Research Methods in Psychology – 2nd Canadian Edition
Rajiv Jhangiani, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
I-Chant Chiang, Quest University Canada
Pub Date: 2015
Conditions of Use
The book covers all of the standard research methods topics that I cover in class. I believe that it is more comprehensive than most commercial texts read more
The book covers all of the standard research methods topics that I cover in class. I believe that it is more comprehensive than most commercial texts as it includes how to write survey questions, a chapter on the significance/replicability discussion, and qualitative methodologies with grounded theory. In the past, I have added a separate lecture to discuss qualitative methodologies. I am glad to see it covered with comprehensiveness in this book. I also liked the indepth discussion of measurement in relation to statistical analysis, operationalizing, and developing new measures. This is a finer point that I cover in class but rarely see covered indepth in the text.
My measure of accuracy, comprehensiveness, and clarity in a research methods textbook is how well the authors describe type I and type II errors. In this book, they use the metaphor of pregnancy: a type I error is a false positive such as when a man is diagnosed as pregnant; a type II error is a false negative such as when a clearly pregnant woman is diagnosed as not pregnant. This was illustrated very clearly with wonderful, tasteful photos. This difficult concept is the keystone for discussions on power and p value which are the topics that the authors tackle next. This example defines how carefully and well this book is written. If I were to place it next to publishers volumes of the same material. This book is better. It does a better job of describing important points in a coherent and clear manner. If there are mistakes, they must be very minor. All that I could find was a misspelled website url.
The only concern about longevity is over the permanence of the urls referred to in the book. However, the book functions without the urls and they are easily updated by the instructor during the lecture. With the exception of the significance/replicability discussion, the material covered in a current methods course has remained consistent over the past decade. I don't foresee the significance/replicability discussion resolved in the near future. This is a challenge that students should be prepared to face as they begin as junior researchers. I appreciate the authors including this chapter in the book as I will use this book if only for these chapters. No commercial textbook that I know about has this information presented in such a clear and objective manner.
I enjoyed the writing. It was very clear and concise. It was much better than the usual textbooks that students are forced to muddle through. The authors used good examples which should be accessible to an undergraduate audience. I particularly like that the authors gave good examples and bad examples of important concepts. Then, they went into detail as to why particular items were good and what was good about them. They detailed why particular items were bad and what made them poor choices. Finally, they describe the outcome of bad choices in the larger scheme. There is much jargon in every methods textbook. These authors define things well in concrete terms. I particularly liked the clarity of writing in this book.
The chapters in this book all have the same format. The authors begin with a brief paragraph which focuses on a modern experiment or study. Then, they use that as a basis to describe the topic in detail. This approach introduces students to a variety of research in a very accessible way. Each chapter is formatted in this way. All of the chapters have sections which focus in detail on a particular topic. Then these topics are cross listed across the different chapters through hyperlinks. Each topic is short with a summary and a suggestion for exercises at the end.
Often, authors in Methods textbooks are unclear where to put important topics such as reliability, validity, operationalizing, what a p-value really means, and sampling. In the textbook that I currently use, the authors have put all of these items into one omnibus chapter. I find that I must go back to this chapter again throughout the semester and then search for the particular item within the chapter. I like how this book separates these items and concentrates on explaining them in depth. I also like how the authors chose to create hyperlinks to the other places in the book that used these items. This allows me, as the instructor, to reorder the chapters in a way that fits with the class. In some courses, not all chapters will be needed. I could use some chapters for a graduate course in methods along with another book. Then, I could use the same book in its entirety for the undergraduate course. Sometimes, I have students in a more advanced course who took Methods at a different university or not at all. I like that this book is free and modular. I can refer these students to this book for review before a qualifying exam or before an important lesson that relies on pre-existing methods knowledge.
I liked the order of the chapters. This is how i prefer to teach methods with the experiment chapters before the qualitative chapters. However, other instructors may like the opposite. The modularity of this book allows either approach. I also like that the book has hyperlinks between the chapters. Often, students will need to review reliability and validity when they get to quasi experimental designs (several chapters ahead). They will have forgotten this information. The hyperlinks make it easy to go back and review. The short sections also create an easiness that encourages exploration. Within the chapters, I like how the authors begin with a description of a study and then use that description to illustrate the points throughout the entire chapter. The descriptions are brief and interesting. Then, there is the APA citation at the bottom of the page. It is easy to look up the article this way. Other textbooks put all of the references at the back of the book. It is much more effortful to find an interesting article when the references are at the back. By the time that you have found it, you forget what you just read.
I liked that the book was available in a variety of formats. I downloaded the pdf on my smart phone and found it fairly easy to read. Although I could not set bookmarks and that was frustrating. I also like to make comments and notes in my books. I think with a different app, I would be able to do these things just fine. Maybe there could be a few recommendations for apps on the website and which format works best with which app. I like that students can download the book on their phone. Most of them do this anyway from the publishers website. For the important classes (in their mind), they also have the printed copy or they rent the printed copy too. With the pdf, they have the option to print it out.
I found no grammar or spelling errors. There was a link that seemed to be misspelled on page 71 the link to Hanover's Rescorla Wagner page.
As an instructor who is a woman at a male dominated engineering school, sometimes the examples in psychology textbooks make me uncomfortable to discuss in class. This book's examples would not make me uncomfortable. There seems to be an equal number of men and women portrayed in the book as researchers and I don't sense a bias against any particular group. The writing is objective and sticks to the point without an agenda.
I wish that you had added a bit more about noisey data and maybe used some examples that had outliers. I also wish that you had discussed the issue of cherry picking. Many commercial textbooks focus on research as a student's exploration or journey in science. Students misunderstand this perspective. I was very glad that you urge students to look for research ideas in the discussion section of peer reviewed articles, to base their methods on those that are previously published, and to use validated measures in their work. This approach trains students to rely on previous research and build on sound scientific foundations using theory. Thank you.
Table of Contents
About This Book
Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology
- Understanding Science
- Scientific Research in Psychology
- Science and Common Sense
- Science and Clinical Practice
Chapter 2: Getting Started in Research
- Basic Concepts
- Generating Good Research Questions
- Reviewing the Research Literature
Chapter 3: Research Ethics
- Moral Foundations of Ethical Research
- From Moral Principles to Ethics Codes
- Putting Ethics Into Practice
Chapter 4: Theory in Psychology
- Phenomena and Theories
- The Variety of Theories in Psychology
- Using Theories in Psychological Research
Chapter 5: Psychological Measurement
- Understanding Psychological Measurement
- Reliability and Validity of Measurement
- Practical Strategies for Psychological Measurement
Chapter 6: Experimental Research
- Experiment Basics
- Experimental Design
- Conducting Experiments
Chapter 7: Nonexperimental Research
- Overview of Nonexperimental Research
- Correlational Research
- Quasi-Experimental Research
- Qualitative Research
Chapter 8: Complex Research Designs
- Multiple Dependent Variables
- Multiple Independent Variables
- Complex Correlational Designs
Chapter 9: Survey Research
- Overview of Survey Research
- Constructing Survey Questionnaires
- Conducting Surveys
Chapter 10: Single-Subject Research
- Overview of Single-Subject Research
- Single-Subject Research Designs
- The Single-Subject Versus Group “Debate”
Chapter 11: Presenting Your Research
- American Psychological Association (APA) Style
- Writing a Research Report in American Psychological Association (APA) Style
- Other Presentation Formats
Chapter 12: Descriptive Statistics
- Describing Single Variables
- Describing Statistical Relationships
- Expressing Your Results
- Conducting Your Analyses
Chapter 13: Inferential Statistics
- Understanding Null Hypothesis Testing
- Some Basic Null Hypothesis Tests
- Additional Considerations
- From the “Replicability Crisis” to Open Science Practices
About the Book
The present adaptation constitutes the second Canadian edition and was co-authored by Rajiv S. Jhangiani (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and I-Chant A. Chiang (Quest University Canada) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Revisions include the following:
Chapter 1: Added a description of the “Many Labs Replication Project,” added a reference to the Neurobonkers website, and embedded videos about open access publishing, driver distraction, two types of empirical studies, and the use of evidence to evaluate the world around us.
Chapter 2: Updated the exemplar study in the chapter overview, added relevant examples and descriptions of contemporary studies, provided a link to an interactive visualization for correlations, added a description of double-blind peer review, added a figure to illustrate a spurious correlation, and embedded videos about how to develop a good research topic, searching the PsycINFO database, using Google Scholar, and how to read an academic paper.
Chapter 3: Added in LaCour ethical violation. Revised chapter headings and order to reflect TCPS-2 moral principles.
Chapter 4: Added in difference between laws and effects and theoretical framework.
Chapter 5: Added fuller descriptions of the levels of measurement, added a table to summarize the levels of measurement, added a fuller description of the MMPI, removed the discussion of the IAT, and added descriptions of concurrent, predictive, and convergent validity.
Chapter 6: Added in construct validity, statistical validity, mundane realism, psychological realism, Latin Square Design. Updated references.
Chapter 7: Added in mixed-design studies and fuller discussion of qualitative-quantitative debate.
Chapter 8: Added an exercise to sketch the 8 possible results of a 2 x 2 factorial experiment.
Chapter 9: Added information about Canadian Election Studies, more references, specific guidelines about order and open-ended questions, and rating scale. Updated online survey creation sites.
Chapter 11: Updated examples and links to online resources.
Chapter 13: Added discussion of p-curve and BASP announcement about banning p-values. Added a section that introduces the “replicability crisis” in psychology, along with discussions of questionable research practices, best practices in research design and data management, and the emergence of open science practices and Transparency and Openness Promotion guidelines.
Glossary of key terms: Added.
In addition, throughout the textbook, we revised the language to be more precise and to improve flow, added links to other chapters, added images, updated hyperlinks, corrected spelling and formatting errors, and changed references to reflect the contemporary Canadian context.
About the Contributors
Rajiv S. Jhangiani. Faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where I conduct research on open education, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and political psychology.
I am also an Open Learning Faculty Member at Thompson Rivers University, an OER Research Fellow with the Open Education Group, and an Associate Editor of Psychology Learning & Teaching. I formerly served as the Associate Editor of NOBA Psychology and as a Faculty Fellow with the BC Open Textbook Project
My professional affiliations include the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, the Society for Personality & Social Psychology, the Social Psychology Network, Sigma Xi, and the International Society of Political Psychology.
I-Chant A. Chiang. Growing up in a bilingual environment was the start of I-Chant’s interest in the intersection of language, culture, and thinking. Through studying English, she pursued her love of literature, writing and words. At the same time, I-Chant became fascinated with studying human behaviour through psychology. She received a BA and BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before heading to Stanford University for an MA and PhD in psychology. Her dual interests are combined by studying the psychology of language in the context of other disciplines, such as political science, communication, and education. Prior to Quest, I-Chant was at Aberystwyth University in Wales where she was a founding member of their psychology department. She recently published a textbook, Research Methods in Psychology – 2nd Canadian Edition, and an edited volume, Explorations in Political Psychology.