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Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences

ISBN: 978-0-470-45803-7
672 pages
January 2010, ©2009
Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (0470458038) cover image
A comprehensive introduction to research methods and best practices for designing,conducting, interpreting, and reporting findings

This text is designed to develop in students a passion for conducting research and an understanding of the practical value of systematic information- gathering and decision-making. It features step-by-step coverage of the research process including research design, statistical considerations, and guidance on writing up and presenting results.

Recognized leaders in the field—authors Bart Weathington, Christopher Cunningham, and David Pittenger—present:

  • Introductions to multiple research designs—including single-participant, multi-group, longitudinal, correlational, and experimental designs—accompanied by examples

  • Bibliographic research and methods for appropriate sampling

  • Identifying, developing, and evaluating reliable and valid approaches to measurement

  • The issues and steps common to all single-factor and multifactor studies, as well as single-subject and nonexperimental methods

  • How to summarize research in writing that conforms to the editorial guidelines of the American Psychological Association

A comprehensive review of research methods and the statistical concepts that support them, Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences offers the best techniques for studying behavior and social phenomena.

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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Part I Overview of the Research Process.

Chapter 1 Research and the Social Sciences.

Introduction.

Why Is Understanding Research Methods So Important?

The Role of Science in Everyday Life.

The Scientific Method.

Brief History of the Science of Behavior.

Bacon's Legacy.

Other Important Historical Figures.

Assumptions of Science.

Requirements for Scientific Research.

Research in Action: The Case of Facilitated Communication.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 2 Ethics and Research.

Introduction.

What Is Ethics?

Approaches to Ethical Analysis.

Making Ethical Decisions.

The Ethical Code of the American Psychological Association.

Seeking Approval for Research: The Institutional Review Board.

Milgram’s Experiment Revisited.

Research with Animals.

Research in Action: Ethical Dilemmas.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 3 The Foundations of Research.

Introduction.

The Hypothesis in Research.

Types of Hypotheses.

Measurement.

Reliability of Measurement.

Validity of Measurement.

Populations and Samples.

Research in Action: Measuring Sexism.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 4 An Overview of Empirical Methods.

Introduction.

Internal, Statistical Conclusion, and External Validity.

Survey of Empirical Methods.

Intact Groups Designs and Quasi-Experimental Studies.

Surveys.

Correlational Studies.

Single-Participant Research Methods.

Meta-Analysis.

Computers and Statistics.

Research in Action: Effectiveness of Psychotherapy.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Part II Nuts and Bolts of Research.

Chapter 5 Writing the Research Report.

Introduction.

What Do Readers Appreciate in Good Writing?

Elements of APA Style.

Special Grammatical Issues.

Academic Integrity.

Parts of the Research Report.

Proofreading.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter References.

Chapter 6 Reviewing the Literature and Forming Hypotheses.

Introduction.

Bibliographic Research.

The Internet.

Developing a Search Strategy.

Searching the Literature: The Library.

Research in Action: Does Listening to Mozart Make You Smarter?

Statistical Inference and Testing Hypotheses.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 7 Sampling: The First Steps in Research.

Introduction.

The Nature of Samples.

Probability Sampling.

Sampling Methods.

Nonprobability Sampling.

Central Limit Theorem.

Applications of the Central Limit Theorem.

Sources of Bias and Error: A Reprise.

Research in Action: Trends in HIV-Related Risk Behaviors.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 8 Creating and Using Assessments, Surveys, and Objective Measures.

Introduction.

Purpose of Measurement.

Caveat Assessor.

Creating a Measurement Scale and Developing a Data Collection Strategy.

Interviews, Questionnaires, and Attitude Surveys.

Question Response Formats.

Writing Good Questionnaire and Survey Items.

Determining the Sample Size for a Survey.

Naturalistic Observation.

Research in Action: Analysis of Assaults.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 9 A Model for Research Design.

Introduction.

A Model for Research Design.

What Is the Independent Variable?

What Is the Dependent Variable?

Are There Any Confounding Variables?

What Are the Research Hypotheses?

Mathematical Hypotheses.

Evaluating Hypotheses.

Evaluating Hypotheses: Practical Matters.

Research in Action: Sex Differences and Memory for Emotional Events.

Research in Action: Changing Attitudes by Writing Essays.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Part III Common Research Designs.

Chapter 10 Correlational Research.

Introduction.

Conceptual Review of Correlation.

Pearson's r.

Interpreting the Correlation Coefficient.

Factors That Corrupt a Correlation Coefficient.

Sample Size and the Correlation Coefficient.

Applications of the Correlation Coefficient.

Regression Analysis.

Introduction to Mediation and Moderation.

Regression to the Mean.

Research in Action: Searching Short-Term Memory.

Statistics behind the Research.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 11 Between-Subjects Designs.

Introduction.

Student's t-Ratio for Independent Groups.

Review of Hypothesis Testing.

Testing Statistical Hypotheses.

Common Errors in the Interpretation of p.

The Power of a Test.

Estimating Sample Size.

Research in Action: Word Meaning and Memory.

Statistics behind the Research.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 12 Single-Variable Between-Subjects Research.

Introduction.

Independent Variable.

Cause and Effect.

Gaining Control over the Variables.

The General Linear Model.

Components of Variance.

The F-Ratio.

H0 and H1.

F-Ratio Sampling Distribution.

Summarizing and Interpreting ANOVA Results.

Effect Size and Power.

Multiple Comparisons of the Means.

Research in Action: Detecting Lies.

Statistics behind the Research.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 13 Between-Subjects Factorial Designs.

Introduction.

The Logic of the Two-Variable Design.

Advantages of the Two-Variable Design.

Factorial Designs: Variables, Levels, and Cells.

Examples of Factorial Designs.

Main Effects and Interaction.

Designing a Factorial Study.

Identifying Samples and Estimating Sample Size.

Interpreting the Interaction: Advanced Considerations.

Research in Action: Reinforcing Creativity.

Statistics behind the Research.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 14 Correlated-Groups Designs.

Introduction.

Logic of the Correlated-Groups Research Design.

Repeated-Measures Design.

Matched-Groups Design.

Mixed-Model Design.

Research in Action: Memory for Related Words.

Statistics behind the Research.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Part IV Special Research Designs.

Chapter 15 Single-Participant Experiments, Longitudinal Studies, and Quasi-Experimental Designs.

Introduction.

Single-Participant Experiments.

Research in Action: Treatment for Panic Disorder.

Longitudinal Designs.

Research in Action: Onset of Bulimia.

Quasi-Experiments.

Research in Action: Traffic Laws and Safety.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 16 Research with Categorical Data.

Introduction.

Goodness-of-Fit Test.

x2 Test of Independence.

x2 Test of Homogeneity.

Further Analysis of the x2.

McNemar Test.

Research in Action: Long-Term Effects of Childhood Abuse.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Chapter 17 Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Research.

Introduction.

Qualitative versus Quantitative Research.

Theory and Perspectives Guiding Qualitative Research.

Mixing Methods: Quantitative and Qualitative Combined.

Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Data Collection and Analysis.

Benefits and Challenges of Mixed-Methods Research.

Sources of Published Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Research.

Research in Action: Gender- and Job-Based Differences in Work Stress.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Glossary for Review.

Chapter References.

Appendix A Statistics behind the Research or, "What Was I Supposed to Remember from My Statistics Class Anyway?"

Appendix B Statistical Tables.

Appendix C Answers to Knowledge Check Questions.

Author Index.

Subject Index.

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Bart L. Weathington, PhD, is a UC Foundation Associate Professor of Psychology at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is an industrial-organizational and sport psychology researcher, teacher, and consultant on applied psychological issues.

Christopher J. L. Cunningham, PhD, is a UC Foundation Assistant Professor of Psychology at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is actively engaged in industrial-organizational and occupational health psychology research, teaching, and consulting.

David J. Pittenger, PhD, is Dean of the¿College of¿Liberal Arts¿at Marshall University. His primary research interests and publications focus on the partial reinforcement extinction effect, psychometric properties of personality inventories, the coping strategies of caregivers, and ethical issues related to the behavioral sciences.

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  • Only book to focus exclusively on linking the concepts of research methods with the statistical tools necessary for their application.
  • Unique among research methods books in including a full chapter on qualitative research methods, providing students a more complete view of the research tools at their disposal.
  • Provides ample, tested tools to help instructors (Test Banks, Instructor's Manual, Research Journal to Accompany Instructor's Manual, Lab Companion to Instructor's Manual) teach students as they investigate the research tools employed by modern social scientists.
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Instructors Resources
Wiley Instructor Companion Site
Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Journal
Instructor's resource manual, posted to companion site, consisting of:
  • Test Bank
  • Instructor's Manual
  • Lab Companion to Instructor's Manual
  • Research Journal to Accompany Instructor's Manual

 

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