What Does it Mean to be a Friend?
Lab report 4 is a qualitative study exploring what it means to be a friend. You are provided with
semi-structured interview data which you need to individually analyse using thematic analysis. This
is an individual lab report which counts towards the module grade.
The interview data comes from a set of data collected specifically as an example qualitative study for
students to have access to for their research training. This is very useful because it is very time consuming to collect and transcribe interview data! This way you still gain the experience of
becoming familiar with and analysing interview data. Although the data have been collected
separately you should still write the lab report as though it was collected specifically for your
Remember to go over the Lecture on Qualitative Research Reports and the other materials
suggested at the end of this handout to understand what is required in your lab report 4. In your
first individual lab report (lab 2) it was fairly common for students to lose marks simply because they
did not follow the guidance that had been given.
Abstract (max. 250 words)
An abstract is a short overall summary of the research and does not count towards the final
wordcount. Because the abstract is a summary of the research, we advise writing the abstract last.
The abstract should include:
• Why the study was conducted (justification/rationale)
• What was done
• What was found
• What the results suggest
Introduction (up to 300 words)
This study explores people’s perceptions and experiences of friendships, in order to explore the
research question: what does it mean to be a friend?
In the introduction for your lab report 4 you will need to introduce the topic of the study and build
up to the specific design used and the aim/research question. Remember to use the funnel approach
introduced in the Autumn term and emphasised again in the lecture on Qualitative Research
The study is specifically exploring what friendship means to first-year university undergraduate
students. You may wish to focus upon this in your introduction and draw upon relevant past
literature. The journal article suggested below is a useful starting point but it is recommended that
you do your own additional reading around the topic.
The introduction should end with clear information about the study aim(s), why a qualitative design
is appropriate, and the research question.
Reference to get you started:
Buote, V. M., Pancer, S. M., Pratt, M. W., Adams, G., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., Polivy, J. & Gallander
Wintre, M. (2007). The importance of friends: Friendship and adjustment amongst 1st-year
university students. Journal of Adolescent Research. 22(6), 665-698. DOI:
Questions to consider regarding the introduction:
• You will need to develop a clear rationale for the study – why is the topic of friendship
important? Why might it especially be important for university students? Use relevant past
literature to develop and support your points. (Note: the data were collected before the
Covid-19 pandemic, so it won’t be appropriate to make points in the report connected to
students’ experiences in the pandemic).
• How might you find relevant past literature to support your Introduction? Remember you
can draw upon past qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies as well as upon any
relevant theories you identify.
• Why is a qualitative approach appropriate for this study/study aim(s)? You will need to
briefly explain this at the end of the introduction.
Remember that there are some differences in what is required in the Methods section for your
qualitative lab reports, compared with the quantitative ones you completed last term.
The data for this study have already been collected. The data were collected at Liverpool John Moores
University in 2012.
Participants are three current university undergraduate students(two female; one male). You can give
mean age as 22 years (SD 2.34). They are all in their first-year and studying psychology. Purposive
sampling was used to recruit volunteer participants. The inclusion criteria were that participants had
to be first-year students studying psychology at that university. Please be aware that there are five
participants in the overall data set but we are only including three in your lab report so that you have
a manageable amount of data (you do not need to mention this in your report).
The study involved collecting data using semi-structured interviews. The data will be analysed using
You are provided with a copy of the interview. The schedule aimed to get participants to talk about
their perceptions and experiences of friendships. The schedule wasfor semi-structured interviews and
was designed for the interviews to last approximately 1 hour. You will need to include a description
of the schedule under Measures, so that a reader can understand the nature of the questions asked.
To ensure the study could be replicated you could include a copy of the full interview schedule as an
Type of service: Academic paper writing
Type of assignment: Lab report
Pages /words: 5/1375
Number of sources: 6
Academic level: Senior(college 4th year)
Paper format: APA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: US English