Research Methods in Psychology
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN 13: 978-1-9461352-2-3
Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
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This book covers all relevant topics for an introduction to research methods course in the social sciences, including measurement, sampling, basic read more
This book covers all relevant topics for an introduction to research methods course in the social sciences, including measurement, sampling, basic research design, and ethics. The chapters were long enough to be somewhat comprehensive, but short enough to be digestible for students in an introductory-level class. Student reviews of the book have so far been very positive. The only section of the text for which more detail may be helpful is 2.3 (Reviewing the Research Literature), in which more specific instructions related to literature searches may be helpful to students.
I did not notice any issues related to accuracy. Content appeared to be accurate, error-free, and unbiased.
One advantage of this book is that it is relevant to other applied fields outside of psychology (e.g., social work, counseling, etc.). Also, the exercises at the end of chapter sections are helpful.
The clarity of the text provides students with succinct definitions for research-related concepts, without unnecessary discipline-specific jargon. One suggestion for future editions would be to make the distinctions between different types of non-experimental research a bit more clear for students in introductory classes (e.g., "Correlational Research" in Section 7.2).
Formatting and terminology was consistent throughout this text.
A nice feature of this book is that instructors can select individual sections within chapters, or even jump between sections within chapters. For example, Section 1.4 may not fit for a class that is less clinically-oriented in nature.
The flow of the text was appropriate, with ethics close to the beginning of the book (and an entire chapter devoted to it), and descriptive/inferential statistics at the end.
I did not notice any problems related to interface. I had no trouble accessing or reading the text, and the images were clear.
The text contained no discernible grammatical errors.
The book does not appear to be culturally insensitive in any discernible way, and explicitly addresses prejudice in research (e.g., Section 5.2). However, I think that continuing to add more examples that relate to specific marginalized groups would help improve the text (and especially exercises).
Overall, this book is very useful for an introductory research methods course in psychology or social work, and I highly recommend.
Although this textbook does provide good information regarding introductory concepts necessary for the understanding of correlational designs, and is read more
Although this textbook does provide good information regarding introductory concepts necessary for the understanding of correlational designs, and is presented in a logical order. It does not, however, cover qualitative methodologies, or research ethics as it relates to other countries outside of the US.
There does not seem to be any errors within the text.
Since this textbook covers a topic that is unlikely to change over the years and it's content is up-to-date, it remains relevant to the field.
The textbook is written at an appropriate level for undergraduate students and is useful in that it does explain important terminology.
There does not seem to be any major inconsistencies within the text.
Overall, the text is very well organized - it is separated into chapters that are divided up into modules and within each module, there are clear learning objectives. It is also helpful that the textbook includes useful exercises for students to practice what they've read about from the text.
The topics covered by this textbook are presented in an order that is logical. The writing is clear and the examples are very useful. However, more information could be provided in some of the chapters and it would be useful to include a table of contents that links to the different chapters within the PDF copy, for reader's ease in navigation when looking for specific terms and/or topics.
Overall, the PDF copy of the textbook made it easy to read; however, there did seem to be a few links that were missing. Additionally, it would be helpful to have some of the graphs printed in color to help with ease of following explanations provided by the text. The inclusion of a table of contents would also be useful for greater ease with navigation.
There does not seem to be any grammatical errors in the textbook. Also, the textbook is written in a clear way, and the information flows nicely.
This textbook focuses primarily on examples from the United States. It does not seem to be culturally insensitive or offensive in anyway and I liked that it included content regarding the avoidance of biased language (chapter 11).
This textbook makes the material very accessible, and it is easy to read/follow examples.
The content of the Research Methods in Psychology textbook was very thorough and covered what I would consider to be the important concepts and read more
The content of the Research Methods in Psychology textbook was very thorough and covered what I would consider to be the important concepts and issues pertaining to research methods. I would judge that the textbook has a comparable coverage of information to other textbooks I have reviewed, including the current textbook I am using. The range of scholarly sources included in the textbook was good, with an appropriate balance between older and classic research examples and newer more cutting edge research information. Overall, the textbook provides substantive coverage of the science of conducting research in the field of psychology, supported by good examples, and thoughtful questions.
The textbook adopts a coherent and student-friendly format, and offers a precise introduction to psychological research methodology that includes consideration of a broad range of qualitative and quantitative methods to help students identify and evaluate the best approach for their research needs. The textbook offers a detailed review of the way that psychological researchers approach their craft. The author guides the reader through all aspects of the research process including formulating objectives, choosing research methods, securing research participants, as well as advice on how to effectively collect, analyze and interpret data and disseminate those findings to others through a variety of presentation and publication venues. The textbook offers relevant supplemental information in textboxes that is highly relevant to the material in the accompanying text and should prove helpful to learners. Likewise the graphics and figures that are included are highly relevant and clearly linked to the material presented in the text. The information covered by the textbook reflects an accurate summary of current techniques and methods used in research in the field of psychology. The presentation of information addresses the pros and cons of different research strategies in an objective and evenhanded way.
The range of scholarly sources included in the textbook was good, with an appropriate balance between older, classic research evidence and newer, cutting edge research. Overall, the textbook provides substantive coverage of the science on most topics in research methods of psychology, supported by good case studies, and thoughtful questions. The book is generally up to date, with adequate coverage of basic data collection methods and statistical techniques. Likewise the review of APA style guidelines is reflects the current manual and I like the way the author summarizes changes from the older version of the APA manual. The organization of the textbook does appear to lend itself to editing and adding new information with updates in the future.
I found the textbook chapters to be well written, in a straightforward yet conversational manner. It gives the reader an impression of being taught by a knowledgeable yet approachable expert. The writing style gives the learner a feeling of being guided through the lessons and supported in a very conversational approach. The experience of reading the textbook is less like being taught and more like a colleague sharing information. Furthermore, the style keeps the reader engaged but doesn't detract from its educational purpose. I also appreciate that the writing is appropriately concise. No explanations are so wordy as to overwhelm or lull the reader to sleep, but at the same time the information is not so vague that the reader can't understand the point at all.
The book’s main aim is to enable students to develop their own skills as researchers, so they can generate and advance common knowledge on a variety of psychological topics. The book achieves this objective by introducing its readers, step-by-step, to psychological research design, while maintaining an excellent balance between substance and attention grabbing examples that is uncommon in other research methods textbooks. Its accessible language and easy-to-follow structure and examples lend themselves to encouraging readers to move away from the mere memorization of facts, formulas and techniques towards a more critical evaluation of their own ideas and work – both inside and outside the classroom. The content of the chapters have a very good flow that help the reader to connect information in a progressive manner as they proceed through the textbook.
Each chapter goes into adequate depth in reviewing both past and current research related to the topic that it covers for an undergraduate textbook on research methods in psychology. The information within each chapter flows well from point-to-point, so that the reader comes away feeling like there is a progression in the information presented. The only limitation that I see is that I felt the author could do a little more to let the reader know how information is connected from chapter to chapter. Rather than just drawing the reader’s attention to things that were mentioned in previous chapters, it would be nice to have brief comments about how issues in one chapter relate to topics covered in previous chapters. In my opinion the chapters are arranged in easily digestible units that are manageable in 30-40 minute reading sessions. In fact, the author designed the chapters of the textbook in a way to make it easy to chunk information, and start and stop to easily pick up where one leaves off from one reading session to another. I also found the flow of information to be appropriate, with chapters containing just the right amount of detail for use in my introductory course in research methods in psychology.
The book is organized into thirteen chapters. The order of the chapters offers a logical progression from a broad overview of information about the principles and theory behind research in psychology, to more specific issues concerning the techniques and mechanics of conducting research. Each chapter ends with a summary of key takeaways from the chapter and exercises that do more than ask for content regurgitation. I find the organization of the textbook to be effective, and matches my approach to the course very well. I would not make any changes to the overall format with the exception of moving chapter 11 on presenting research to the end of the textbook, after the chapters on statistical analysis and interpretation.
I found the quality of the appearance of the textbook to be very good. The textbook features appropriate text and section/header font sizes that allow for an adequate zooming level to read large or smalls sections of text, that will give readers flexibility to match their personal preference. There are learning objectives at the start of each chapter to help students know what to expect. Key terms are highlighted in a separate color that are easily distinguishable in the body of the page. There are very useful visuals in every chapter, including tables, figures, and graphs. Relevant supplemental information is also highlighted in well formatted text boxes that are color coded to indicate what type of information is included. My only criticism is that the photographs included in the text are of low quality, and there are so few in the textbook that I feel it would have been better to just leave them out.
I found no grammatical errors in my review of the textbook. The textbook is generally well written, and the style of writing is at a level that is appropriate for an undergraduate class.
Although the textbook contains no instances of presenting information that is cultural insensitive or offensive, it does not offer an culturally inclusive review of information pertaining to research methods in psychology. I found no inclusion of examples of research conducting with non European American samples included in the summary of studies. Likewise the authors do place much attention on the issue of cultural sensitivity when conducing research. If there is one major weakness of the textbook I would say it is in this area, but based on my experience it is not an uncommon characteristic of textbooks on research methods in psychology.
Short and sweet in most areas. Covers the basic concepts, not very comprehensively but definitely adequately so for a general beginning-level read more
Short and sweet in most areas. Covers the basic concepts, not very comprehensively but definitely adequately so for a general beginning-level research methods course. For instance, I would liked to have seen a "separate" chapter on correlational research (there is one on single subject research and one on survey research), a discussion of the importance of providing a theoretical rationale for "getting an idea" (most students are fine with finding interesting and feasible project ideas but cannot give a theoretical rationale) before or after Chapter 4 on Theory, or a chapter on neuroscientific methods, which are becoming more and more popular. Nevertheless, it touches on most traditional areas that are in other books.
I did not find any errors or biases
This is one area where there is not much danger of going obsolete any time soon. The examples might need to be updated periodically (my students tend to not like dated materials, however relevant), but that should be easy.
Very clear and accessible prose. Despite the brevity, the concepts are put forth quite clearly. I like the "not much fluff" mentality. There is also adequate explanations of jargon and technical terminology.
I could not find any inconsistencies. The style and exposition frameworks are also quite consistent.
Yes, the modularity is fine. The chapters follow a logical pattern, so there should not be too much of a need for jumping around. And even if jumping around is needed depending on teaching style, the sections are solid in terms of being able to stand alone (or as an accompaniment to lectures).
Yes, the contents is ordered logically and the high modularity helps with any reorganization that an instructor may favor. In my case, for instance, Ch. 1 is fine, but I would skip it because it's mostly a repetition of what most introductory psychology books also say. I would also discuss non-experimental methods before going into experimental design. But such changes are easy to do, and if someone followed the book's own organization, there would also be a logical flow.
As far as I could see, the text is free of significant interface issues, at least in the pdf version
I could not find any errors.
As far as I could see, the book was culturally relevant.
I loved the short and sweet learning objectives, key takeaway sections, and the exercises. They are not overwhelming and can be used in class discussions, too.
"Research Methods in Psychology" covers most research method topics comprehensively. The author does an excellent job explaining main concepts. The read more
"Research Methods in Psychology" covers most research method topics comprehensively. The author does an excellent job explaining main concepts. The chapter on causation is very detailed and well-written as well as the chapter on research ethics. However, the explanations of data analysis seem to address upper level students rather than beginners. For example, in the “Describing Statistical Relationships” chapter, the author does not give detailed enough explanations for key terms. A reader who is not versed in research terminology, in my opinion, would struggle to understand the process. While most topics are covered, there are some large gaps. For example, this textbook has very little content related to qualitative research methods (five pages).
The content appears to be accurate and unbias.
The majority of the content will not become obsolete within a short time period-- many of the information can be used for the coming years, as the information provided is, overall, general in nature. The notably exceptions are the content on APA Code of Ethics and the APA Publication Manual, which both rely heavily on outdated versions, which limits the usefulness of these sections. In addition, it would be helpful to incorporate research studies that have been published after 2011.
The majority of the text is clear, with content that is easy for undergraduate students to read and understand. The key points included in the chapters are helpful, but some chapters seem to be missing key points (i.e., the key points do not accurately represent the overall chapter).
The text seems to be internally consistent in its terminology and organization.
Each chapter is broken into subsections that can be used alone. For example, section 5.2 covers reliability and validity of measurement. This could be extremely helpful for educators to select specific content for assigned readings.
The topics are presented in a logical matter for the most part. However, the PDF version of the book does not include a table of contents, and none of the formats has a glossary or index. This can make it difficult to quickly navigate to specific topics or terms, especially when explanations do not appear where expected. For example, the definitions of independent and dependent variables is provided under the heading “Correlation Does Not Imply Causation” (p. 22). The text is consistent but needs more visual representations throughout the book, rather than heavily in some chapters and none at all in other chapters. Similarly, the text within the chapters is not easily readable due to the large sections of text with little to no graphics or breaks.
The interface of the text is adequate. However, the formatting of the PDF is sometimes weak. For example, the textbook has a number of pages with large blank spaces and other pages are taken up with large photos or graphics. The number of pages (and cost of printing) could have been reduced, or more graphics added to maximize utility.
I found no grammatical errors.
Text appears to be culturally sensitive. I appreciated the inclusion of the content about avoiding biased language (chapter 11).
Instructors who adopt this book would likely benefit from either selecting certain chapters/modules and/or integrating multiple texts together to address the shortcomings of this text. Further, the sole focus on psychology limits the use of this textbook for introductory research methods for other disciplines (e.g., social work, sociology).
This text covers the typical areas for an undergraduate psychology course in research design. There is no table of contents included with the read more
This text covers the typical areas for an undergraduate psychology course in research design. There is no table of contents included with the downloadable version, although there is a table of contents on the website (which excludes sub-sections of chapters). The sections on statistics are not extensive enough to be useful in and of themselves, but they are useful for transitions to a follow-up statistics course. There does not seem to be a glossary of terms, which made it difficult at times for my read through and I assume later for students who decide to print the text. The text is comprehensive without being wordy or tedious.
Relatively minor errors; There does not seem to be explicit cultural or methodological bias in the text.
The content is up-to-date, and examples from the psychology literature are generally within the last 25 years. Barring extensive restructuring in the fundamentals of methodology and design in psychology, any updates will be very easy to implement.
Text will be very clear and easy to read for students fluent in English. There is little jargon/technical terminology used, and the vocabulary that is provided in the text is contemporary
There do not seem to be obvious shifts in the terminology or the framework. The text is internally consistent in that regard.
The text is well divided into chapter and subsections. Each chapter is relatively self-contained, so there are little issues with referring to past material that may have been skipped. The learning objectives at the beginning of the chapter are very useful. Blocks of text are well divided with headings.
As mentioned above, the topics of the text follow the well-established trajectory of undergraduate psychology courses. This makes it very logical and clear.
The lack of a good table of contents made it difficult to navigate the text for my read through. There were links to an outside photo-hosting website (flickr) for some of the stock photos, which contained the photos of the original creators of the photos. This may be distracting or confusing to readers. However, the hyperlinks in general helped with navigation with the PDF.
No more grammatical errors than a standard, edited textbook.
Very few examples explicitly include other races, ethnicities, or backgrounds, however the examples seem to intentionally avoid cultural bias. Overall, the writing seems to be appropriately focused on avoiding culturally insensitive or offensive content.
After having examined several textbooks on research design and methodology related to psychology, this book stands out as superior.
The text book provides good information in certain areas, while not comprehensive information in other areas. The text provides practical read more
The text book provides good information in certain areas, while not comprehensive information in other areas. The text provides practical information, especially the section on survey development was good. Additional information on sampling strategies would have been beneficial for the readers.
There are no errors.
Research method is a common topic and the fundamentals of it will not change over the years. Therefore, the book is relevant and will not become obsolete.
The text in the book is clear. Certain aspects of the text could have been presented more clearly. For example, the section on main effects and interactions are some concepts that students may have difficulty understanding. Those areas could be explained more clearly with an example.
Graphs in the book lacks titles and variable names. Also, the format of chapter title page needs to be consistent.
At times there were related topics spread across several chapters. This could be corrected for a better read by the audience..
The book text is very clear, and the flow from one topic to the next was adequate. However, having a outline would help the reader.
The PDF copy of the book was a easy read. There were few links that were missing though.
There were no grammatical errors.
The text is not offensive and examples in it are mostly based on historical US based experiments.
I would start of by saying that I am a supporter of the Open Textbook concept. In this day and age, there are a variety of Research Methods book/text available on the market. While this book covers research methods basics, it cannot be recommended in its current form as an acceptable alternative to the standard text. Modifications to the text as recommended by myself and other reviewers might improve the quality of this book in the future.
This text includes all important areas that are featured in other Research Methods textbooks and are presented in a logical order. The text includes read more
This text includes all important areas that are featured in other Research Methods textbooks and are presented in a logical order. The text includes great examples and provides the references which can be assigned as supplemental readings. In addition, the chapters end with exercises that can be completed in class or as part of a laboratory assignment. This text would be a great addition to a Research Methods course or an Introductory Statistics course for Psychology majors.
The content is accurate. I did not find any errors and the material is unbiased.
Yes - the content is up to date and would be easy to update if/when necessary.
The text is written at an appropriate level for undergraduate students and explains important terminology. The research studies that the author references are ones that undergraduate psychology majors should be familiar with. The only section that was questionable to me was that on multiple regression in section 8.3 (Complex Correlational Designs). I am unaware of other introductory Research Methods textbooks that cover this analysis, especially without describing simple regression first.
The text is consistent in terms of terminology. The framework is also consistent - the chapters begin with Learning Objectives and ends with Key Takeaways and Exercises.
The text is divisible into smaller reading sections - possibly too many. The sections are brief, and in some instances too brief (e.g., the section on qualitative research). I think that the section headers are helpful for instructors who plan on using this text in conjunction with another text in their course.
The topics were presented in a logical fashion and are similar to other published Research Methods texts. The writing is very clear and great examples are provided. I think that some of the sections are rather brief and more information and examples could be provided.
I did not see any interface issues. All of the links worked properly and the tables and figures were accurate and free of errors. I particularly liked the figures in section 5.2 on reliability of measurement. There are three comments that I have about the interface, however. First, I was expecting the keywords in blue font to be linked to a glossary, but they were not. I would have appreciated this feature. Second, I read this text as a PDF on an iPad and this version lacking was the Table of Contents (TOC) feature. Although I was able to view the TOC in different versions, I would have appreciated it in the PDF version. Also, it would be nice if the TOC was clickable (i.e., you could click on a section and it automatically directed you to that section). Third, I think the reader of this text would benefit from a glossary at the end of each chapter and/or an index at the end of the text. The "Key Takeaways" sections at the end of each chapter were helpful, but I think that a glossary would be a nice addition as well.
I did not notice any grammatical errors of any kind. The text was easy to read and I think that undergraduate students would agree.
The text was not insensitive or offensive to any races, ethnicities, or backgrounds. I appreciated the section on avoiding biased language when writing manuscripts (e.g., using 'children with learning disabilities' instead of 'special children' or using 'African American' instead of 'minority').
I think that this text would be a nice addition to a Research Methods & Statistics course in psychology. There are some sections that I found particularly helpful: (1) 2.2 and 2.3 - the author gives detailed information about generating research questions and reviewing the literature; (2) 9.2 - this section focuses on constructing survey questionnaires; (3) 11.2 and 11.3 - the author talks about writing a research report and about presenting at conferences. These sections will be great additions to an undergraduate Research Methods course. The brief introduction to APA style was also helpful, but should be supplemented with the most recent APA style manual.
The sections in this textbook are overall more brief than in previous Methods texts that I have used. Sometimes this brevity is helpful in terms of read more
The sections in this textbook are overall more brief than in previous Methods texts that I have used. Sometimes this brevity is helpful in terms of getting to the point of the text and moving on. In other cases, some topics could use a bit more detail to establish a better foundation of the content before moving on to examples and/or the next topic.
I did not find any incorrect information or gross language issues.
Basic statistical and/or methodological texts tend to stay current and up-to-date because the topics in this field have not changed over the decades. Any updated methodologies would be found in a more advanced methods text.
The text is very clear and the ideas are easy to follow/ presented in a logical manner. The most helpful thing about this textbook is that the author arrives at the point of the topic very quickly. Another helpful point about this textbook is the relevancy of the examples used. The examples appear to be accessible to a wide audience and do not require specialization or previous knowledge of other fields of psychology.
I feel this text is very consistent throughout. The ideas build on each other and no terms are discussed in later chapters without being established in previous chapters.
Each chapter had multiple subsections which would allow for smaller reading sections throughout the course. The amount of content in each section and chapter appeared to be less than what I have encountered in other Methods texts.
The organization of the topics in this textbook follows the same or similar organization that I see in other textbooks. As I mentioned previously, the ideas build very well throughout the text.
I did not find any issues with navigation or distortion of the figures in the text.
There were not any obvious and/or egregious grammatical errors that I encountered in this text.
This topic is not really an issue with a Methods textbook as the topics are more so conceptual as opposed to topical. That being said, I did not see an issue with any examples used.
I have no other comments than what I addressed previously.
Mixed. For some topics, there is more (and more practical) information than in most textbooks. I appreciated the very practical advice to students read more
Mixed. For some topics, there is more (and more practical) information than in most textbooks. I appreciated the very practical advice to students about how to plot data (in statistics chapters). Similarly, there is practical advice about how to comply with ethical guidelines. The section on item development in surveys was very good. On the other hand, there is far too little information about some subjects. For example, independent and dependent variables are introduced in passing in an early chapter and then referred to only much later in the text. In my experience, students have a surprisingly difficult time grasping this concept. Another important example is sampling; I would have preferred much more information on types of samples and sampling techniques, and the problems that arise from poor sampling. A third example is the introduction to basic experimental design. Variables, measurement, validity, and reliability are all introduced in one chapter. I did not see an index or glossary.
I found no errors.
The fundamentals of research methods do not change much. Given the current replication crisis in psychology, it might be helpful to have something about replicability.
Mixed. The text itself is spare and clear. The style of the book is to explain a concept in very few words. There are some excellent aspects of this, but on the other hand, there are some concepts that students have a very difficult time undersatnding if they are not embedded in concrete examples. For example, the section on main effects and interactions shows bar graphs of interactions, but this is presented without variable names or axis titles, and separate from any specific experiment.
Sometimes the chapter stucture is laid out on the title page, and other times it is not. Some graphs lack titles and variable names.
The chapters can be stand alone, but sometimes I found conceptually similar pieces spread across several chapters, and conceptually different pieces in the same chapters.
The individual sentences and paragraphs are always very clear. However, I felt that more tables/outlines of major concepts would have been helpful. For example, perhaps a flow chart of different kinds of experimental designs would be useful. (See section on comprehensiveness for more about organization). The flow from one topic to the next was adequate.
I read the pdf. Perhaps the interface is more pleasant on other devices, but I found the different formats and fonts in image/captions/main text/figure labels distracting. Many if the instances of apparently hyperlinked (blue) text to do not link to anything.
I found no grammatical errors, and prose is standard academic English.
Like most psychology textbooks available in the US, examples are focused on important experiments in US history.
I really wanted to be happy with this text. I am a supporter of the Open Textbook concept, and I wanted to find this book an acceptable alternative to the variety of Research Methods texts I’ve used. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book as superior in quality.
This textbook covers all or nearly all of what I believe are important topics to provide an introduction to research methods in psychology. One minor read more
This textbook covers all or nearly all of what I believe are important topics to provide an introduction to research methods in psychology. One minor issue is that the pdf version, which I reviewed, does not include an index or a glossary. As such, it may be difficult for readers to zero in on material that they need, and/or to get a full sense of what will be covered and in what order.
I did not notice errors.
The book provides a solid overview of key issues related to introductory research methods, many of which are nearly timeless.
The writing is clear and accessible. It was easy and pleasing to read.
Terms are clearly defined and build upon each other as the book progresses.
I believe the text is organized in such a way that it could be easily divided into smaller sections.
The order in which material is presented seems to be well thought out and sensible.
I did not notice any issues with the interface. I reviewed the pdf version and thought the images were very helpful.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
The book is written in a culturally relevant manner.
The text includes basic, essential information needed for students in an introductory research methods course. In addition, the text includes three read more
The text includes basic, essential information needed for students in an introductory research methods course. In addition, the text includes three chapters (i.e., research ethics, theory, and APA style) that are typically absent from or inadequately covered in similar texts. However, I did have some areas of concern regarding the coverage of qualitative and mixed methods approaches, and nonparametric tests. Although the author advocates for the research question to guide the choice of approach and design, minimal attention is given to the various qualitative designs (e.g., phenomenology, narrative, participatory action, etc.) beyond grounded theory and case studies, with no mention of the different types of mixed methods designs (e.g., concurrent, explanatory, exploratory) that are prevalent today. In addition, common nonparametric tests (e.g., Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney, etc.) and parametric tests for categorical data (e.g., chi-square, Fisher’s exact, etc.) are not mentioned.
The text overall is accurate and free of errors. I noticed in the qualitative research sub-section, the author describes qualitative research in general, but does not mention common practices associated with qualitative research, such as transcribing interviews, coding data (e.g., different approaches to coding, different types of codes), and data analysis procedures. The information that is included appears accurate.
The text appears up-to-date and includes basic research information and classic examples that rarely change, which may allow the text to be used for many years. However, the author may want to add information about mixed methods research, a growing research approach, in order for the text to stay relevant across time.
The text includes clear, accessible, straightforward language with minimal jargon. When the author introduces a new term, the term is immediately defined and described. The author also provides interesting examples to clarify and expand understanding of terms and concepts throughout the text.
The text is internally consistent and uses similar language and vocabulary throughout. The author uses real-life examples across chapters in order to provide depth and insight into the information. In addition, the vocabulary, concepts, and organization are consistent with other research methods textbooks.
The modules are short, concise, and manageable for students; the material within each module is logically focused and related to each other. I may move the modules and the sub-topics within them into a slightly different order for my class, and add the information mentioned above, but overall, this is very good.
The author presents topics and structures chapters in a logical and organized manner. The epub and online version do not include page numbers in the text, but the pdf does; this may be confusing when referencing the text or answering student questions. The book ends somewhat abruptly after the chapter on inferential statistics; the text may benefit from a concluding chapter to bring everything together, perhaps with a culminating example that walks the reader through creating the research question, choosing a research approach/design, etc., all the way to writing the research report.
I used and compared the pdf, epub, and online versions of the text. The epub and online versions include a clickable table of contents, but the pdf does not. The table format is inconsistent across the three versions; in the epub version (viewed through ibooks), the table data does not always line up correctly, making it difficult to interpret quickly. In the pdf and online versions, the table format looks different, but the data are lined up. No index made it difficult to quickly find areas of interest in the text; however, I could use the Find/Search functions in all three versions to search and find needed items.
As I read through this text, I did not detect any glaring grammatical errors. Overall, I think the text is written quite well in a style that is accessible to students.
The author uses inclusive, person-first language, and the text does not seem to be offensive or insensitive. As I read, I did notice that topics such as diversity and cultural competency are absent.
I enjoyed reading this text and am very excited to have a free research methods text for my students that I may supplement as needed. I wish there was a test question bank and/or flashcards for my students to help them study, but perhaps that could be added in the future. Overall, this is a great resource!
The text covers all the areas and ideas of the subject of research methods in psychology for the learner that is just entering the field. The authors read more
The text covers all the areas and ideas of the subject of research methods in psychology for the learner that is just entering the field. The authors cover all of the content of an introductory research methods textbook and use exemplary examples that make those concepts relevent to a beginning researcher. As the authors state, the material is presented in such a manner as to encourage learners to not only be effective consumers of current research but also engage as critical thinkers in the many diverse situations one encounters in everyday life.
The content is accurate, error free, and unbiased. It explains both quantiative and qualitative methods in an unbiased manner. It is a bit slim on qualitative. It would be nice to have a bit more information on, for example, creating interview questions, coding, and qualitative data anaylisis.
The text is up to date, having just been revised. This revision was authored by Rajiv Jhangiani (Capilano University, North Vancouver) and includes the addition of a table of contents and cover page that the original text did not have, changes to Chapter 3 (Research Ethics) to include a contemporary example of an ethical breach and to reflect Canadian ethical guidelines and privacy laws, additional information regarding online data collection in Chapter 9 (Survey Research). Jhangiani has correcte of errors in the text and formulae, as well as changing spelling from US to Canadian conventions. The text is also now available in a inexpensive hard copy which students can purchase online or college bookstores can stock. This makes the text current and updates should be minimal.
The text is very easy to read and also very interesting as the authors supplement content with amazing real life examples.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
This text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within a course. I am going to use this text in conjunction with the OER OpenStax Psychology text for my Honors Psychology course. I currently use the OER Openstax Psychology textbook for my Positive Psychology course as well as my General Psychology course,
The topics in the text are presented in logical and clear fashion. The way they are presented allows the text to be used in conjuction with other textbooks as a secondary resource.
The text is free of significant interface issues. It is written in a manner that follows the natural process of doing research.
The text contained no noted grammatical errors.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive and actually has been revised to accomodate Canadian ethical guidelines as well as those of the APA.
I have to say that I am excited to have found this revised edition. My students will be so happy that there is also a reasonable priced hard coopy for them to purchase. They love the OpenStax Psychology text with the hard copy available from our bookstore. I do wish there were PowerPoints available for the text as well as a test bank. That is always a bonus!
This text covers everything I would consider essential for a first course in research methods, including some areas that are not consistently found read more
This text covers everything I would consider essential for a first course in research methods, including some areas that are not consistently found in introductory texts (e.g., qualitative research, criticisms of null hypothesis significance testing). The chapters on ethics (Ch. 3) and theory (Ch. 4) are more comprehensive than most I have seen at this level, but not to the extent of information overload; rather, they anticipate and address many questions that undergraduates often have about these issues. There is no index or table of contents provided in the PDF, and the table of contents on the website is very broad, but the material is well organized and it would not be hard for an instructor to create such a table. Chapter 2.1 is intended to be an introduction to several key terms and ideas (e.g., variable, correlation) that could serve as a sort of glossary.
I found the text to be highly accurate throughout; terms are defined precisely and correctly. Where there are controversies or differences of opinion in the field, the author presents both sides of the argument in a respectful and unbiased manner. He explicitly discourages students from dismissing any one approach as inherently flawed, discussing not only the advantages and disadvantages of all methods (including nonexperimental ones) but also ways researchers address the disadvantages.
In several places, the textbook explicitly addresses the history and development of various methods (e.g., qualitative research, null hypothesis significance testing) and the ways in which researchers' views have changed. This allows the author to present current thinking and debate in these areas yet still expose students to older ideas they are likely to encounter as they read the research literature. I think this approach sets students up well to encounter future methodological advances; as a field, we refine our methods over time. I think the author could easily integrate new developments in future editions, or instructors could introduce such developments as supplementary material without creating confusion by contradicting the test. The examples are generally drawn from classic psychological studies that have held up well over time; I think they will appeal to students for some time to come and not appear dated. The only area in which I did not feel the content was entirely up to date was in the area of psychological measurement; Chapter 5.2 is based on the traditional view and not the more comprehensive modern or holistic view as presented in the 1999 AERA/APA Standards for Educational and Psychological Measurement. However, a comprehensive treatment of measurement validity is probably not necessary for most undergraduates at this stage, and they will certainly encounter the older framework in the research literature.
The textbook does an excellent job of presenting concepts in simple, accessible language without introducing error by oversimplification. The author consistently anticipates common points of confusion, clarifies terms, and even suggests ways for students to remember key distinctions. Terms are clearly and concretely defined when they are introduced. In contrast to many texts I have used, the terms that are highlighted in the text are actually the terms I would want my students to remember and study; the author refrains from using psychological jargon that is not central to the concepts he is discussing.
I noticed no major inconsistencies or gaps.
The division of sections within each chapter is useful; although I liked the overall organization of the text, there were points at which I would likely assign sections in a slightly different order and I felt I could do this easily without loss of continuity. The one place I would have liked more modularity was in the discussion of inferential statistics: t-tests, ANOVA, and Pearson's r are all covered within Chapter 13.2. On the one hand, this enables students to see the relationships and similarities among these tests, but on the other, this is a lot for students to take in at once.
I found the overall organization of the book to be quite logical, mirroring the sequence of steps a researcher would use to develop a research question, design a study, etc. As discussed above, the modularity of the book makes it easy to reorder sections to suit the structure of a particular class (for example, I might have students read the section on APA writing earlier in the semester as they begin drafting their own research proposals). I like the inclusion of ethics very early on in the text, establishing the importance of this topic for all research design choices. One organizational feature I particularly appreciated was the consistent integration of conceptual and practical ideas; for example, in the discussion of psychological measurement, reliability and validity are discussed alongside the importance of giving clear instructions and making sure participants cannot be identified by their writing implements. This gives students an accurate and honest picture of the research process - some of the choices we make are driven by scientific ideals and some are driven by practical lessons learned. Students often have questions related to these mundane aspects of conducting research and it is helpful to have them so clearly addressed.
Although I didn't encounter any problems per se with the interface, I do think it could be made more user-friendly. For example, references to figures and tables are highlighted in blue, appearing to be hyperlinks, but they were not. Having such links, as well as a linked, easily-navigable and detailed table of contents, would also be helpful (and useful to students who use assistive technology).
I noticed no grammatical errors.
Where necessary, the author uses inclusive language and there is nothing that seems clearly offensive. The examples generally reflect American psychology research, but the focus is on the methods used and not the participants or cultural context. The text could be more intentionally or proactively inclusive, but it is not insensitive or exclusive.
I am generally hard to please when it comes to textbooks, but I found very little to quibble with in this one. It is a very well-written and accessible introduction to research methods that meets students where they are, addressing their common questions, misconceptions, and concerns. Although it's not flashy, the figures, graphics, and extra resources provided are clear, helpful, and relevant.
The text is thorough in terms of covering introductory concepts that are central to experimental and correlational/association designs. I find the read more
The text is thorough in terms of covering introductory concepts that are central to experimental and correlational/association designs. I find the general exclusion of qualitative and mixed methods designs hard to defend (despite some researchers’ distaste for the methods). While these approaches were less commonly used in the recent past, they are prevalent in the early years of psychology and are ascending once again. It strikes me as odd to just ignore two whole families of methods that are used within the practice of psychology—definitely not a sustainable approach. I do very much appreciate the emphasis on those who will both practice and consume psychology, given the wide variety of undergraduate career paths. One glaring omission is a Table of Contents within the PDF. It would be nice to make this a linked PDF, so that clicking on the entry in a TOC (or cross-references) would jump the reader to the relevant section.
I did not see an errors. The chapter on theory is not as clear as it could be. The section “what is theory” is not very clear, and these are difficulte concepts (difference between theory, hypothesis, etc.). A bit more time spent here could have been good. Also, the discussion of functional, mechanistic, and typological theories leaves out the fourth of Pepper’s metaphors: contextualism. I’m not sure that was intentional and accidental, but it is noticeable!
This is a research methods text focused on experimental and association designs. The basics of these designs do not change a whole lot over time, so there is little likelihood that the main content will become obsolete anytime soon. Some of the examples used are a bit dated, but then again most of them are considered “classics” in the field, which I think are important to retain (and there is at least one “new classic” included in the ethics section, namely the fraudulent research linking autism to the MMR vaccine).
The text is extremely clear and accessible. In fact, it may even be *too* simple for undergraduate use. Then again, students often struggle with methods, so simplicity is good, and the simplicity can also make the book marketable to high school courses (although I doubt many high schools have methods courses).
Yes, quite consistent throughout. Carrying through the same examples into different chapters is a major strength of the text.
I don’ anticipate any problems here.
The book flows well, with brief sections. I do wonder if maybe the sections are too brief? Perhaps too many check-ins? The “key take-aways” usually come after only a few pages. As mentioned above, the book is written at a very basic level, so this brevity is consistent with that approach. It is not a problem, per se, but those considering adopting the text should be aware of this aspect.
No problems here.
I did not detect any grammatical errors. The text flows very well.
The book is fairly typical of American research methods books in that it only focuses on the U.S. context and draws its examples from “mainstream” psychology (e.g., little inclusion of ethnic minority or cross-cultural psychology). However, the text is certainly not insensitive or offensive in any way.
Nice book, thanks for writing it!
The text is well organized and written, integrates excellent pedagogical features, and covers all of the traditional areas of the topic read more
The text is well organized and written, integrates excellent pedagogical features, and covers all of the traditional areas of the topic admirably. The final two chapters provide a good bridge between the research methods course and the follow-up course on behavioural statistics. The text integrates real psychological measures, harnesses students’ existing knowledge from introductory psychology, includes well-chosen examples from real life and research, and even includes a very practical chapter on the use of APA style for writing and referencing. On the other hand, it does not include a table of contents or an index, both of which are highly desirable. The one chapter that requires significant revision is Chapter 3 (Research Ethics), which is based on the US codes of ethics (e.g., Federal policy & APA code) and does not include any mention of the Canadian Tri-Council Policy Statement.
The very few errors I found include the following: 1. The text should read “The fact that his F score…” instead of “The fact that his t score…” on page 364 2. Some formulae are missing the line that separates the numerator from the denominator. See pages 306, 311, 315, and 361 3. Table 12.3 on page 310 lists the variance as 288 when it is 28.8
The text is up-to-date and will not soon lose relevance. The only things I would add are a brief discussion of the contemporary case of Diederik Stapel’s research fraud in the chapter on Research Ethics, as well as some research concerning the external validity of web-based studies (e.g., Gosling et al.’s 2004 article in American Psychologist).
Overall, the style of writing makes this text highly accessible. The writing flows well, is well organized, and includes excellent, detailed, and clear examples and explanations for concepts. The examples often build on concepts or theories students would have covered in their introductory psychology course. Some constructive criticism: 1. When discussing z scores on page 311 it might have been helpful to point out that the mean and SD for a set of calculated z scores are 0 and 1 respectively. Good students will come to this realization themselves, but it is not a bad thing to point it out nonetheless. 2. The introduction of the concept of multiple regression might be difficult for some students to grasp. 3. The only place where I felt short of an explanation was in the use of a research example to demonstrate the use of a line graph on page 318. In this case the explanation in question does not pertain to the line graph itself but the result of the study used, which is so fascinating that students will wish for the researchers’ explanation for it.
The text is internally consistent.
The text is organized very well into chapters, modules within each chapter, and learning objectives within each module. Each module also includes useful exercises that help consolidate learning.
As mentioned earlier, the style of writing makes this text highly accessible. The writing flows well, is well organized, and includes excellent, detailed, and clear examples and explanations for concepts. The examples often build on concepts or theories students would have covered in their introductory psychology course. Only rarely did I feel that the author could have assisted the student by demonstrating the set-by-step calculation of a statistic (e.g., on page 322 for the calculation of Pearson’s r)
The images, graphs, and charts are clear. The only serious issues that hamper navigation are the lack of a table of contents and an index. Many of the graphs will need to be printed in colour (or otherwise modified) for the students to follow the explanations provided in the text.
The text is written rather well and is free from grammatical errors. Of course, spellings are in the US convention.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive. Of course, it is not a Canadian edition and so many of the examples (all of which are easy to comprehend) come from a US context.
I have covered most of these issues in my earlier comments. The only things left to mention are that the author should have clearly distinguished between mundane and psychological realism, and that, in my opinion, the threats to internal validity could have been grouped together and might have been closer to an exhaustive list.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology
- Chapter 2: Getting Started in Research
- Chapter 3: Research Ethics
- Chapter 4: Theory in Psychology
- Chapter 5: Psychological Measurement
- Chapter 6: Experimental Research
- Chapter 7: Nonexperimental Research
- Chapter 8: Complex Research Designs
- Chapter 9: Survey Research
- Chapter 10: Single-Subject Research
- Chapter 11: Presenting Your Research
- Chapter 12: Descriptive Statistics
- Chapter 13: Inferential Statistics
About the Book
While Research Methods in Psychology is fairly traditional— making it easy for you to use with your existing courses — it also emphasizes a fundamental idea that is often lost on undergraduates: research methods are not a peripheral concern in our discipline; they are central.
The overarching goal of this textbook is to present the basics of psychological research methods — focusing on the concepts and skills that are most widely shared within the discipline — emphasizing both their centrality to our field and their contribution to our understanding of human behavior. The book will include several features that will help accomplish this overarching goal.
About the Contributors
Research Methods in Psychology is adapted from a work produced by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.