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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $92.00
  • October 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93546-2
  • 592 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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  1. Psychology

Research Methods in Psychology

Evaluating a World of Information


Beth Morling (Author, University of Delaware)


An engaging text that helps students develop the skills they need for critically examining their world.

Research Methods in Psychology: Evaluating a World of Information acknowledges that many psychology majors pursue careers in which they need to read and understand research rather than actually conduct research. Therefore, while students still learn the skills necessary to design research, the book emphasizes the quantitative reasoning skills students need to become systematic and critical consumers of information. Examples from a variety of sources capture students’ interest, and the innovative pedagogical framework ensures that students will retain and be able to apply what they learn.


A framework focused on critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills

Because the research methods course can be overwhelming to students, Chapter 3 of Research Methods in Psychology lays out a basic “Three Claims, Four Validities” framework for systematically evaluating research claims. The framework gives guidelines for identifying and evaluating different sorts of research claims, and it is referred back to throughout the book to reinforce student learning. Beth Morling has based her course at the University of Delaware on the “Three Claims, Four Validities” framework for years with great success.

Relevant, accessible, and engaging

Research Methods in Psychology breathes life into this critical course for psychology majors, including examples from the popular media as well as scholarly journals to convey the importance of evaluating reports of research from various sources. Four-color illustrations and a clear and lively writing style help to hold readers’ interest.

Clear learning goals and opportunities for self-assessment

Each chapter is framed by "A Year From Now" learning objectives that help students focus their attention on the most important concepts. Each major section ends with a “Check Your Understanding” quiz, allowing students to assess how much they know before moving to the next section. Each chapter ends with author-tested “Learning Actively” exercises that train students to analyze chapter material and apply it to real-life research claims and scenarios. Additional quizzes and study tools are available on StudySpace, a free and open student website.

Everyday Research Methods Blog

The real-world headlines, studies, and stories that are a hallmark of the textbook are also the centerpiece of the media package: Beth Morling’s blog contains video, speeches, studies, and news articles. Each entry is tagged with a learning objective from the text and contains questions for critical thinking and discussion. Additionally, free, customizable coursepacks come pre-loaded with our evidence-centered, quality-controlled Test Bank questions as well as quizzes and chapter outlines from StudySpace.

    Part I. Introduction to Scientific Reasoning

    Chapter 1: Psychology Is a Way of Thinking

    Chapter 2: Sources of Information: Evaluating, Finding, and Reading Information

    Chapter 3: Three Claims, Four Validities: Interrogation Tools for Consumers of Research

    Part II. Research Foundations for Any Claim

    Chapter 4: Ethical Guidelines for Psychology Research

    Chapter 5: Identifying Good Measurement

    Part III. Tools for Interrogating and Testing Frequency Claims

    Chapter 6: Describing What People Do: Surveys, Observations, and Sampling

    Part IV. Tools for Interrogating and Testing Association Claims

    Chapter 7: Bivariate Correlational Research

    Chapter 8: Multivariate Correlational Research

    Part V. Tools for Interrogating and Testing Causal Claims

    Chapter 9: Introduction to Simple Experiments

    Chapter 10: More on Experiments: Confounding and Obscuring Variables

    Chapter 11: Experiments with More Than One Independent Variable

    Part VI: Balancing Priorities

    Chapter 12: Quasi-Experiments and Small-N Designs

    Chapter 13: Replicability, Generalization, and the “Real World”

    Appendix A: Overview of Descriptive Statistics

    Appendix B: Inferential Statistics

    Appendix C: APA-Style Research Reports

    Appendix D: Random Numbers

    Appendix E: Areas Under the Normal Curve

    Appendix F: Critical Values of t

    Appendix G: Critical Values of F

    Appendix H: to Conversion