through scientific inquiry, your own personal responses to a specific technique. This lab report should reflect your first experimentation with biofeedback thermometers. Lab reports need to be written on experiments done OUTSIDE OF LAB. However, feel free to REPLICATE anything that you did in lab or develop your own creative approach. Refer to slides used in class as well as the posted grading rubric to help you frame your questions and methods. Your lab report should be divided into six sections and include all information outlined below, and submitted to Canvas in a WORD document (or compatible) format. 33 points.
Use the following outline to write a 2-3 page, double-spaced lab report, applying scientific methods to address questions:
Problem identification: What is your “problem” or question? For example, your question may be that you do not know how you will respond to either a stressor or a stress-reducing technique. Another question may be that you do not know whether you can manipulate your autonomic nervous system sufficiently to detect a stress response. Other possible questions: Are you more able to measure stress response better using one instrument over another? Do the measurement devices match your own internal state? (2 points)
Investigate: Suggested things to be aware of/consider in your experiments: What do you know about yourself or another person? What do you need to know? What happens to your body temperature when stressed and relaxed? Does room temperature matter in terms of body temp? Does body movement matter in terms of body temp? Does your heart rate affect body temp? Are you “in tune” with your emotions well enough to recognize when you are stressed? What are some of your signals? (3 points)
State your Hypothesis: What response do you think you will see? Example: “I hypothesize that I can increase or decrease my distal body temperature from baseline by using autogenic techniques.” In this case, it would be important to identify by how much you think you’ll increase or decrease your distal temperature and what that change will indicate. (1 point)
Study plan: This section contains your experimental procedure and should clearly state what you will do to collect information as well as the steps that you will take to execute the study. It’s important to include justification for your actions (e.g. collect initial distal temp to establish a baseline, collect room to identify a control). How will you collect data to evaluate your question/problem and hypothesis? State the specific stress- enhancing or stress- reducing technique chosen for your experiment as well your data collection instrument (e.g. distal body temperature). Think carefully regarding the data you need to collect: How many times should you collect room and distal body temperature? How many times do you need to collect (and how are data points spaced?) in order to establish a valid change? Also provide a material list and briefly describe the setting as your environment may affect your results/experience. You can list this in paragraph or in numerical order (e.g. Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 etc.,). (6 points)
Example: using the above hypothesis, you would need to measure room and finger temperature using a biofeedback thermometer, determine how many trials you need, where you should be, what stress reduction technique you should use, how you will record the data, etc. What are possible confounds and how will you account for them (Refer back to “investigate” and what you know/need to know…examples: Room temperature? Activity level?).
Data collection and results: Once you carry out your experiment, document your results (qualitatively –feelings/perceptions–and quantitatively – data points). All data points should be included, and any average calculations, etc. Think carefully about how to present information: If you are looking for baselines, averages make sense. Please indicate times that you collected date. Use the data collection sheet as a guide. If you are looking for change over time, what is the best way to show that? (Hint: Hand-written or excel charts, graphs and tables are effective). (10 points)
Analysis and conclusion: Finally, analyze your results and state whether or not your hypothesis is confirmed and how you interpret findings? What do you see or think? Did the qualitative and quantitative data support or contradict each other and what are your thoughts about this? What are the variables of the study (e.g. environment)? What are alternative explanations or potential confounding variables? What might be problems in your experiment that makes it difficult to interpret your results? Discuss your limitations and strengths of the study. How will you improve next time? (10 points Lab#1&3 / 11 points Lab#2)
Spelling and Grammar– (2 points)