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Methods in Psychological Research

Methods in Psychological Research

Fourth Edition

August 2018 | 448 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Methods in Psychological Research introduces students to the rich world of research in psychology through student-friendly writing, compelling real-world examples, and frequent opportunities for practice. Using a relaxed yet supportive tone that eases student anxiety, the authors present a mixture of conceptual and practical discussions, and spark reader interest in research by covering meaningful topics that resonate with today’s students. In-text features like Conceptual Exercises, FYI sections, and FAQ sections with accompanying visual cues support learning throughout the research experience. The Fourth Edition equips students with the tools they need to understand research concepts, conduct their own experiments, and present their findings.

About the Authors
About the Contributors
Chapter 1. Introduction to Research in Psychology
Acquiring Knowledge About the World

Conceptual Exercise 1A

Psychology—Science and Art

Critical Thinking

Objectives of Science

The Tenets of Science

Conceptual Exercise 1B

The Scientific Method

Theories, Concepts, and Hypotheses

Why We Do Research

Approaches to Research

Steps in Planning and Doing Research

Conceptual Exercise 1C

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 2. Understanding the Research Literature
Searching the Literature

The Research Article

Conceptual Exercise 2A

Basic Statistical Procedures

Conceptual Exercise 2B

More Complex Statistical Procedures

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 3. Research in Psychology: An Ethical Enterprise
Are Ethical Codes Necessary?

General Principles

Conceptual Exercise 3A

Ethical Standards

Conceptual Exercise 3B

Conceptual Exercise 3C

Conceptual Exercise 3D

Conceptual Exercise 3E

Special Populations

Internet Research

Bias and Intellectual Honesty

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 4. Hypothesis Testing, Power, and Control: A Review of the Basics
Three Levels of Hypotheses

Conceptual Exercise 4A

Testing the Null Hypothesis

Statistical Significance

Inferential Errors: Type I and Type II

Conceptual Exercise 4B

Power and How to Increase It

Effect Size

The Role of Replication in Research

Conceptual Exercise 4C

External and Internal Validity

Conceptual Exercise 4D

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 5. Measuring Variables
Ways of Asking Questions

Conceptual Exercise 5A

Social Desirability and Response Set

Measuring Observed Behavior

Conceptual Exercise 5B

Conceptual Exercise 5C

The Importance of Precision in Measurement

Conceptual Exercise 5D

Tests, Scales, and Inventories

Commercially Available Tests and Inventories

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 6. Selecting Research Participants
Sampling Methods

Conceptual Exercise 6A

Conceptual Exercise 6B

Conceptual Exercise 6C


Sample and Effect Size

Power Revisited

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 7. Experimental Design: Independent-Groups Designs
Why We Do Experiments

Conceptual Exercise 7A

Where We Do Experiments

Conceptual Exercise 7B

How We Do Experiments: Independent-Groups Designs

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 8. Experimental Design: Dependent-Groups and Mixed Designs
Dependent-Groups Designs

Conceptual Exercise 8

Mixed Designs

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 9. Experimental Design: Single-Participant Designs/The Operant Approach
Single-Participant Design and the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Concepts in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

ABA and ABAB Withdrawal Designs

Conceptual Exercise 9A

Multiple-Baseline Design

Alternating-Treatment Design

Changing-Criterion Design

Conceptual Exercise 9B

Advantages and Disadvantages of Single-Participant Designs

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 10. Nonexperimental Research: Finding Relationships Among Variables

Conceptual Exercise 10A

Conceptual Exercise 10B

Conceptual Exercise 10C

Longitudinal Research

Cross-Sectional Research

Conceptual Exercise 10D

Case Studies

Correlational Research

Conceptual Exercise 10E

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 11. Data Collection Methods
Observational Research: Observing the Behavior of Individuals

Advantages and Disadvantages of Observational Research

Conceptual Exercise 11A

Survey Research: Asking People Questions About Their Behavior

Conceptual Exercise 11B

Conceptual Exercise 11C

Observing Group Behavior: The Focus Group

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 12. Program Evaluation, Archival Research, and Meta-Analytic Designs
Program Evaluation

Conceptual Exercise 12A

Conceptual Exercise 12B

Archival Research

Conceptual Exercise 12C


Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 13. Analyzing, Interpreting, and Summarizing Research Data
What Are Statistics, and Why Are They Necessary?

Summarizing Your Data With Descriptive Statistics

Conceptual Exercise 13A

Conceptual Exercise 13B

Testing the Statistical Significance of Your Research Findings

Conceptual Exercise 13C

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources

Chapter 14. Communicating in Psychology
Writing in Psychology

Conceptual Exercise 14A

Conceptual Exercise 14B

Conceptual Exercise 14C

Conceptual Exercise 14D

Conceptual Exercise 14E

Conceptual Exercise 14F

Conceptual Exercise 14G

Conceptual Exercise 14H

Presenting Research in Writing

Other Ways of Presenting Research

Chapter Summary

Chapter Resources



Instructor Resource Site
This password-protected SAGE edge site provides instructors helpful teaching resources. Included are PPT slides, a test bank, class activities, sample syllabi, and web resources.
Student Resource Site

This open access SAGE edge site provides students a personalized approach to accomplish coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment. The site includes eFlashcards for key term practice, learning objectives to reinforce key material, and open access media for concept exploration.

“This is an appealing, accessible, and highly readable introductory quantitative research textbook. The authors provide clearly written, jargon-free explanations and examples drawn from various areas of psychology to enhance a sophisticated understanding of the research process.”

Irene Karayianni
Deree College -The American College of Greece

“This book offers a straightforward progression of concepts with direct application as students prepare their research project from beginning to end.”

John E. Story
Bluegrass Community and Technical College

This book provides a good introduction to research in Psychology. The best part is the conceptual exercises at the end of each chapter. They are very engaging and stimulate critical thinking. However the book only manages to cover the topics superficially and does not provide any in-depth information. Some important concepts such as research validity, sources of threat to validity and strategies for controlling them are not covered.

Professor Usha Barahmand
Psychology Dept, Cuny Queens College
December 17, 2018

For instructors

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