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Research Methods: A Tool for Life, 3rd Edition

By Bernard C. Beins

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Oct 18, 2012



How psychological research makes a difference in everyday lives


Research Methods: A Tool for Life introduces readers to the importance of scientific research in every day life. Updated in the third edition, this text presents current research that engages students with familiar issues. Discussions of controversies in psychology stimulate student interest while explaining important methodological concepts, which helps students understand how new research emerges.


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers should be able to:

  • Generate a research question and select an appropriate methodology
  • Deal appropriately with ethical issues related to research
  • Conduct meaningful research using a wide array of methodologies
  • Consider social and cultural factors when consuming or conducting research
  • Write a Research Report


Table of Contents

In this Section:
1) Brief Table of Contents

2) Full Table of Contents





Chapter 1: Psychology, Science, and Life

Chapter 2: Ethics in Research

Chapter 3: Planning Research: Generating a Question

Chapter 4: Practical Issues in Planning Your Research

Chapter 5: Measurement and Sampling

Chapter 6: Conducting an Experiment: General Principles

Chapter 7: Experiments with One Independent Variable

Chapter 8: Experiments with Multiple Independent Variables

Chapter 9: Expanding on Experimental Designs: Repeated Measures and Quasi-Experiments

Chapter 10: Principles of Survey Research

Chapter 11: Correlational Research

Chapter 12: Studying Patterns in the Natural World: Observational Approaches

Chapter 13: Research in Depth: Longitudinal and Single-Case Studies

Chapter 14: People Are Different: Considering Cultural and Individual Differences in Research

Appendix A: Writing a Research Report

Appendix B: Statistics Review

Appendix C: Statistical Tables




Chapter 1: Psychology, Science, And Life

Why Are Research Methods Important Tools For Life?

Why We Do Research

What Constitutes Scientific Knowledge

The Interaction Of Science And Culture

Controversy: Should Women Serve As Jurors?

Scientific Literacy

Controversy: Why Do Men Rape?


Chapter 2: Ethics In Research

Unethical Research Practices—Past And Present

Ethical Guidelines Created By The American Psychological Association

Legal Requirements And Ethics In Research

The Importance Of Social Context In Deciding On Ethics In Research

Controversy On Deception

What You Need To Do If Your Research Involves Deception

Ethical Issues In Special Circumstances


Chapter 3: Planning Research: Generating A Question

How Do Research Ideas Develop?

How Can You Develop Research Ideas?

The Virtual Laboratory: Research On The Internet

Checking On Research: The Role Of Replication

Controversy On Music–Does Music Make You Smarter?

How To Conduct A Literature Review

How To Read A Journal Article


Chapter 4: Practical Issues In Planning Your Research

Practical Questions In Planning Research

Understanding Your Research

Conducting Your Study

Choosing The Your Participants Or Subjects

Differing Approaches In Different Areas Of Psychology


Chapter 5: Measurement And Sampling

Psychological Concepts

Defining And Measuring Variables

Probability Sampling

Nonprobability Sampling

Making Useful Measurements

Considering Validity In Research

Controversy On Intelligence

Scales Of Measurement


Chapter 6: Conducting An Experiment: General Principles

Choosing A Methodology: The Practicalities Of Research

Determining The Causes Of Behavior

The Logic Of Experimental Manipulation

Ethics In Experimental, Clinical Research

Controversy: Withholding Treatment In Medical Research

Experimental Control

Controversy: Do Women Fear Success?

Experimenter Effects

Participant Effects

Interaction Effects Between Experimenters And Participants


Chapter 7: Experiments With One Independent Variable

Psychological Concepts

Independent And Dependent Variables

Types Of Independent And Dependent Variables

Controversy On Studying Race

Using Experiments To Determine Causation

Controversy On Studying Depression Experimentally

Comparing Two Groups

Comparing Multiple Groups

Data Analysis


Chapter 8: Experiments With Multiple Independent Variables

Research With Multiple Independent Variables

Main Effects

Interactions Between Variables

Controversy On Prejudice

Identifying Research Designs

Data Analysis

Controversy On Cell Phones And Driving


Chapter 9: Expanding On Experimental Designs: Repeated Measures And Quasi-Experiments

Repeated Measures Designs

Advantages Of Repeated Measures Designs

Limitations To Repeated Measures Designs

Data Analysis With Repeated Measures Designs

Quasi-Experimental Designs

Controversy: Does Sex + Neuroticism = Death?

Types Of Quasi-Experimental Designs

Controversy On Using Laws To Change Behavior


Chapter 10: Principles Of Survey Research

Surveys: Answering Diverse Questions

Controversy On The U.S. Census

Selecting Your Methodology

Controversy On Adolescent Smoking

Response Bias

Sampling Issues


Chapter 11: Correlational Research

Correlational Studies

Using The Correlational Approach

Controversy On Violence And The Media

Traditional Correlational Tests

Correlations With Multiple Variables

Controversy On The Mental Health Of College Students

Limitations Of Multivariate Correlational Analysis


Chapter 12: Studying Patterns In The Natural World: Observational Approaches

Observational Approaches

Scientific Versus Casual Observation

Studying Natural Behaviors

Controversy On Abnormal Behavior Of Captive Animals

Controversy On Rape In Animals

Approaches To Observational Research

Sampling Issues In Observational Research

Ethological Observations In Clinical Research

The Human Side Of Observational Research

Controversy On Public Versus Private Sex

Data Analysis In Observational Research


Chapter 13: Research In Depth: Longitudinal And Single-Case Studies

Longitudinal Research

Varieties Of Longitudinal Research

Controversy On Student Achievement

Issues In Longitudinal Designs

Data Analysis In Longitudinal Research

Single-Subject Experimentation

Methods Of Single-Case Designs

A Case Study: Tasting Pointed Chickens And Seeing Colored Numbers


Chapter 14: People Are Different: Considering Cultural And Individual Differences In Research

Different Cultural Perspectives

Defining An Individual’s Culture, Ethnicity, And Race

Cross-Cultural Concepts In Psychology

Controversy On Culture And Neurological Diagnosis

Is There A Biological Basis For Race?

Controversy On Different Races

Practical Issues In Cultural Research

Why The Concepts Of Culture And Ethnicity Are Essential In Research

Cultural Factors In Mental Health Research

Sex And Gender: Do Men And Women Come From Different Cultures?

Controversy On Men, Women, And Math


Research Methods: A Tool for Life, 3rd Edition

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