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Research Methods in Psychology - 3rd American Edition

(18 reviews)

Carrie Cuttler, Washington State University

Pub Date: 2017

Publisher: Independent

Language: English

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Reviewed by Chris Koch, Professor of Psychology, George Fox University on 3/28/18

All appropriate areas and topics are covered in the text. In that sense, this book is equivalent to other top texts dealing with research methods in psychology. The appeal of this book is the brevity and clarity. Therefore, some may find that,... read more


Reviewed by Michel Heijnen, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina Wilmington on 3/28/18

The book covers all areas related to research methods, not only for the field of psychology, but also to other related fields like exercise science. Topics include ethics, developing a research questions, experimental designs, non-experimental... read more


Reviewed by Eric Lindsey, Professor, Penn State University Berks Campus on 2/2/18

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... read more


Reviewed by zehra peynircioglu, Professor, American University on 2/2/18

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... read more


Reviewed by Elizabeth Do, Instructor, Virginia Commonwealth University on 2/2/18

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... read more


Reviewed by Kevin White, Assistant Professor, East Carolina University on 2/2/18

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... read more


Reviewed by George Woodbury, Graduate Student, Miami University, Ohio on 6/21/17

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... read more


Reviewed by Angela Curl, Assistant Professor, Miami University (Ohio) on 6/21/17

"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.... read more


Reviewed by Shannon Layman, Lecturer, University of Texas at Arlington on 4/12/17

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... read more


Reviewed by Meghan Babcock, Instructor, University of Texas at Arlington on 4/12/17

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... read more


Reviewed by Pramit Nadpara, Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University on 4/12/17

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... read more


Reviewed by Sarah Allred, Associate Professor, Rutgers University, Camden on 2/9/17

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... read more


Reviewed by Abbey Dvorak, Assistant Professor, University of Kansas on 8/22/16

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... read more


Reviewed by Joel Malin, Assistant Professor, Miami University on 8/22/16

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... read more


Reviewed by Alyssa Gibbons, Instructor, Colorado State University on 1/8/16

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... read more


Reviewed by Karen Pikula, Psychology Instructor PhD, Central Lakes College on 1/8/16

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... read more


Reviewed by Moin Syed, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota on 6/11/15

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’... read more


Reviewed by Rajiv Jhangiani, Instructor, Capilano University on 10/10/13

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... read more


Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology
  • Chapter 2: Overview of the Scientific Method
  • Chapter 3: Research Ethics
  • Chapter 4: Psychological Measurement
  • Chapter 5: Experimental Research
  • Chapter 6: Nonexperimental Research
  • Chapter 7: Survey Research
  • Chapter 8: Quasi-Experimental Research
  • Chapter 9: Factorial Designs
  • Chapter 10: Single-Subject Research
  • Chapter 11: Presenting Your Research
  • Chapter 12: Descriptive Statistics
  • Chapter 13: Inferential Statistics

About the Book

This textbook is an adaptation of one written by Paul C. Price (California State University, Fresno) and adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work's original creator or licensee. The original text is available here:

The first Canadian edition (published in 2013) was authored by Rajiv S. Jhangiani (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and was licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Revisions included the addition of a table of contents, 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), corrections of errors in the text and formulae, spelling changes from US to Canadian conventions, the addition of a cover page, and other necessary formatting adjustments.

The second adaptation incorporated the second Canadian edition (published in 2013) by Rajiv S. Jhangiani (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and I-Chant A. Chiang (Quest University Canada), licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Major revisions included numerous new examples and links to outside resources throughout the book, references to replicability and open science (Chapters 1 and 13), and additions to discussions of validity (Chapters 5 & 6), the addition of a glossary of key terms, and numerous illustrations, descriptions, and exercises throughout.

The second American edition constituted a major revision for the first Canadian edition was the substitution of the original ethics chapter (Chapter 3) from the first American edition, and the reversion of Canadian spelling conventions to American spelling conventions.

Cover photo: “Great Wave off Kanagawa” after Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) is public domain.

The third U.S. edition was authored by Carrie Cuttler (Washington State University) in 2017 and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Revisions in the current edition include general reorganization, language revision, spelling, formatting, additional video links, and examples throughout. More specifically, the overall model section was moved from Chapter 1 to Chapter 2, new sections were added to Chapter 1 on methods of knowing and goals of science, and a link on the replication crisis in psychology was added to Chapter 1. Chapter 2 was also reorganized by moving the section on reviewing the research literature to earlier in the chapter and taking sections from Chapter 4 (on theories and hypotheses), moving them to Chapter 2, and cutting the remainder of Chapter 4. Sections of Chapter 2 on correlation were also moved to Chapter 6. New sections on characteristics of good research questions, an overview of experimental vs. non-experimental research, a description of field vs. lab studies, and making conclusions were also added to Chapter 2. Chapter 3 was expanded by adding a definition of anonymity, elaborating on the Belmont Report (the principles of respect for persons and beneficence were added), and adding a link to a clip dispelling the myth that vaccines cause autism. Sections from Chapter 4 (on defining theories and hypotheses) were moved to Chapter 2 and the remainder of the previous Chapter 4 (on phenomenon, theories, and hypotheses) was cut. Chapter 5 was reorganized by moving the sections on four types of validity, manipulation checks, and placebo effects to later in the chapter. Descriptions of single factor two-level designs, single factor multi-level designs, matched-groups designs, order effects, and random counterbalancing were added to Chapter 5 and the concept of statistical validity was expanded upon. Chapter 6 was also reorganized by moving sections describing correlation coefficients from Chapters 2 and 12 to Chapter 6. The section of the book on complex correlation was also moved to Chapter 6 and the section on quasi-experiments was moved from Chapter 6 to its own chapter (Chapter 8). The categories of non-experimental research described in Chapter 6 were change to cross-sectional, correlational, and observational research. Chapter 6 was further expanded to describe cross-sectional studies, partial correlation, simple regression, the use of regression to make predictions, case studies, participant observation, disguised and undisguised observation, and structured observation. The terms independent variable and dependent variable as used in the context of regression were changed to predictor variable and outcome/criterion variable respectively. A distinction between proportionate stratified sampling and disproportionate stratified sampling was added to Chapter 7. The section on quasi-experimental designs was moved to its own chapter (Chapter 8) and was elaborated upon to include instrumentation and testing as threats to internal validity of one-group pretest-posttest designs, and to include sections describing the one-group posttest only design, pretest-posttest nonequivalent groups design, interrupted time-series with nonequivalent groups design, pretest-posttest design with switching replication, and switching replication with treatment removal designs. The section of Chapter 9 on factorial designs was split into two sections and the remainder of the chapter was moved or cut. Further, examples of everyday interactions were added and a description of simple effects was added to Chapter 9. The section on case studies that appeared in Chapter 10 was edited and moved to Chapter 6. Further, labels were added to multiple-baseline across behaviors, settings, and participants designs, and a concluding paragraph on converging evidence was added to Chapter 10. Only minor edits were made to the remaining chapters (Chapters 11, 12, and 13).

A related set of ancillary materials has been created and made openly available by Judy Orton Grissett, Georgia Southwestern State University.