Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 8/16/2011
  • Publisher: Pearson
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For undergraduate courses in Research Methods.   Introduction to Behavioral Research Methodsincorporates the four basic approaches to behavioral research (descriptive research, correlational research, experimental research, and quasi-experimental research), and shows students how to conceptualize questions, measure variables, design studies, and analyze data.  Chapters on research ethics and scientific writing (including the most recent version of APA style) round out the book. Throughout each chapter, boxes on ;Developing Your Research Skills ; and ;Behavioral Research Case Study ; provide practical examples and pique student interest.

Author Biography

Mark R. Leary, Ph. D., Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, received his B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan College (1976) and his doctorate from the University of Florida (1980). He taught at Denison University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Wake Forest University before moving to Duke.  Dr. Leary’s research and writing focus on social motivation and emotion, areas in which he has published more than 150 scholarly articles and chapters.  Dr. Leary is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Association for Psychological Science, as well as a member of the International Association for Relationship Research and the International Society for Self and Identity.  Dr. Leary was the founding editor of Self and Identity, a new scholarly journal, and served for nine years as Associate Editor of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.  He has also served on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Personality, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Personality and Social Psychology Review, and Emotion.

Table of Contents







Chapter 1: Research in the Behavioral Sciences

Chapter 2: Behavioral Variability and Research

Chapter 3: The Measurement of Behavior

Chapter 4: Approaches to Psychological Measurement  

Chapter 5: Selecting Research Participants 

Chapter 6: Descriptive Research

Chapter 7: Correlational Research

Chapter 8: Advanced Correlational Strategies

Chapter 9: Basic Issues in Experimental Research

Chapter 10: Experimental Design

Chapter 11: Analyzing Experimental Data

Chapter 12: Analyzing Complex Designs

Chapter 13: Quasi-Experimental Designs

Chapter 14: Single-Case Research

Chapter 15: Ethical Issues in Behavioral Research

Chapter 16: Scientific Writing




Chapter 1: Research in the Behavioral Sciences

The Beginnings of Behavioral Research

Goals of Behavioral Research

Behavioral Science and Common Sense

The Value of Research to the Student

The Scientific Approach

Science and Pseudoscience

The Scientist’s Two Jobs: Detecting and Explaining Phenomena

Research Hypotheses

Conceptual and Operational Definitions

Proof, Disproof, and Scientific Progress

Strategies of Behavioral Research

Domains of Behavioral Science

Behavioral Research on Human and Nonhuman Animals

A Preview



Chapter 2: Behavioral Variability and Research

Variability and the Research Process

Variance: An Index of Variability

Systematic and Error Variance

Assessing the Strength of Relationships

Effect Size: Assessing the Strength of Relationships

Meta-Analysis: Systematic Variance across Studies

The Quest for Systematic Variance



Chapter 3: The Measurement of Behavior

Types of Measures

Scales of Measurement

Assessing the Reliability of a Measure

Assessing the Validity of a Measure

Fairness and Bias in Measurement



Chapter 4: Approaches to Psychological Measurement

Observational Approaches

Physiological and Neuroscience Approaches

Self-Report Approaches: Questionnaires and Interviews

Archival Data

Content Analysis



Chapter 5: Selecting Research Participants

A Common Misconception

Probability Samples

Nonprobability Samples

How Many Participants?



Chapter 6: Descriptive Research

Types of Descriptive Research

Describing and Presenting Data

Frequency Distributions

Measures of Central Tendency

Measures of Variability Tendency

The z-Score



Chapter 7: Correlational Research

The Correlation Coefficient

A Graphic Representation of Correlations

The Coefficient of Determination

Statistical Significance of r

Factors That Distort Correlation Coefficients

Correlation and Causality

Partial Correlation

Other Indices of Correlation



Chapter 8: Advanced Correlational Strategies

Predicting Behavior: Regression Strategies

Assessing Directionality: Cross-Lagged and Structural Equations Analysis

Analyzing Nested Data: Multilevel Modeling

Uncovering Underlying Dimensions: Factor Analysis



Chapter 9: Basic Issues in Experimental Research

Manipulating the Independent Variable

Assigning Participants to Conditions

Experimental Control

Eliminating Confounds

Error Variance

Experimental Control and Generalizability: The Experimenter’s Dilemma

Web-Based Experimental Research



Chapter 10: Experimental Design

One-Way Designs

Factorial Designs

Main Effects and Interactions

Combining Independent and Participant Variables



Chapter 11: Analyzing Experimental Data

An Intuitive Approach to Analysis

Hypothesis Testing

Analysis of Two-Group Experiments: The t-Test

Analyses of Matched-Subjects and Within-Subjects Designs

Computer Analyses



Chapter 12: Analyzing Complex Designs

The Problem: Conducting Multiple Tests Inflates Type I Error

The Rationale behind ANOVA

How ANOVA Works

Follow-Up Tests

Between-Subjects and Within-Subjects ANOVAs

Multivariate Analysis of Variance

Experimental and Nonexperimental Uses of Inferential Statistics



Chapter 13: Quasi-Experimental Designs

Pretest—Posttest Designs  

Time Series Designs

Comparative Time Series Design

Longitudinal Designs

Cross-sequential Cohort Designs

Program Evaluation

Evaluating Quasi-Experimental Designs



Chapter 14: Single-Case Research

Single-Case Experimental Designs

Case Study Research



Chapter 15: Ethical Issues in Behavioral Research

Approaches to Ethical Decisions

Basic Ethical Guidelines

The Principle of Informed Consent

Invasion of Privacy

Coercion to Participate

Physical and Mental Stress




Common Courtesy

Vulnerable Populations

Ethical Principles in Research with Nonhuman Animals

Scientific Misconduct

Suppression of Scientific Inquiry and Research Findings

A Final Note



Chapter 16: Scientific Writing

How Scientific Findings Are Disseminated

Elements of Good Scientific Writing

Avoiding Biased Language

Parts of a Manuscript

Citing and Referencing Previous Research

Other Aspects of APA Style

Writing a Research Proposal

Using PsycINFO

Sample Manuscript

Rewards Program

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