Helping Give Away Psychological Science/Standard Operating Procedures/Making a Poster

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HGAPS is finding new ways to make psychological science conferences more accessible!

Here are examples from APA 2022 and the JCCAP Future Directions Forum. Coming soon... ABCT!
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Making a Poster for a Psychological Conference[edit | edit source]

"A good poster is not just tacking a standard research paper on a poster board," says Kathryn Tosney, PhD, "An effective poster helps you engage colleagues in conversation and gets your main points across to as many people as possible".

Structure[edit | edit source]

Natalie presenting at UNC QEP Expo Presentation on Mental Health Stigma
Heading[edit | edit source]

Same as on the abstract

  • Title: let people know what your poster is about in one brief sentence.
    • Focus on the findings of your research.
      • For a poster on HGAPS, your findings can be what did we find was the effectiveness of HGAPS.
    • Sometimes this may be in the form of a question.
  • Contributors and affiliation: use superscripts to designate an affiliation for each person (school, organization, hospital, etc.)
    • E.g., Caroline Vincent1,2 1University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2Helping Give Away Psychological Science
    • Logos: Include the university emblem and HGAPS logo or any other university affiliation
Body[edit | edit source]

Use short, declarative sentences, you can even present information in bullet points.

  • Intro: A simple, effective message that draws people in with background information about the topic of your poster.
    • This usually includes citing sources.
    • Typically, there are a few sentences of background on the topic, a sentence or 2 on the gaps in the field, and a sentence of 2 of the aims you will be addressing in your research.
  • Method: A few sentences about how the study was conducted & participants.
    • This includes mentioning materials such as assessments used.
    • Basic demographic information of the participants should be included.
    • A line or 2 about the statistics ran should be included.
    • It is okay to be brief here and not mention every detail of the methods; if someone is interested in knowing more, they will ask you.
  • Results: Should be presented in clear, short statements that present the findings.
    • Use visuals like colorful charts and graphs or tables when possible.
    • In presenting the results you should include numerical values of findings.
    • The results section is not where you explain what your findings mean- this will come in the discussion.
  • Discussion: Discuss your findings, interpret results.
    • Here you should explain what the findings in the results section mean and in context of your topic.
    • It is important to have a line or 2 about the implications of your findings.
    • You should have a line or 2 about limitations of your research.
  • Conclusion: Conclude results of the study and discuss future directions.
    • You should include thoughts for future directions in this research.
References[edit | edit source]

(if any were used)

  • Using footnotes can be helpful and informative.
    • You can also say references are available upon request if space does not permit. If you do this, you should have a handout available with a list of references.

Add ons[edit | edit source]

  • Include QR codes and links.
    • Use qrcode monkey to create QR codes.
      • The QR code can link to supplemental information that didn’t fit in your poster or to the OSF project with your poster.
  • Create an OSF project or component for the poster and create a QR code that links to that OSF page.
  • Using QR codes for your resources and supplemental information will help save space on your poster.

Tips[edit | edit source]

Emphasize graphics. Charts, graphs and pictures will make your poster stand out. "There is power in turning your information into simple, clean graphical representations to communicate data relationships."

  • Focus on the findings of your research.
  • Use headings to separate sections.
  • Keep text clear and concise.
  • Use bullet points and limit how long your sentences are.
  • Have clean charts and graphs.
    • Simplify labels and have no lines or grids.
  • Choose colors wisely.
    • 2-3 colors that stand out but also go together.
    • Do not pick colors so bright that they are difficult to read.
  • Leave white space.
  • Aim for symmetry.
  • Design for your readers' eyes.
    • Make text clear, easy to read, and easily digestible.
  • Include your full contact information on a business card or small print out.
    • You can also include your email address at the bottom of the poster.

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • HGAPs posters at FDF 2017.
    • Note these posters were created before HGAPS began using QR codes.
  • ABCT Special Interest Group (SIG) poster example.
  • Psych 525 student poster examples.
    • Note these posters show what a QR code on a poster should look like.


  • Some poster-making help can be found here (from NCSU professor)