The paper "How to Report Nonsignificant Results" is a great example of an essay on statistics. Although many researchers summarize statistical comparisons using declarations of statistical significance or nonsignificance, available literature demonstrates that such results should be presented in an understandable manner as they influence decision making (Derr & Goldsmith, 2003). Research is clear that nonsignificant findings should be presented through the use of p-values, standard deviations and confidence intervals (Hoem, 2008), and also by employing a post hoc statistical power and sample size analysis to show that the study was responsive enough to detect an important effect or outcome (Derr & Goldsmith, 2003).
A p-value of less than 0.05 should tell readers that the relationship between the tested variables is nonsignificant, though researchers should be careful not to dismiss the observed differences in favor of the normally less interesting null hypothesis through the dichotomization of data into significant and nonsignificant findings. In the mock study, the relationships sought had a p-value of less than 0.05 and hence provided the basis to refute the hypothesis that sought to associate gender role with leadership.
An intervening variable relates to a variable that accounts (at least in part) for the relationship between a predictor and an outcome variable, while a moderating variable relates to a variable that qualifies the association or relationship between a predictor and outcome variable (James, 2006). For example, in a study intended to determine how bad influence leads to drug abuse in school, the home environment can pass as an intervening variable in instances where the predictor variable (bad company) influences the outcome (drug abuse) indirectly by influencing the intervening variable (home environment), which then influences the outcome.
In the mock study, prior leadership experience among some of the participants could be considered as a moderating variable as it can shift the responses provided by these participants. All the elements in the mock study (e. g., introduction, literature review, method, results of hypotheses testing, and discussion of findings) can be included when the mock study is presented in an academic setting as participants are likely to have the knowledge and competence needed to understand all the terminology used. However, a professional setting such as a leadership conference should be exposed to important highlights of the mock study (e. g., introduction, summary of results, and discussion of key findings) to ensure ease of understanding and application of the research findings to change one’ s perspective or opinion about leadership (Oermann, Galuin, Floyd, & Roop, 2006).
While an academic setting may need to know the research design and methods of data analysis used to ensure the validity and reliability of research findings, a professional setting requires the researcher to provide the background of the mock study and a summary of main findings to ensure that the professionals are able to understand and apply the research findings in practice through specific actions or shifts in behavior (Helm & Bailey, 2013).
The mock study can be presented in traditional journals if the researcher intends to reach an academic audience, as this will ensure detail, validity, and reliability, as well as adherence to known conventions and standards of research (Oermann et al. , 2006). However, the researcher of the mock study can decide to use posters, PowerPoint presentations and conferences to present a concise and clear elucidation of the main highlights of the study to a professional audience (Drury & Hart, 2013).
This is because professional and academic audiences differ in their capacity to understand the research results, with available literature demonstrating that some professionals are inhibited from reading research papers as they are unable to understand the methodologies and statistical analyses used (Helm & Bailey, 2013). On the contrary, an academic audience has the capacity to understand the research terminology from quantitative and qualitative studies that practicing professionals may be unable to comprehend.
In the mock study, practicing teachers should not be exposed to research terminology such as one-sample test and test of normality as they may not understand what these tests imply.