Psychologist as Detective, The: An Introduction to Conducting Research in Psychology

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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Supplemental Materials

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


This volume conveys the excitement of research methodology through a lively, conversational style. To make the study of the research process interactive and accessible for readers, pedagogical features and critical thinking activities are integrated throughout the volume. Actual research appears in each chapter to increase relevance and heighten reader interest. The volume evaluates the science of psychology, research ideas and hypotheses, ethics, nonexperimental methods and the basics of experimentation variables and control, statistics, designing, conducting, analyzing, and interpreting experiments, as well as, alternative research designs, external validity and critiquing experimental research and writing and assembling an APA-format research report. For individuals involved with or interested in psychological research.

Table of Contents

1. The Science of Psychology.
2. Research Ideas and Hypotheses.
3. Ethics in Psychological Research.
4. Nonexperimental Methods I: Descriptive Methods, Qualitative Research and Correlational Studies.
5. Nonexperimental Methods II: Ex Post Facto Studies, Surveys and Questionnaires, Sampling and Basic Research Strategies.
6. The Basics of Experimentation I: Variables and Control.
7. The Basics of Experimentation II: Final Considerations, Unanticipated Influences, and Cross-Cultural Issues.
8. Using Statistics to Answer Questions.
9. Designing, Conducting, Analyzing, and Interpreting Experiments with Two Groups.
10. Designing, Conducting, Analyzing, and Interpreting Experiments with More than Two Groups.
11. Designing, Conducting, Analyzing, and Interpreting Experiments with Multiple Independent Variables.
12. Alternative Research Designs.
13. External Validity and Critiquing Experimental Research.
14. Writing and Assembling an APA-Format Research Report.
Appendix A: Statistical Tables.
Appendix B: Selected Statistical Formulae.
Appendix C: Factorial Design with Three Independent Variables.
Appendix D: Study Break Answers.


Because our objectives and goals and the special features we've included inThe Psychologist as Detectiveremain unchanged in this third edition, our original Preface follows. Note to the Instructor Margery Franklin (1990) quoted former Clark University professor and chair Heinz Werner's views on psychological research. Werner indicated: I got rather apprehensive at finding that students were frequently taught that there was only one acceptable way of conduct in the laboratory--there has to be an hypothesis set up, or a set of hypotheses, and the main job of the experimenter is to prove or disprove the hypothesis. What is missed here is the function of the scientist as a discoverer and explorer of unknown lands .... Hypotheses . . . are essential elements of inquiry, but they are so, not as rigid propositions but as flexible parts of the process of searching; by the same token, conclusions drawn from the results are as much an end as a beginning .... Now . . . academic psychologists are beginning to see research not as a rigid exercise of rules of a game but as a problem-solving procedure, a probing into unknown lands with plans which are not fixed but modifiable, with progress and retreat, with branching out into various directions or concentration on one. Clearly Werner's views are as applicable in the twenty-first century as they were during the heyday of behaviorism; they reflect perfectly the intent of this text. From our vantage point, research in psychology is like a detective case; hence the title we have chosen,The Psychologist as Detective.A problem presents itself; we discover clues; we must evaluate bits of evidence that compete for our attention and accept or discard them; and finally, we prepare a report or summary of the case (research) for consideration by our peers. When presented in this light, the research process in psychology will, we believe, be an interesting and stimulating endeavor for students. In short, our goal is to attract students to psychological research because of its inherent interest. To accomplish this goal, we have incorporated several pedagogical features in this text: To provide a sense of relevance and continuity, the theme of "psychologist as detective" runs throughout the text. Interactive Style of Writing.Because we believe that the experimental psychology/research methods text should be lively and engaging, we employ an interactive, conversational style of writing that we hope will help draw students into the material. The Psychological Detective Feature.The questions or situations posed by these sections that appear throughout each chapter will encourage students to engage in critical thinking exercises. These sections also serve as excellent stimulants for productive class discussions. Marginal Definitions.Key definitions appear in the margin, close to the introduction of the term in the text. Review Summaries.To help students master smaller chunks of material, each chapter contains one or more review summaries. Check Your Progress.A Check Your Progress feature follows each Review Summary. Students can use these sections to test their mastery of the material they have just completed. These study breaks should be especially helpful to your students when they prepare for quizzes and examinations. We hope that these special features will provide your students with a positive experience as they learn the fundamentals of research methodology in psychology. Note to the Student Welcome to the world of psychological research! Because the two of us have taught this course for over 50 years (combined!), we have seen the excitement that research can generate in student after student. As you will learn, conducting psychological research is very much like being a detective on a case.

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