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Research Methods in Psychology - 4th American Edition

(40 reviews)

research methods in psychology

Carrie Cuttler, Washington State University

Rajiv S. Jhangiani, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dana C. Leighton, Texas A&M University, Texarkana

Copyright Year: 2019

ISBN 13: 9781999198107

Publisher: Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Language: English

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Reviewed by Beth Mechlin, Associate Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, Earlham College on 3/19/24

This is an extremely comprehensive text for an undergraduate psychology course about research methods. It does an excellent job covering the basics of a variety of types of research design. It also includes important topics related to research... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less

This is an extremely comprehensive text for an undergraduate psychology course about research methods. It does an excellent job covering the basics of a variety of types of research design. It also includes important topics related to research such as ethics, finding journal articles, and writing reports in APA format.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

I did not notice any errors in this text.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

The content is very relevant. It will likely need to be updated over time in order to keep research examples relevant. Additionally, APA formatting guidelines may need to be updated when a new publication manual is released. However, these should be easy updates for the authors to make when the time comes.

Clarity rating: 5

This text is very clear and easy to follow. The explanations are easy for college students to understand. The authors use a lot of examples to help illustrate specific concepts. They also incorporate a variety of relevant outside sources (such as videos) to provide additional examples.

Consistency rating: 5

The text is consistent and flows well from one section to the next. At the end of each large section (similar to a chapter) the authors provide key takeaways and exercises.

Modularity rating: 5

This text is very modular. It is easy to pick and choose which sections you want to use in your course when. Each section can stand alone fairly easily.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

The text is very well organized. Information flows smoothly from one topic to the next.

Interface rating: 5

The interface is great. The text is easy to navigate and the images display well (I only noticed 1 image in which the formatting was a tad off).

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

I did not notice any grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

The text is culturally relevant.

This is an excellent text for an undergraduate research methods course in the field of Psychology. I have been using the text for my Research Methods and Statistics course for a few years now. This text focuses on research methods, so I do use another text to cover statistical information. I do highly recommend this text for research methods. It is comprehensive, clear, and easy for students to use.

Reviewed by William Johnson, Lecturer, Old Dominion University on 1/12/24

This textbook covers every topic that I teach in my Research Methods course aside from psychology careers (which I would not really expect it to cover). read more

This textbook covers every topic that I teach in my Research Methods course aside from psychology careers (which I would not really expect it to cover).

I have not noticed any inaccurate information (other than directed students to read Malcolm Gladwell). I appreciate that the textbook includes information on research errors that have not been supported by replication efforts, such as embodied cognition.

Many of the basic concepts of research methods are rather timeless, but I appreciate that the text includes newer research as examples while also including "classic" studies that exemplify different methods.

The writing is clear and simple. The keywords are bolded and reveal a definition when clicked, which students often find very helpful. Many of the figures are very helpful in helping students understand various methods (I really like the ones in the single-subject design subchapter).

The book is very consistent in its terminology and writing style, which I see as a positive compared to other open psychology textbooks where each chapter is written by subject matter experts (such as the NOBA intro textbook).

Modularity rating: 4

I teach this textbook almost entirely in order (except for moving chapters 12 & 13 earlier in the semester to aid students in writing Results sections in their final papers). I think that the organization and consistency of the book reduces its modularity, in that earlier chapters are genuinely helpful for later chapters.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

I preferred the organization of previous editions, which had "Theory in Research" as its own chapter. If I were organizing the textbook, I am not sure that I would have out descriptive or inferential statistics as the final two chapters (I would have likely put Chapter 11: Presenting Your Research as the final chapter). I also would not have put information about replicability and open science in the inferential statistics section.

The text is easy to read and the formatting is attractive. My only minor complaint is that some of the longer subchapters can be a pretty long scroll, but I understand the desire for their only to be one page per subchapter/topic.

I have not noticed any grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 3

I do not think the textbook is insensitive, but there is not much thought given to adapting research instruments across cultures. For instance, talking about how different constructs might have different underlying distributions in different cultures would be useful for students. In the survey methods section, a discussion of back translation or emic personality trait measurement/development for example might be a nice addition.

I choose to use this textbook in my methods classes, but I do miss the organization of the previous American editions. Overall, I recommend this textbook to my colleagues.

Reviewed by Brianna Ewert, Psychology Instructor, Salish Kootenai College on 12/30/22

This text includes the majority of content included in our undergraduate Research Methods in Psychology course. The glossary provides concise definitions of key terms. This text includes most of the background knowledge we expect our students to... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less

This text includes the majority of content included in our undergraduate Research Methods in Psychology course. The glossary provides concise definitions of key terms. This text includes most of the background knowledge we expect our students to have as well as skill-based sections that will support them in developing their own research projects.

The content I have read is accurate and error-free.

The content is relevant and up-to-date.

The text is clear and concise. I find it pleasantly readable and anticipate undergraduate students will find it readable and understandable as well.

The terminology appears to be consistent throughout the text.

The modular sections stand alone and lend themselves to alignment with the syllabus of a particular course. I anticipate readily selecting relevant modules to assign in my course.

The book is logically organized with clear and section headings and subheadings. Content on a particular topic is easy to locate.

The text is easy to navigate and the format/design are clean and clear. There are not interface issues, distortions or distracting format in the pdf or online versions.

The text is grammatically correct.

Cultural Relevance rating: 4

I have not found culturally insensitive and offensive language or content in the text. For my courses, I would add examples and supplemental materials that are relevant for students at a Tribal College.

This textbook includes supplemental instructor materials, included slides and worksheets. I plan to adopt this text this year in our Research Methods in Psychology course. I expect it to be a benefit to the course and students.

Reviewed by Sara Peters, Associate Professor of Psychology, Newberry College on 11/3/22

This text serves as an excellent resource for introducing survey research methods topics to undergraduate students. It begins with a background of the science of psychology, the scientific method, and research ethics, before moving into the main... read more

This text serves as an excellent resource for introducing survey research methods topics to undergraduate students. It begins with a background of the science of psychology, the scientific method, and research ethics, before moving into the main types of research. This text covers experimental, non-experimental, survey, and quasi-experimental approaches, among others. It extends to factorial and single subject research, and within each topic is a subset (such as observational research, field studies, etc.) depending on the section.

I could find no accuracy issues with the text, and appreciated the discussions of research and cited studies.

There are revised editions of this textbook (this being the 4th), and the examples are up to date and clear. The inclusion of exercises at the end of each chapter offer potential for students to continue working with material in meaningful ways as they move through the book and (and course).

The prose for this text is well aimed at the undergraduate population. This book can easily be utilized for freshman/sophomore level students. It introduces the scientific terminology surrounding research methods and experimental design in a clear way, and the authors provide extensive examples of different studies and applications.

Terminology is consistent throughout the text. Aligns well with other research methods and statistics sources, so the vocabulary is transferrable beyond the text itself.

Navigating this book is a breeze. There are 13 chapters, and each have subsections that can be assigned. Within each chapter subsection, there is a set of learning objectives, and paragraphs are mixed in with tables and figures for students to have different visuals. Different application assignments within each chapter are highlighted with boxes, so students can think more deeply given a set of constructs as they consider different information. The last subsection in each chapter has key summaries and exercises.

The sections and topics in this text are very straightforward. The authors begin with an introduction of psychology as a science, and move into the scientific method, research ethics, and psychological measurement. They then present multiple different research methodologies that are well known and heavily utilized within the social sciences, before concluding with information on how to present your research, and also analyze your data. The text even provides links throughout to other free resources for a reader.

This book can be navigated either online (using a drop-down menu), or as a pdf download, so students can have an electronic copy if needed. All pictures and text display properly on screen, with no distortions. Very easy to use.

There were no grammatical errors, and nothing distracting within the text.

This book includes inclusive material in the discussion of research ethics, as well as when giving examples of the different types of research approaches. While there is always room for improvement in terms of examples, I was satisfied with the breadth of research the authors presented.

This text provides an overview of both research methods, and a nice introduction to statistics for a social science student. It would be a good choice for a survey research methods class, and if looking to change a statistics class into an open resource class, could also serve as a great resource.

Reviewed by Sharlene Fedorowicz, Adjunct Professor, Bridgewater State University on 6/23/21

The comprehensiveness of this book was appropriate for an introductory undergraduate psychology course. Critical topics are covered that are necessary for psychology students to obtain foundational learning concepts for research. Sections within... read more

The comprehensiveness of this book was appropriate for an introductory undergraduate psychology course. Critical topics are covered that are necessary for psychology students to obtain foundational learning concepts for research. Sections within the text and each chapter provide areas for class discussion with students to dive deeper into key concepts for better learning comprehension. The text covered APA format along with examples of research studies to supplement the learning. The text segues appropriately by introducing the science of psychology, followed by scientific method and ethics before getting into the core of scientific research in the field of psychology. Details are provided in quantitative and qualitative research, correlations, surveys, and research design. Overall, the text is fully comprehensive and necessary introductory research concepts.

The text appears to be accurate with no issues related to content.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 4

The text provided relevant research information to support the learning. The content was up-to-date with a variety of different examples related to the different fields of psychology. However, some topics such as in the pseudoscience section were not very relevant and bordered the line of beliefs. Here, more current or relevant solid examples would provide more relevancy in this part of the text. Bringing in more solid or concrete examples that are more current for students may have been more appropriate such as lack of connection between information found on social media versus real science.

The language and flow of the chapters accompanied by the terms, concepts, and examples of applied research allows for clarity of learning content. Terms were introduced at the appropriate time with the support of concepts and current or classic research. The writing style flows nicely and segues easily from concept to concept. The text is easy for students to understand and grasp the details related to psychological research and science.

The text provides consistency in the outline of each chapter. The beginning section chapter starts objectives as an overview to help students unpack the learning content. Key terms are consistently bolded followed by concept or definition and relevant examples. Research examples are pertinent and provide students with an opportunity to understand application of the contents. Practice exercises are provided with in the chapter and at the and in order for students to integrate learning concepts from within the text.

Sections and subsections are clearly organized and divided appropriately for ease-of-use. The topics are easily discernible and follow the flow of ideal learning routines for students. The sections and subsections are consistently outlined for each concept module. The modularity provides consistency allowing for students to focus on content rather than trying to discern how to pull out the information differently from each chapter or section. In addition, each section and subsection allow for flexibility in learning or expanding concepts within the content area.

The organization of the textbook was easy to follow and each major topic was outlined clearly. However, the chapter on presenting research may be more appropriately placed toward the end of the book rather than in the middle of the chapters related to research and research design. In addition, more information could have been provided upfront around APA format so that students could identify the format of citations within the text as practice for students throughout the book.

The interface of the book lends itself to a nice layout with appropriate examples and links to break up the different sections in the chapters. Examples where appropriate and provided engagement opportunities for the students for each learning module. Images and QR codes or easily viewed and used. Key terms are highlighted in relevant figures, graphs, and tables were appropriately placed. Overall, the interface of the text assisted with the organization and flow of learning material.

No grammatical errors were detected in this book.

The text appears to be culturally sensitive and not offensive. A variety of current and classic research examples are relevant. However, more examples of research from women, minorities, and ethnicities would strengthen the culture of this textbook. Instructors may need to supplement some research in this area to provide additional inclusivity.

Overall, I was impressed by the layout of the textbook and the ease of use. The layout provides a set of expectations for students related to the routine of how the book is laid out and how students will be able to unpack the information. Research examples were relevant, although I see areas where I will supplement information. The book provides opportunities for students to dive deeper into the learning and have rich conversations in the classroom. I plan to start using the psychology textbook for my students starting next year.

Reviewed by Anna Behler, Assistant Professo, North Carolina State University on 6/1/21

The text is very thorough and covers all of the necessary topics for an undergraduate psychology research methods course. There is even coverage of qualitative research, case studies, and the replication crisis which I have not seen in some other... read more

The text is very thorough and covers all of the necessary topics for an undergraduate psychology research methods course. There is even coverage of qualitative research, case studies, and the replication crisis which I have not seen in some other texts.

There were no issues with the accuracy of the text.

The content is very up to date and relevant for a research methods course. The only updates that will likely be necessary in the coming years are updates to examples and modifications to the section on APA formatting.

The clarity of the writing was good, and the chapters were written in a way that was accessible and easy to follow.

I did not note any issues with consistency.

Each chapter is divided into multiple subsections. This makes the chapters even easier to read, as they are broken down into short and easy to navigate sections. These sections make it easy to assign readings as needed depending on which topics are being covered in class.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 3

The organization was one of the few areas of weakness, and I felt that the chapters were ordered somewhat oddly. However, this is something that is easily fixed, as chapters (and even subsections) can be assigned in whatever order is needed.

There were no issues of note with the interface, and the PDF of the text was easy to navigate.

The text was well written and there were no grammatical/writing errors of note.

Overall, the book did not contain any notable instances of bias. However, it would probably be appropriate to offer a more thorough discussion of the WEIRD problem in psychology research.

Reviewed by Seth Surgan, Professor, Worcester State University on 5/24/21

Pitched very well for a 200-level Research Methods course. This text provided students with solid basis for class discussion and the further development of their understanding of fundamental concepts. read more

Pitched very well for a 200-level Research Methods course. This text provided students with solid basis for class discussion and the further development of their understanding of fundamental concepts.

No issues with accuracy.

Coverage was on target, relevant, and applicable, with good examples from a variety of subfields within Psychology.

Clearly written -- students often struggle with the dry, technical nature of concepts in Research Methods. Part of the reason I chose this text in the first place was how favorably it compared to other options in terms of clarity.

No problems with inconsistent of shifting language. This is extremely important in Research Methods, where there are many closely related terms. Language was consistent and compatible with other textbook options that were available to my students.

Chapters are broken down into sections that are reasonably sized and conceptually appropriate.

The organization of this textbook fit perfectly with the syllabus I've been using (in one form or another) for 15+ years.

This textbook was easy to navigate and available in a variety of formats.

No problems at all.

Examples show an eye toward inclusivity. I did not detect any insensitive or offensive examples or undertones.

I have used this textbook for a 200-level Research Methods course run over a single summer session. This was my first experience using an OER textbook and I don't plan on going back.

Reviewed by Laura Getz, Assistant Professor, University of San Diego on 4/29/21

The topics covered seemed to be at an appropriate level for beginner undergraduate psychology students; the learning objectives for each subsection and the key takeaways and exercises for each chapter are also very helpful in guiding students’... read more

The topics covered seemed to be at an appropriate level for beginner undergraduate psychology students; the learning objectives for each subsection and the key takeaways and exercises for each chapter are also very helpful in guiding students’ attention to what is most relevant. The glossary is also thorough and a good resource for clear definitions. I would like to see a final chapter on a “big picture” or integrating key ideas of replication, meta-analysis, and open science.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

For the most part, I like the way information is presented. I had a few specific issues with definitions for ordinal variables being quantitative (1st, 2nd, 3rd aren’t really numbers as much as ranked categories), the lack of specificity about different forms of validity (face, content, criterion, and discriminant all just labeled “validity” whereas internal and external validity appear in different sections), and the lack of clear distinction between correlational and quasi-experimental variables (e.g., in some places, country of origin is listed as making a design quasi-experimental, but in other chapters it is defined as correlational).

Some of the specific studies/experiments mentioned do not seem like the best or most relevant for students to learn about the topics, but for the most part, content is up-to-date and can definitely be updated with new studies to illustrate concepts with relative ease.

Besides the few concepts I listed above in “accuracy”, I feel the text was very accessible, provides clear definitions, and many examples to illustrate any potential technical/jargon terms.

I did not notice any issues with inconsistent terms except for terms that do have more than one way of describing the same concept (e.g., 2-sample vs. independent samples t-test)

I assigned the chapters out of order with relative ease, and students did not comment about it being burdensome to navigate.

The order of chapters sometimes did not make sense to me (e.g., Experimental before Non-experimental designs, Quasi-experimental designs separate from other non-experimental designs, waiting until Chapter 11 to talk about writing), but for the most part, the chapter subsections were logical and clear.

Interface rating: 4

I had no issues navigating the online version of the textbook other than taking a while to figure out how to move forward and back within the text itself rather than going back to the table of contents (this might just be a browser issue, but is still worth considering).

No grammatical errors of note.

There was nothing explicitly insensitive or offensive about the text, but there were many places where I felt like more focus on diversity and individual differences could be helpful. For example, ethics and history of psychological testing would definitely be a place to bring in issues of systemic racism and/or sexism and a focus on WEIRD samples (which is mentioned briefly at another point).

I was very satisfied with this free resource overall, and I recommend it for beginning level undergraduate psychology research methods courses.

Reviewed by Laura Stull, Associate Professor, Anderson University on 4/23/21

This book covers essential topics and areas related to conducting introductory psychological research. It covers all critical topics, including the scientific method, research ethics, research designs, and basic descriptive and inferential... read more

This book covers essential topics and areas related to conducting introductory psychological research. It covers all critical topics, including the scientific method, research ethics, research designs, and basic descriptive and inferential statistics. It even goes beyond other texts in terms of offering specific guidance in areas like how to conduct research literature searches and psychological measurement development. The only area that appears slightly lacking is detailed guidance in the mechanics of writing in APA style (though excellent basic information is provided in chapter 11).

All content appears accurate. For example, experimental designs discussed, descriptive and inferential statistical guidance, and critical ethical issues are all accurately addressed, See comment on relevance below regarding some outdated information.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 3

Chapter 11 on APA style does not appear to cover the most current version of the APA style guide (7th edition). While much of the information in Chapter 11 is still current, there are specifics that did change from 6th to 7th edition of the APA manual and so, in order to be current, this information would have to be supplemented with external sources.

The book is extremely well organized, written in language and terms that should be easily understood by undergraduate freshmen, and explains all necessary technical jargon.

The text is consistent throughout in terms of terminology and the organizational framework (which aids in the readability of the text).

The text is divided into intuitive and common units based on basic psychological research methodology. It is clear and easy to follow and is divided in a way that would allow omission of some information if necessary (such as "single subject research") or reorganization of information (such as presenting survey research before experimental research) without disruption to the course as a whole.

As stated previously, the book is organized in a clear and logical fashion. Not only are the chapters presented in a logical order (starting with basic and critical information like overviews of the scientific method and research ethics and progressing to more complex topics like statistical analyses).

No issues with interface were noted. Helpful images/charts/web resources (e.g., Youtube videos) are embedded throughout and are even easy to follow in a print version of the text.

No grammatical issues were noted.

No issues with cultural bias are noted. Examples are included that address topics that are culturally sensitive in nature.

I ordered a print version of the text so that I could also view it as students would who prefer a print version. I am extremely impressed with what is offered. It covers all of the key content that I am currently covering with a (non-open source) textbook in an introduction to research methods course. The only concern I have is that APA style is not completely current and would need to be supplemented with a style guide. However, I consider this a minimal issue given all of the many strengths of the book.

Reviewed by Anika Gearhart, Instructor (TT), Leeward Community College on 4/22/21

Includes the majority of elements you expect from a textbook covering research methods. Some topics that could have been covered in a bit more depth were factorial research designs (no coverage of 3 or more independent variables) and external... read more

Includes the majority of elements you expect from a textbook covering research methods. Some topics that could have been covered in a bit more depth were factorial research designs (no coverage of 3 or more independent variables) and external validity (or the validities in general).

Nothing found that was inaccurate.

Looks like a few updates could be made to chapter 11 to bring it up to date with APA 7. Otherwise, most examples are current.

Very clear, a great fit for those very new to the topic.

The framework is clear and logical, and the learning objectives are very helpful for orienting the reader immediately to the main goals of each section.

Subsections are well-organized and clear. Titles for sections and subsections are clear.

Though I think the flow of this textbook for the most part is excellent, I would make two changes: move chapter 5 down with the other chapters on experimental research and move chapter 11 to the very end. I feel that this would allow for a more logical presentation of content.

The webpage navigation is easy to use and intuitive, the ebook download works as designed, and the page can be embedded directly into a variety of LMS sites or used with a variety of devices.

I found no grammatical errors in this book.

While there were some examples of studies that included participants from several cultures, the book does not touch on ecological validity, an important external validity issue tied to cultural psychology, and there is no mention of the WEIRD culture issue in psychology, which seems somewhat necessary when orienting new psychology students to research methods today.

I currently use and enjoy this textbook in my research methods class. Overall, it has been a great addition to the course, and I am easily able to supplement any areas that I feel aren't covered with enough breadth.

Reviewed by Amy Foley, Instructor/Field & Clinical Placement Coordinator, University of Indianapolis on 3/11/21

This text provides a comprehensive overview of the research process from ideation to proposal. It covers research designs common to psychology and related fields. read more

This text provides a comprehensive overview of the research process from ideation to proposal. It covers research designs common to psychology and related fields.

Accurate information!

This book is current and lines up well with the music therapy research course I teach as a supplemental text for students to understand research designs.

Clear language for psychology and related fields.

The format of the text is consistent. I appreciate the examples, different colored boxes, questions, and links to external sources such as video clips.

It is easy to navigate this text by chapters and smaller units within each chapter. The only confusion that has come from using this text includes the fact that the larger units have roman numerals and the individual chapters have numbers. I have told students to "read unit six" and they only read the small chapter 6, not the entire unit for example.

Flows well!

I have not experienced any interface issues.

I have not found any grammar errors.

Book appears culturally relevant.

This is a great resource for research methods courses in psychology or related fields. I am glad to have used several chapters of this text within the music therapy research course I teach where students learn about research design and then create their own research proposal.

Reviewed by Veronica Howard, Associate Professor, University of Alaska Anchorage on 1/11/21, updated 1/11/21

VERY impressed by the coverage of single subject designs. I would recommend this content to colleagues. read more

VERY impressed by the coverage of single subject designs. I would recommend this content to colleagues.

Content appears accurate.

By expanding to include more contemporary research perspectives, the authors have created a wonderful dynamic that permits the text to be the foundation for many courses as well as revision and remixing for other authors.

Book easy to read, follow.

Consistency rating: 4

Content overall consistent. Only mild inconsistency in writing style between chapters.

Exceptionally modular. All content neatly divided into units with smaller portions. This would be a great book to use in a course that meets bi-weekly, or adapted into other formats.

Content organized in a clear and logical fashion, and would guide students through a semester-long course on research methods, starting with review content, broad overview of procedures (including limitations), then highlighting less common (though relevant) procedures.

Rich variety of formats for use.

No errors found.

I would appreciate more cultural examples.

Reviewed by Greg Mullin, Associate Professor, Bunker Hill Community College on 12/30/20, updated 1/6/21

I was VERY pleased with the comprehensiveness of the text. I believe it actually has an edge over the publisher-based text that I've been using for years. Each major topic was thoroughly covered with more than enough detail on individual concepts. read more

I was VERY pleased with the comprehensiveness of the text. I believe it actually has an edge over the publisher-based text that I've been using for years. Each major topic was thoroughly covered with more than enough detail on individual concepts.

I did not find any errors within the text. The authors provided an unbiased representation of research methods in psychology.

The content connects to classic, timeless examples in the field, but also mixes in a fair amount of more current, relatable examples. I feel like I'll be able to use this version of the text for many years without its age showing.

The authors present a clear and efficient writing style throughout that is rich with relatable examples. The only area that may be a bit much for undergraduate-level student understanding is the topic of statistics. I personally scale back my discussion of statistics in my Intro to Research Methods course, but for those that prefer a deeper dive, the higher-level elements are there.

I did not notice any shifts with the use of terminology or with the structural framework of the text. The text is very consistent and organized in an easily digestible way.

The authors do a fantastic job breaking complex topics down into manageable chunks both as a whole and within chapters. As I was reading, I could easily see how I could align my current approach of teaching Intro to Research Methods with their modulated presentation of the material.

I effortlessly moved through the text given the structural organization. All topics are presented in a logical fashion that allowed each message to be delivered to the reader with ease.

I read the text through the PDF version and found no issue with the interface. All image and text-based material was presented clearly.

I cannot recall coming across any grammatical errors. The text is very well written.

I did not find the text to be culturally insensitive in any way. The authors use inclusive language and even encourage that style of writing in the chapter on Presenting Your Research. I would have liked to see more cross-cultural research examples and more of an extended effort to include the theme of diversity throughout, but at no point did I find the text to be offensive.

This is a fantastic text and I look forward to adopting it for my Intro to Research Methods course in the Spring. :)

Reviewed by Maureen O'Connell, Adjunct Professor, Bunker Hill Community College on 12/15/20, updated 12/18/20

This text edition has covered all ideas and areas of research methods in psychology. It has provided a glossary of terms, sample APA format, and sample research papers.  read more

This text edition has covered all ideas and areas of research methods in psychology. It has provided a glossary of terms, sample APA format, and sample research papers. 

The content is unbiased, accurate, and I did not find any errors in the text. 

The content is current and up-to-date. I found that the text can be added to should material change, the arrangement of the text/content makes it easily accessible to add material, if necessary. 

The text is clear, easy to understand, simplistic writing at times, but I find this text easy for students to comprehend. All text is relevant to the content of behavioral research. 

The text and terminology is consistent. 

The text is organized well and sectioned appropriately. The information is presented in an easy-to-read format, with sections that can be assigned at various points during the semester and the reader can easily locate this. 

The topics in the text are organized in a logical and clear manner. It flows really well. 

The text is presented well, including charts, diagrams, and images. There did not appear to be any confusion with this text. 

The text contains no grammatical errors.

The text was culturally appropriate and not offensive. Clear examples of potential biases were outlined in this text which I found quite helpful for the reader. 

Overall, I found this to be a great edition. Much of the time I spend researching outside material for students has been included in this text. I enjoyed the format, easier to navigate, helpful to students by providing an updated version of discussions and practice assignments, and visually more appealing. 

Reviewed by Brittany Jeye, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Worcester State University on 6/26/20

All of the main topics in a Research Methods course are covered in this textbook (e.g., scientific method, ethics, measurement, experimental design, hypothesis testing, APA style, etc.). Some of these topics are not covered as in-depth as in other... read more

All of the main topics in a Research Methods course are covered in this textbook (e.g., scientific method, ethics, measurement, experimental design, hypothesis testing, APA style, etc.). Some of these topics are not covered as in-depth as in other Research Method textbooks I have used previously, but this actually may be a positive depending on the students and course level (that is, students may only need a solid overview of certain topics without getting overwhelmed with too many details). It also gives the instructor the ability to add content as needed, which helps with flexibility in course design.

I did not note any errors or inaccurate/biasing statements in the text.

For the most part, everything was up to date. There was a good mix of classic research and newer studies presented and/or used as examples, which kept the chapters interesting, topical and relevant. I only noted the section on APA Style in the chapter “Presenting Your Research” which may need some updating to be in line with the new APA 7th edition. However, there should be only minor edits needed (the chapter itself was great overview and introduction to the main points of APA style) and it looks like they should be relatively easy to implement.

The text was very well-written and was presented at an accessible level for undergraduates new to Research Methods. Terms were well-defined with a helpful glossary at the end of the textbook.

The consistent structure of the textbook is huge positive. Each chapter begins with learning objectives and ends with bulleted key takeaways. There are also good exercises and learning activities for students at the end of each chapter. Instructors may need to add their own activities for chapters that do not go into a lot of depth (there are also instructor resources online, which may have more options available).

This is one of the biggest strengths of this textbook, in my opinion. I appreciate how each chapter is broken down into clearly defined subsections. The chapters and the subsections, in particular, are not lengthy, which is great for students’ learning. These subsections could be reorganized and used in a variety of ways to suit the needs of a particular course (or even as standalone subsections).

The topics were presented in a logical manner. As mentioned above, since the textbook is very modular, I feel that you could easily rearrange the chapters to fit your needs (for example, presenting survey design before experimental research or making the presenting your research section a standalone unit).

I downloaded the textbook as an ebook, which was very easy to use/navigate. There were no problems reading any of the text or figures/tables. I also appreciated that you could open the ebook using a variety of apps (Kindle, iBook, etc.) depending on your preference (and this is good for students who have a variety of technical needs).

There were no grammatical errors noted.

The examples were inclusive of races, ethnicity and background and there were not any examples that were culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. In future iterations of the replicability section, it may be beneficial to touch upon the “weird” phenomena in psychology research (that many studies use participants who are western, educated and from industrialized, rich and democratic countries) as a point to engage students in improving psychological practices.

I will definitely consider switching to this textbook in the future for Research Methods.

Reviewed by Alice Frye, Associate Teaching Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell on 6/22/20

Hits all the necessary marks from ways of knowing to measurement, research designs, and presentation. Comparable in detail and content to other Research Methods texts I have used for teaching. read more

Hits all the necessary marks from ways of knowing to measurement, research designs, and presentation. Comparable in detail and content to other Research Methods texts I have used for teaching.

Correct and to the point. Complex ideas such as internal consistency reliability and discriminant validity are well handled--correct descriptions that are also succinct and articulated simply and with clear examples that are easy for a student reader to grasp.

Seems likely to have good staying power. One area that has changed quickly in the past is the usefulness of various research data bases. So it is possible that portion could become more quickly outdated, but there is no predicting that. The current descriptions are useful.

Very clearly written without being condescending, overly casual or clunky.

Excellent consistency throughout in terms of organization, language usage, level of detail and tone.

Imho this is one of the particular strengths of the text. Chapters are well divided into discrete parts, which seems likely to be a benefit in cohorts of students who are increasingly accustomed to digesting small amounts of information.

Well organized, straightforward structure that is maintained throughout.

No problems with the interface.

The grammar level is another notable strength. Ideas are articulated clearly, and with sophistication, but in a syntactically very straightforward manner.

The text isn't biased or offensive. I wish that to illustrate various points and research designs it had drawn more frequently on research studies that incorporate a specific focus on race and ethnicity.

This is a very good text. As good as any for profit text I have used to teach a research methods course, if not better.

Reviewed by Lauren Mathieu-Frasier, Adjunct Instructor, University of Indianapolis on 1/13/20

As other reviews have mentioned, this textbook provides a comprehensive look at multiple concepts for an introductory course in research methods in psychology. Some of the concepts (i.e., variables, external validity) are briefly described and... read more

As other reviews have mentioned, this textbook provides a comprehensive look at multiple concepts for an introductory course in research methods in psychology. Some of the concepts (i.e., variables, external validity) are briefly described and glossed over that it will take additional information, examples, and reinforcement from instructors in the classroom. Other sections and concepts, like ethics or reporting of research were well-described and thorough.

It appeared that the information was accurate, error-free, and unbiased.

The information is up-to-date. In the section on APA presentation, it looks like the minor adjustments to the APA Publication Manual 7th Edition would need to be included. However, this section gives a good foundation and the instructor can easily implement the changes.

Clarity rating: 4

The text is clearly written written and provides an appropriate context when terminology is used.

There aren't any issues with consistency in the textbook.

The division of smaller sections can be beneficial when reading it and assigning it to classes. The sections are clearly organized based on learning objectives.

The textbook is organized in a logical, clear manner. There may be topics that instructors choose to present in a different manner (non-experimental and survey research prior to experimental). However, this doesn't generally impact the organization and flow of the book.

While reading and utilizing the book, there weren't any navigation issues that could impact the readability of the book. Students could find this textbook easy to use.

Grammatical errors were not noted.

There weren't any issues with cultural sensitivity in the examples of studies used in the textbook.

Reviewed by Tiffany Kindratt, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Arlington on 1/1/20

The text is comprehensive with an effective glossary of terms at the end. It would be beneficial to include additional examples and exercises for students to better understand concepts covered in Chapter II, Overview of the Scientific Method,... read more

The text is comprehensive with an effective glossary of terms at the end. It would be beneficial to include additional examples and exercises for students to better understand concepts covered in Chapter II, Overview of the Scientific Method, Chapter IV, Psychological Measurement, and Chapter XII Descriptive Statistics.

The text is accurate and there are minimal type/grammatical errors throughout. The verbiage is written in an unbiased manner consistently throughout the textbook.

The content is up-to-date, and examples can be easily updated for future versions. As a public health instructor, I would be interested in seeing examples of community-based examples in future versions. The current examples provided are relevant for undergraduate public health students as well as psychology students.

The text is written in a clear manner. The studies used can be easily understood by undergraduate students in other social science fields, such as public health. More examples and exercises using inferential statistics would be helpful for students to better grasp the concepts.

The framework for each chapter and terminology used are consistent. It is helpful that each section within each chapter begins with learning objectives and the chapter ends with key takeaways and exercises.

The text is clearly divided into sections within each chapter. When I first started reviewing this textbook, I thought each section was actually a very short chapter. I would recommend including a listing of all of the objectives covered in each chapter at the beginning to improve the modularity of the text.

Some of the topics do not follow a logical order. For example, it would be more appropriate to discuss ethics before providing the overview of the scientific method. It would be better to discuss statistics used to determine results before describing how to write manuscripts. However, the text is written in a way that that the chapters could be assigned to students in a different order without impacting the students’ comprehension of the concepts.

I did not encounter any interface issues when reviewing this text. All links worked and there were no distortions of the images or charts that may confuse the reader. There are several data tables throughout the text which are left-aligned and there is a large amount of empty white space next it. I would rearrange the text in future versions to make better use of this space.

The text contains minimal grammatical errors.

The examples are culturally relevant. I did not see any examples that may be considered culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.

As an instructor for an undergraduate public health sciences and methods course, I will consider using some of the content in this text to supplement the current textbook in the future.

Reviewed by Mickey White, Assistant Professor, East Tennessee State University on 10/23/19

The table of contents is well-formatted and comprehensive. Easy to navigate and find exactly what is needed, students would be able to quickly find needed subjects. read more

The table of contents is well-formatted and comprehensive. Easy to navigate and find exactly what is needed, students would be able to quickly find needed subjects.

Content appears to be accurate and up-to-date.

This text is useful and relevant, particularly with regard to expressing and reporting descriptive statistics and results. As APA updates, the text will be easy to edit, as the sections are separated.

Easy to read and engaging.

Chapters were laid out in a consistent manner, which allows readers to know what is coming. The subsections contained a brief overview and terminology was consistent throughout. The glossary added additional information.

Sections and subsections are delineated in a usable format.

The key takeaways were useful, including the exercises at the end of each chapter.

Reading the book online is a little difficult to navigate page-by-page, but e-pub and PDF formats are easy to navigate.

No errors noted.

Would be helpful to have a clearer exploration of cultural factors impacting research, including historical bias in assessment and research outside of research ethics.

Reviewed by Robert Michael, Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette on 10/14/19

Successfully spans the gamut of topics expected in a Research Methods textbook. Some topics are covered in-depth, while others are addressed only at a surface level. Instructors may therefore need to carefully arrange class material for topics in... read more

Successfully spans the gamut of topics expected in a Research Methods textbook. Some topics are covered in-depth, while others are addressed only at a surface level. Instructors may therefore need to carefully arrange class material for topics in which depth of knowledge is an important learning outcome.

The factual content was error-free, according to my reading. I did spot a few grammatical and typographical errors, but they were infrequent and minor.

Great to see nuanced—although limited—discussion of issues with Null Hypothesis Significance Testing, Reproducibility in Psychological Science, and so forth. I expect that these areas are likely to grow in future editions, perhaps supplementing or even replacing more traditional material.

Extremely easy to read with multiple examples throughout to illustrate the principles being covered. Many of these examples are "classics" that students can easily relate to. Plus, who doesn't like XKCD comics?

The textbook is structured sensibly. At times, certain authors' "voices" seemed apparent in the writing, but I suspect this variability is unlikely to be noticed by or even bothersome to the vast majority of readers.

The topics are easily divisible and seem to follow routine expectations. Instructors might find it beneficial and/or necessary to incorporate some of the statistical thinking and learning into various earlier chapters to facilitate student understanding in-the-moment, rather than trying to leave all the statistics to the end.

Sensible and easy-to-follow structure. As per "Modularity", the Statistical sections may benefit from instructors folding in such learning throughout, rather than only at the end.

Beautifully presented, crisp, easy-to-read and navigate. Caveat: I read this online, in a web-browser, on only one device. I haven't tested across multiple platforms.

High quality writing throughout. Only a few minor slip-ups that could be easily fixed.

Includes limited culturally relevant material where appropriate.

Reviewed by Matthew DeCarlo, Assistant Professor, Radford University on 6/26/19

The authors do a great job of simplifying the concepts of research methods and presenting them in a way that is understandable. There is a tradeoff between brevity and depth here. Faculty who adopt this textbook may need to spend more time in... read more

The authors do a great job of simplifying the concepts of research methods and presenting them in a way that is understandable. There is a tradeoff between brevity and depth here. Faculty who adopt this textbook may need to spend more time in class going in depth into concepts, rather than relying on the textbook for all of the information related to key concepts. The text does not cover qualitative methods in detail.

The textbook provides an accurate picture of research methods. The tone is objective and without bias.

The textbook is highly relevant and up to date. Examples are drawn from modern theories and articles.

The writing is a fantastic mix of objective and authoritative while also being approachable.

The book coheres well together. Each chapter and section are uniform.

This book fits very well within a traditional 16 week semester, covering roughly a chapter per week. One could take out specific chapters and assign them individually if research methods is taught in a different way from a standard research textbook.

Content is very well organized. The table of contents is easy to navigate and each chapter is presented in a clear and consistent manner. The use of a two-tier table of contents is particularly helpful.

Standard pressbooks interface, which is great. Uses all of the standard components of Pressbooks well, though the lack of H5P and interactive content is a drawback.

I did not notice any grammar errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 2

The book does not deal with cultural competence and humility in the research process. Integration of action research and decolonization perspectives would be helpful.

Reviewed by Christopher Garris, Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 5/24/19

Most content areas in this textbook were covered appropriately extensively. Notably, this textbook included some content that is commonly missing in other textbooks (e.g. presenting your research). There were some areas where more elaboration... read more

Most content areas in this textbook were covered appropriately extensively. Notably, this textbook included some content that is commonly missing in other textbooks (e.g. presenting your research). There were some areas where more elaboration and more examples were needed. For example, the section covering measurement validities included all the important concepts, but needed more guidance for student comprehension. Also, the beginning chapters on 'common sense' reasoning and pseudoscience seemed a little too brief.

Overall, this textbook appeared to be free from glaring errors. There were a couple of instances of concern, but were not errors, per se. For example, the cut-off for Cronbach's alpha was stated definitively at .80, while this value likely would be debated among researchers.

This textbook was presented in such a way that seemed protect it from becoming obsolete within the next few years. This is important for continued, consistent use of the book. The authors have revised this book, and those revisions are clearly summarized in the text. Importantly, the APA section of the textbook appears to be up-to-date. Also, the use of QR codes throughout the text is a nice touch that students may appreciate.

Connected to comprehensiveness, there are some important content areas that I felt were lacking in elaboration and examples (e.g. testing the validity of measurement; introduction of experimental design), which inhibits clarity. Overall, however, the topics seemed to be presented in a straightforward, accessible manner. The textbook includes links to informative videos and walk-throughs where appropriate, which seem to be potentially beneficial for student comprehension. The textbook includes tools designed to aid learning, namely "Key Takeaways" and "Exercises" sections at the end of most modules, but not all. "Key Takeaways" seemed valuable, as they were a nice bookend to the learning objectives stated at the beginning of each module. "Exercises" did not appear to be as valuable, especially for the less-motivated student. On their face, these seemed to be more designed for instructors to use as class activities/active learning. Lastly, many modules of the textbook were text-heavy and visually unappealing. While this is superficial, the inclusion of additional graphics, example boxes, or figures in these text-heavy modules might be beneficial.

The textbook appeared to be internally consistent with its approach and use of terminology.

The textbook had a tendency to 'throw out' big concepts very briefly in earlier modules (e.g. sampling, experimental/non-experimental design), and then cover them in more detail in later modules. This would have been less problematic if the text would explicitly inform the student that these concepts would be elaborated upon later. Beyond this issue, the textbook seems to lend itself to being divided up and used on module-by-module basis.

The organization of the chapters did not make intuitive sense to me. The fact that correlation followed experimental research, and that descriptive research was the second-to-last module in the sequence was confusing. That said, textbook is written in such a way that an instructor easily assign the modules in the order that works best for their class.

Overall, the interface worked smoothly and there were few technical issues. Where there were issues (e.g. inconsistent spacing between lines and words), they were negligible.

The text seemed to be free from glaring grammatical problems.

Because this is a methodology textbook, it does not lend itself to too much cultural criticism. That said, the book did not rely on overly controversial examples, but also didn't shy away from important cultural topics (e.g. gender stereotypes, vaccines).

Reviews prior to 2019 are for a previous edition.

Reviewed by Michel Heijnen, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina Wilmington on 3/27/18

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

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 designs, and basic statistics, making this book a great resource for undergraduate research methods classes.

Reviewed content is accurate and seems free of any personal bias.

The topic of research methods in general is not expected to change quickly. It is not expected that this text will become obsolete in the near future. Furthermore, for both the field of psychology as well as other related fields, the examples will continue to have an application to explain certain concepts and will not be outdated soon, even with new research emerging every day.

The text is written so an undergraduate student should be able to understand the concepts. The examples provided in the text greatly contribute to the understanding of the topics and the proposed exercises at the end of each chapter will further apply the knowledge.

The layout and writing style are consistent throughout the text.

Layout of the text is clear, with multiple subsection within each chapter. Each chapter can easily be split into multiple subsection to assign to students. No evidence of self-refers was observed, and individual chapters could be assigned to students without needed to read all preceding chapters. For example, Chapter 4 may not be particularly useful to students outside of psychology, but an instructor can easily reorganize the text and skip this chapter while students can still understand following chapters.

Topics are addressed in a logical manner. Overall, an introduction to research is provided first (including ethics to research), which is followed by different types of research, and concludes with types of analysis.

No images or tables are distorted, making the text easy to read.

No grammatical errors observed in text.

Text is not offensive and does not appear to be culturally insensitive.

I believe that this book is a great resource and, as mentioned previously, can be used for a wider audience than just psychology as the basics of research methods can be applied to various fields, including exercise science.

Reviewed by Chris Koch, Professor of Psychology, George Fox University on 3/27/18

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

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, although the topics are covered, topics may not be covered as thoroughly they might like. Overall, the coverage is solid for an introductory course in research methods.

In terms of presentation, this book could be more comprehensive. Each chapter does start with a set of learning objectives and ends with "takeaways" and a short set of exercises. However, it lacks detailed chapter outlines, summaries, and glossaries. Furthermore, an index does not accompany the text.

I found the book to be accurate with content being fairly presented. There was no underlying bias throughout the book.

This is an introductory text for research methods. The basics of research methods have been consistent for some time. The examples used in the text fit the concepts well. Therefore, it should not be quickly dated. It is organized in such a way that sections could be easily modified with more current examples as needed.

The text is easy to read. It is succinct yet engaging. Examples are clear and terminology is adequately defined.

New terms and concepts are dealt with chapter by chapter. However, those things which go across chapters are consistently presented.

The material for each chapter is presented in subsections with each subsection being tied to a particular learning objective. It is possible to use the book by subsection instead of by chapter. In fact, I did that during class by discussing the majority of one chapter, discussing another chapter, and then covering what I previously skipped,

In general, the book follows a "traditional" organization, matching the organization of many competing books. As mentioned in regard to modularity, I did not follow the organization of the book exactly as it was laid out. This may not necessarily reflect poorly on the book, however, since I have never followed the order of any research methods book. My three exams covered chapter 1 through 4, chapters 5, 6, part of 8, and chapters 7, the remainder of 8, 9, and 10. Once we collected data I covered chapters 11 through 13.

Interface rating: 3

The text and images are clear and distortion free. The text is available in several formats including epub, pdf, mobi, odt, and wxr. Unfortunately, the electronic format is not taken full advantage of. The text could be more interactive. As it is, it is just text and images. Therefore, the interface could be improved.

The book appeared to be well written and edited.

I did not find anything in the book that was culturally insensitive or offensive. However, more examples of cross-cultural research could be included.

I was, honestly, surprised by how much I liked the text. The material was presented in easy to follow format that is consistent with how I think about research methods. That made the text extremely easy to use. Students also thought the book was highly accessible Each chapter was relatively short but informative and easy to read.

Reviewed by Kevin White, Assistant Professor, East Carolina University on 2/1/18

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

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.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Do, Instructor, Virginia Commonwealth University on 2/1/18

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

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.

research methods in psychology

Reviewed by Eric Lindsey, Professor, Penn State University Berks Campus on 2/1/18

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

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.

Reviewed by zehra peynircioglu, Professor, American University on 2/1/18

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

Comprehensiveness rating: 3 see less

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.

Reviewed by George Woodbury, Graduate Student, Miami University, Ohio on 6/20/17

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

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.

Reviewed by Angela Curl, Assistant Professor, Miami University (Ohio) on 6/20/17

"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

"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).

Reviewed by Pramit Nadpara, Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University on 4/11/17

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

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.

Clarity rating: 3

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.

Consistency rating: 3

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.

Reviewed by Meghan Babcock, Instructor, University of Texas at Arlington on 4/11/17

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

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.

Reviewed by Shannon Layman, Lecturer, University of Texas at Arlington on 4/11/17

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

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.

Reviewed by Sarah Allred, Associate Professor, Rutgers University, Camden on 2/8/17

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

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.

Reviewed by Joel Malin, Assistant Professor, Miami University on 8/21/16

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

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.

The book is written in a culturally relevant manner.

Reviewed by Abbey Dvorak, Assistant Professor, University of Kansas on 8/21/16

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

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!

Reviewed by Karen Pikula, Psychology Instructor PhD, Central Lakes College on 1/7/16

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

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!

Reviewed by Alyssa Gibbons, Instructor, Colorado State University on 1/7/16

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

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.

Reviewed by Moin Syed, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota on 6/10/15

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

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!

Reviewed by Rajiv Jhangiani, Instructor, Capilano University on 10/9/13

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 follow-up... 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: Overview of the Scientific Method
  • Chapter 3: Research Ethics
  • Chapter 4: Psychological Measurement
  • Chapter 5: Experimental Research
  • Chapter 6: Non-experimental 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

Ancillary Material

  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University

About the Book

This fourth edition (published in 2019) was co-authored by Rajiv S. Jhangiani (Kwantlen Polytechnic University), Carrie Cuttler (Washington State University), and Dana C. Leighton (Texas A&M University—Texarkana) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Revisions throughout the current edition include changing the chapter and section numbering system to better accommodate adaptions that remove or reorder chapters; continued reversion from the Canadian edition; general grammatical edits; replacement of “he/she” to “they” and “his/her” to “their”; removal or update of dead links; embedded videos that were not embedded; moved key takeaways and exercises from the end of each chapter section to the end of each chapter; a new cover design.

About the Contributors

Dr. Carrie Cuttler received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. She has been teaching research methods and statistics for over a decade. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Washington State University, where she primarily studies the acute and chronic effects of cannabis on cognition, mental health, and physical health. Dr. Cuttler was also an OER Research Fellow with the Center for Open Education and she conducts research on open educational resources. She has over 50 publications including the following two published books:  A Student Guide for SPSS (1st and 2nd edition)  and  Research Methods in Psychology: Student Lab Guide.  Finally, she edited another OER entitled  Essentials of Abnormal Psychology. In her spare time, she likes to travel, hike, bike, run, and watch movies with her husband and son. You can find her online at @carriecuttler or carriecuttler.com.

Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani is the Associate Vice Provost, Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia. He is an internationally known advocate for open education whose research and practice focuses on open educational resources, student-centered pedagogies, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Rajiv is a co-founder of the Open Pedagogy Notebook, an Ambassador for the Center for Open Science, and serves on the BC Open Education Advisory Committee. He formerly served as an Open Education Advisor and Senior Open Education Research & Advocacy Fellow with BCcampus, an OER Research Fellow with the Open Education Group, a Faculty Workshop Facilitator with the Open Textbook Network, and a Faculty Fellow with the BC Open Textbook Project. A co-author of three open textbooks in Psychology, his most recent book is  Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science (2017). You can find him online at @thatpsychprof or thatpsychprof.com.

Dr. Dana C. Leighton is Assistant Professor of Psychology in the College of Arts, Science, and Education at Texas A&M University—Texarkana. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas, and has 15 years experience teaching across the psychology curriculum at community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and research universities. Dr. Leighton’s social psychology research lab studies intergroup relations, and routinely includes undergraduate students as researchers. He is also Chair of the university’s Institutional Review Board. Recently he has been researching and writing about the use of open science research practices by undergraduate researchers to increase diversity, justice, and sustainability in psychological science. He has published on his teaching methods in eBooks from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, presented his methods at regional and national conferences, and received grants to develop new teaching methods. His teaching interests are in undergraduate research, writing skills, and online student engagement. For more about Dr. Leighton see http://www.danaleighton.net and http://danaleighton.edublogs.org

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Book Description: 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. For questions about this textbook please contact [email protected]

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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. For questions about this textbook please contact [email protected]

Research Methods in Psychology Copyright © 2016 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

research methods in psychology

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

research methods in psychology

There are several different research methods in psychology , each of which can help researchers learn more about the way people think, feel, and behave. If you're a psychology student or just want to know the types of research in psychology, here are the main ones as well as how they work.

Three Main Types of Research in Psychology

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Psychology research can usually be classified as one of three major types.

1. Causal or Experimental Research

When most people think of scientific experimentation, research on cause and effect is most often brought to mind. Experiments on causal relationships investigate the effect of one or more variables on one or more outcome variables. This type of research also determines if one variable causes another variable to occur or change.

An example of this type of research in psychology would be changing the length of a specific mental health treatment and measuring the effect on study participants.

2. Descriptive Research

Descriptive research seeks to depict what already exists in a group or population. Three types of psychology research utilizing this method are:

  • Case studies
  • Observational studies

An example of this psychology research method would be an opinion poll to determine which presidential candidate people plan to vote for in the next election. Descriptive studies don't try to measure the effect of a variable; they seek only to describe it.

3. Relational or Correlational Research

A study that investigates the connection between two or more variables is considered relational research. The variables compared are generally already present in the group or population.

For example, a study that looks at the proportion of males and females that would purchase either a classical CD or a jazz CD would be studying the relationship between gender and music preference.

Theory vs. Hypothesis in Psychology Research

People often confuse the terms theory and hypothesis or are not quite sure of the distinctions between the two concepts. If you're a psychology student, it's essential to understand what each term means, how they differ, and how they're used in psychology research.

A theory is a well-established principle that has been developed to explain some aspect of the natural world. A theory arises from repeated observation and testing and incorporates facts, laws, predictions, and tested hypotheses that are widely accepted.

A hypothesis is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in your study. For example, an experiment designed to look at the relationship between study habits and test anxiety might have a hypothesis that states, "We predict that students with better study habits will suffer less test anxiety." Unless your study is exploratory in nature, your hypothesis should always explain what you expect to happen during the course of your experiment or research.

While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably in everyday use, the difference between a theory and a hypothesis is important when studying experimental design.

Some other important distinctions to note include:

  • A theory predicts events in general terms, while a hypothesis makes a specific prediction about a specified set of circumstances.
  • A theory has been extensively tested and is generally accepted, while a hypothesis is a speculative guess that has yet to be tested.

The Effect of Time on Research Methods in Psychology

There are two types of time dimensions that can be used in designing a research study:

  • Cross-sectional research takes place at a single point in time. All tests, measures, or variables are administered to participants on one occasion. This type of research seeks to gather data on present conditions instead of looking at the effects of a variable over a period of time.
  • Longitudinal research is a study that takes place over a period of time. Data is first collected at the beginning of the study, and may then be gathered repeatedly throughout the length of the study. Some longitudinal studies may occur over a short period of time, such as a few days, while others may take place over a period of months, years, or even decades.

The effects of aging are often investigated using longitudinal research.

Causal Relationships Between Psychology Research Variables

What do we mean when we talk about a “relationship” between variables? In psychological research, we're referring to a connection between two or more factors that we can measure or systematically vary.

One of the most important distinctions to make when discussing the relationship between variables is the meaning of causation.

A causal relationship is when one variable causes a change in another variable. These types of relationships are investigated by experimental research to determine if changes in one variable actually result in changes in another variable.

Correlational Relationships Between Psychology Research Variables

A correlation is the measurement of the relationship between two variables. These variables already occur in the group or population and are not controlled by the experimenter.

  • A positive correlation is a direct relationship where, as the amount of one variable increases, the amount of a second variable also increases.
  • In a negative correlation , as the amount of one variable goes up, the levels of another variable go down.

In both types of correlation, there is no evidence or proof that changes in one variable cause changes in the other variable. A correlation simply indicates that there is a relationship between the two variables.

The most important concept is that correlation does not equal causation. Many popular media sources make the mistake of assuming that simply because two variables are related, a causal relationship exists.

Psychologists use descriptive, correlational, and experimental research designs to understand behavior . In:  Introduction to Psychology . Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing; 2010.

Caruana EJ, Roman M, Herandez-Sanchez J, Solli P. Longitudinal studies . Journal of Thoracic Disease. 2015;7(11):E537-E540. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2015.10.63

University of Berkeley. Science at multiple levels . Understanding Science 101 . Published 2012.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology

Available formats.

  • Table of contents
  • Contributor bios
  • Book details

With significant new and updated content across dozens of chapters, this second edition  presents the most exhaustive treatment available of the techniques psychologists and others have developed to help them pursue a shared understanding of why humans think, feel, and behave the way they do.

The initial chapters in this indispensable three-volume handbook address broad, crosscutting issues faced by researchers: the philosophical, ethical, and societal underpinnings of psychological research. Next, chapters detail the research planning process, describe the range of measurement techniques that psychologists most often use to collect data, consider how to determine the best measurement techniques for a particular purpose, and examine ways to assess the trustworthiness of measures.

Additional chapters cover various aspects of quantitative, qualitative, neuropsychological, and biological research designs, presenting an array of options and their nuanced distinctions. Chapters on techniques for data analysis follow, and important issues in writing up research to share with the community of psychologists are discussed in the handbook’s concluding chapters.

Among the newly written chapters in the second edition, the handbook’s stellar roster of authors cover literature searching, workflow and reproducibility, research funding, neuroimaging, various facets of a wide range of research designs and data analysis methods, and updated information on the publication process, including research data management and sharing, questionable practices in statistical analysis, and ethical issues in manuscript preparation and authorship.

Volume 1. Foundations, Planning, Measures, and Psychometrics

Editorial Board

About the Editors

Contributors

A Note from the Publisher

Introduction: Objectives of Psychological Research and Their Relations to Research Methods

Part I. Philosophical, Ethical, and Societal Underpinnings of Psychological Research

  • Chapter 1. Perspectives on the Epistemological Bases for Qualitative Research Carla Willig
  • Chapter 2. Frameworks for Causal Inference in Psychological Science Peter M. Steiner, William R. Shadish, and Kristynn J. Sullivan
  • Chapter 3. Ethics in Psychological Research: Guidelines and Regulations Adam L. Fried and Kate L. Jansen
  • Chapter 4. Ethics and Regulation of Research With Nonhuman Animals Sangeeta Panicker, Chana K. Akins, and Beth Ann Rice
  • Chapter 5. Cross-Cultural Research Methods David Masumoto and Fons J. R. van de Vijver
  • Chapter 6.Research With Populations that Experience Marginalization George P. Knight, Rebecca M. B. White, Stefanie Martinez-Fuentes, Mark W. Roosa, and Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Part II. Planning Research

  • Chapter 7. Developing Testable and Important Research Questions Frederick T. L. Leong, Neal Schmitt, and Brent J. Lyons
  • Chapter 8. Searching With a Purpose: How to Use Literature Searching to Support Your Research Diana Ramirez and Margaret J. Foster
  • Chapter 9. Psychological Measurement: Scaling and Analysis Heather Hayes and Susan E. Embretson
  • Chapter 10. Sample Size Planning Ken Kelley, Samantha F. Anderson, and Scott E. Maxwell
  • Chapter 11. Workflow and Reproducibility Oliver Kirchkamp
  • Chapter 12. Obtaining and Evaluating Research Funding Jonathan S. Comer and Amanda L. Sanchez

Part III. Measurement Methods

  • Chapter 13. Behavioral Observation Roger Bakeman and Vicenç Quera
  • Chapter 14. Question Order Effects Lisa Lee, Parvati Krishnamurty, and Struther Van Horn
  • Chapter 15. Interviews and Interviewing Techniques Anna Madill
  • Chapter 16. Using Intensive Longitudinal Methods in Psychological Research Masumi Iida, Patrick E. Shrout, Jean-Philippe Laurenceau, and Niall Bolger
  • Chapter 17. Automated Analyses of Natural Language in Psychological Research Laura K. Allen, Arthur C. Graesser, and Danielle S. McNamara
  • Chapter 18. Objective Tests as Instruments of Psychological Theory and Research David Watson
  • Chapter 19. Norm- and Criterion-Referenced Testing Kurt F. Geisinger
  • Chapter 20. The Current Status of "Projective" "Tests" Robert E. McGrath, Alec Twibell, and Elizabeth J. Carroll
  • Chapter 21. Brief Instruments and Short Forms Emily A. Atkinson, Carolyn M. Pearson Carter, Jessica L. Combs Rohr, and Gregory T. Smith
  • Chapter 22. Eye Movements, Pupillometry, and Cognitive Processes Simon P. Liversedge, Sara V. Milledge, and Hazel I. Blythe
  • Chapter 23. Response Times Roger Ratcliff
  • Chapter 24. Psychophysics: Concepts, Methods, and Frontiers Allie C. Hexley, Takuma Morimoto, and Manuel Spitschan
  • Chapter 25. The Perimetric Physiological Measurement of Psychological Constructs Louis G. Tassinary, Ursula Hess, Luis M. Carcoba, and Joseph M. Orr
  • Chapter 26. Salivary Hormone Assays Linda Becker, Nicholas Rohleder, and Oliver C. Schultheiss
  • Chapter 27. Electro- and Magnetoencephalographic Methods in Psychology Eddie Harmon-Jones, David M. Amodio, Philip A. Gable, and Suzanne Dikker
  • Chapter 28. Event-Related Potentials Steven J. Luck
  • Chapter 29. Functional Neuroimaging Megan T. deBettencourt, Wilma A. Bainbridge, Monica D. Rosenberg
  • Chapter 30. Noninvasive Stimulation of the Cerebral Cortex Dennis J. L. G. Schutter
  • Chapter 31. Combined Neuroimaging Methods Marius Moisa and Christian C. Ruff
  • Chapter 32. Neuroimaging Analysis Methods Yanyu Xiong and Sharlene D. Newman

Part IV. Psychometrics

  • Chapter 33. Reliability Sean P. Lane, Elizabeth N. Aslinger, and Patrick E. Shrout
  • Chapter 34. Generalizability Theory Xiaohong Gao and Deborah J. Harris
  • Chapter 35. Construct Validity Kevin J. Grimm and Keith F. Widaman
  • Chapter 36. Item-Level Factor Nisha C. Gottfredson, Brian D. Stucky, and A. T. Panter
  • Chapter 37. Item Response Theory Steven P. Reise and Tyler M. Moore
  • Chapter 38. Measuring Test Performance With Signal Detection Theory Techniques Teresa A. Treat and Richard J. Viken

Volume 2. Research Designs: Quantitative, Qualitative, Neuropsychological, and Biological

Part I. Qualitative Research Methods

  • Chapter 1. Developments in Qualitative Inquiry Sarah Riley and Andrea LaMarre
  • Chapter 2. Metasynthesis of Qualitative Research Sally Thorne
  • Chapter 3. Grounded Theory and Psychological Research Robert Thornberg, Elaine Keane, and Malgorzata Wójcik
  • Chapter 4. Thematic Analysis Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke
  • Chapter 5. Phenomenological Methodology, Methods, and Procedures for Research in Psychology Frederick J. Wertz
  • Chapter 6. Narrative Analysis Javier Monforte and Brett Smith
  • Chapter 7. Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis Paul ten Have
  • Chapter 8. Discourse Analysis and Discursive Psychology Chris McVittie and Andy McKinlay
  • Chapter 9. Ethnography in Psychological Research Elizabeth Fein and Jonathan Yahalom
  • Chapter 10. Visual Research in Psychology Paula Reavey, Jon Prosser, and Steven D. Brown
  • Chapter 11. Researching the Temporal Karen Henwood and Fiona Shirani

Part II. Working Across Epistemologies, Methodologies, and Methods

  • Chapter 12. Mixed Methods Research in Psychology Timothy C. Guetterman and Analay Perez
  • Chapter 13. The "Cases Within Trials" (CWT) Method: An Example of a Mixed-Methods Research Design Daniel B. Fishman
  • Chapter 14. Researching With American Indian and Alaska Native Communities: Pursuing Partnerships for Psychological Inquiry in Service to Indigenous Futurity Joseph P. Gone
  • Chapter 15. Participatory Action Research as Movement Toward Radical Relationality, Epistemic Justice, and Transformative Intervention: A Multivocal Reflection Urmitapa Dutta, Jesica Siham Fernández, Anne Galletta, and Regina Day Langhout

Part III. Sampling Across People and Time

  • Chapter 16. Introduction to Survey Sampling Roger Tourangeau and Ting Yan
  • Chapter 17. Epidemiology Rumi Kato Price and Heidi H. Tastet
  • Chapter 18. Collecting Longitudinal Data: Present Issues and Future Challenges Simran K. Johal, Rohit Batra, and Emilio Ferrer
  • Chapter 19. Using the Internet to Collect Data Ulf-Dietrich Reips

Part IV. Building and Testing Models

  • Chapter 20. Statistical Mediation Analysis David P. MacKinnon, Jeewon Cheong, Angela G. Pirlott, and Heather L. Smyth
  • Chapter 21. Structural Equation Modeling with Latent Variables Rick H. Hoyle and Nisha C. Gottfredson
  • Chapter 22. Mathematical Psychology Parker Smith, Yanjun Liu, James T. Townsend, and Trisha Van Zandt
  • Chapter 23. Computational Modeling Adele Diederich
  • Chapter 24. Fundamentals of Bootstrapping and Monte Carlo Methods William Howard Beasley, Patrick O'Keefe, and Joseph Lee Rodgers
  • Chapter 25. Designing Simulation Studies Xitao Fan
  • Chapter 26. Bayesian Modeling for Psychologists: An Applied Approach Fred M. Feinberg and Richard Gonzalez

Part V. Designs Involving Experimental Manipulations

  • Chapter 27. Randomized Designs in Psychological Research Larry Christensen, Lisa A. Turner, and R. Burke Johnson
  • Chapter 28. Nonequivalent Comparison Group Designs Henry May and Zachary K. Collier
  • Chapter 29. Regression Discontinuity Designs Charles S. Reichardt and Gary T. Henry
  • Chapter 30. Treatment Validity for Intervention Studies Dianne L. Chambless and Steven D. Hollon
  • Chapter 31. Translational Research Michael T. Bardo, Christopher Cappelli, and Mary Ann Pentz
  • Chapter 32. Program Evaluation: Outcomes and Costs of Putting Psychology to Work Brian T. Yates

Part VI. Quantitative Research Designs Involving Single Participants or Units

  • Chapter 33. Single-Case Experimental Design John M. Ferron, Megan Kirby, and Lodi Lipien
  • Chapter 34. Time Series Designs Bradley J. Bartos, Richard McCleary, and David McDowall

Part VII. Designs in Neuropsychology and Biological Psychology

  • Chapter 35. Case Studies in Neuropsychology Randi C. Martin, Simon Fischer-Baum, and Corinne M. Pettigrew
  • Chapter 36. Group Studies in Experimental Neuropsychology Avinash R Vaidya, Maia Pujara, and Lesley K. Fellows
  • Chapter 37. Genetic Methods in Psychology Terrell A. Hicks, Daniel Bustamante, Karestan C. Koenen, Nicole R. Nugent, and Ananda B. Amstadter
  • Chapter 38. Human Genetic Epidemiology Floris Huider, Lannie Ligthart, Yuri Milaneschi, Brenda W. J. H. Penninx, and Dorret I. Boomsma

Volume 3. Data Analysis and Research Publication

Part I. Quantitative Data Analysis

  • Chapter 1. Methods for Dealing With Bad Data and Inadequate Models: Distributions, Linear Models, and Beyond Rand R. Wilcox and Guillaume A. Rousselet
  • Chapter 2. Maximum Likelihood and Multiple Imputation Missing Data Handling: How They Work, and How to Make Them Work in Practice Timothy Hayes and Craig K. Enders
  • Chapter 3. Exploratory Data Analysis Paul F. Velleman and David C. Hoaglin
  • Chapter 4. Graphic Displays of Data Leland Wilkinson
  • Chapter 5. Estimating and Visualizing Interactions in Moderated Multiple Regression Connor J. McCabe and Kevin M. King
  • Chapter 6. Effect Size Estimation Michael Borenstein
  • Chapter 7. Measures of Clinically Significant Change Russell J. Bailey, Benjamin M. Ogles, and Michael J. Lambert
  • Chapter 8. Analysis of Variance and the General Linear Model James Jaccard and Ai Bo
  • Chapter 9. Generalized Linear Models David Rindskopf
  • Chapter 10. Multilevel Modeling for Psychologists John B. Nezlek
  • Chapter 11. Longitudinal Data Analysis Andrew K. Littlefield
  • Chapter 12. Event History Analysis Fetene B. Tekle and Jeroen K. Vermunt
  • Chapter 13. Latent State-Trait Models Rolf Steyer, Christian Geiser, and Christiane Loß​nitzer
  • Chapter 14. Latent Variable Modeling of Continuous Growth David A. Cole, Jeffrey A. Ciesla, and Qimin Liu
  • Chapter 15. Dynamical Systems and Differential Equation Models of Change Steven M. Boker and Robert G. Moulder
  • Chapter 16. A Multivariate Growth Curve Model for Three-Level Data Patrick J. Curran, Chris L. Strauss, Ethan M. McCormick, and James S. McGinley
  • Chapter 17. Exploratory Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis Keith F. Widaman and Jonathan Lee Helm
  • Chapter 18. Latent Class and Latent Profile Models Brian P. Flaherty, Liying Wang, and Cara J. Kiff
  • Chapter 19. Decision Trees and Ensemble Methods in the Behavioral Sciences Kevin J. Grimm, Ross Jacobucci, and John J. McArdle
  • Chapter 20. Using the Social Relations Model to Understand Interpersonal Perception and Behavior P. Niels Christensen, Deborah A. Kashy, and Katelin E. Leahy
  • Chapter 21. Dyadic Data Analysis Richard Gonzalez and Dale Griffin
  • Chapter 22. The Data of Others: New and Old Faces of Archival Research Sophie Pychlau and David T. Wagner
  • Chapter 23. Social Network Analysis in Psychology: Recent Breakthroughs in Methods and Theories Wei Wang, Tobias Stark, James D. Westaby, Adam K. Parr, and Daniel A. Newman
  • Chapter 24. Meta-Analysis Jeffrey C. Valentine, Therese D. Pigott, and Joseph Morris

Part II. Publishing and the Publication Process

  • Chapter 25. Research Data Management and Sharing Katherine G. Akers and John A. Borghi
  • Chapter 26. Questionable Practices in Statistical Analysis Rex B. Kline
  • Chapter 27. Ethical Issues in Manuscript Preparation and Authorship Jennifer Crocker

Harris Cooper, PhD, is the Hugo L. Blomquist professor, emeritus, in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. His research interests concern research synthesis and research methodology, and he also studies the application of social and developmental psychology to education policy. His book Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis: A Step-by-Step Approach (2017) is in its fifth edition. He is the coeditor of the Handbook of Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis (3 rd ed. 2019).

In 2007, Dr. Cooper was the recipient of the Frederick Mosteller Award for Contributions to Research Synthesis Methodology, and in 2008 he received the Ingram Olkin Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Research Synthesis from the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology.

He served as the chair of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University from 2009 to 2014, and from 2017 to 2018 he served as the dean of social science at Duke. Dr. Cooper chaired the first APA committee that developed guidelines for information about research that should be included in manuscripts submitted to APA journals. He currently serves as the editor of American Psychologist, the flagship journal of APA.

Marc N. Coutanche, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology and research scientist in the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Coutanche directs a program of cognitive neuroscience research and develops and tests new computational techniques to identify and understand the neural information present within neuroimaging data.

His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Psychological Foundation, and other organizations, and he has published in a variety of journals.

Dr. Coutanche received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and conducted postdoctoral training at Yale University. He received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowship and Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral National Research Service Award, and was named a 2019 Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science.

Linda M. McMullen, PhD, is professor emerita of psychology at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Over her career, she has contributed to the development of qualitative inquiry in psychology through teaching, curriculum development, and pedagogical scholarship; original research; and service to the qualitative research community.

Dr. McMullen introduced qualitative inquiry into both the graduate and undergraduate curriculum in her home department, taught courses at both levels for many years, and has published articles, coedited special issues, and written a book ( Essentials of Discursive Psychology ) that is part of APA’s series on qualitative methodologies, among other works. She has been engaged with building the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology (SQIP; a section of Division 5 of the APA) into a vibrant scholarly society since its earliest days, and took on many leadership roles while working as a university professor.

Dr. McMullen’s contributions have been recognized by Division 5 of the APA, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Saskatchewan Psychological Association.

Abigail Panter, PhD, is the senior associate dean for undergraduate education and a professor of psychology in the L. L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is past president of APA’s Division 5, Quantitative and Qualitative Methods.

As a quantitative psychologist, she develops instruments, research designs and data-analytic strategies for applied research questions in higher education, personality, and health. She serves as a program evaluator for UNC’s Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program, and was also principal investigator for The Finish Line Project, a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education that systematically investigated new supports and academic initiatives, especially for first-generation college students.

Her books include the  APA Dictionary of Statistics and Research Methods  (2014), the APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology  (first edition; 2012), the Handbook of Ethics in Quantitative Methodology  (2011), and the SAGE Handbook of Methods in Social Psychology (2004), among others.

David Rindskopf, PhD, is distinguished professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center, specializing in research methodology and statistics. His main interests are in Bayesian statistics, causal inference, categorical data analysis, meta-analysis, and latent variable models.

He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Educational Research Association, and is past president of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology and the New York Chapter of the American Statistical Association.

Kenneth J. Sher, PhD, is chancellor’s professor and curators’ distinguished professor of psychological sciences, emeritus, at the University of Missouri. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from Indiana University (1980) and his clinical internship training at Brown University (1981).

His primary areas of research focus on etiological processes in the development of alcohol dependence, factors that affect the course of drinking and alcohol use disorders throughout adulthood, longitudinal research methodology, psychiatric comorbidity, and nosology. At the University of Missouri he directed the predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in alcohol studies, and his research has been continually funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for more than 35 years.

Dr. Sher’s research contributions have been recognized by professional societies including the Research Society on Alcoholism and APA, and throughout his career, he has been heavily involved in service to professional societies and scholarly publications.

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The Use of Research Methods in Psychological Research: A Systematised Review

Salomé elizabeth scholtz.

1 Community Psychosocial Research (COMPRES), School of Psychosocial Health, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Werner de Klerk

Leon t. de beer.

2 WorkWell Research Institute, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Research methods play an imperative role in research quality as well as educating young researchers, however, the application thereof is unclear which can be detrimental to the field of psychology. Therefore, this systematised review aimed to determine what research methods are being used, how these methods are being used and for what topics in the field. Our review of 999 articles from five journals over a period of 5 years indicated that psychology research is conducted in 10 topics via predominantly quantitative research methods. Of these 10 topics, social psychology was the most popular. The remainder of the conducted methodology is described. It was also found that articles lacked rigour and transparency in the used methodology which has implications for replicability. In conclusion this article, provides an overview of all reported methodologies used in a sample of psychology journals. It highlights the popularity and application of methods and designs throughout the article sample as well as an unexpected lack of rigour with regard to most aspects of methodology. Possible sample bias should be considered when interpreting the results of this study. It is recommended that future research should utilise the results of this study to determine the possible impact on the field of psychology as a science and to further investigation into the use of research methods. Results should prompt the following future research into: a lack or rigour and its implication on replication, the use of certain methods above others, publication bias and choice of sampling method.

Introduction

Psychology is an ever-growing and popular field (Gough and Lyons, 2016 ; Clay, 2017 ). Due to this growth and the need for science-based research to base health decisions on (Perestelo-Pérez, 2013 ), the use of research methods in the broad field of psychology is an essential point of investigation (Stangor, 2011 ; Aanstoos, 2014 ). Research methods are therefore viewed as important tools used by researchers to collect data (Nieuwenhuis, 2016 ) and include the following: quantitative, qualitative, mixed method and multi method (Maree, 2016 ). Additionally, researchers also employ various types of literature reviews to address research questions (Grant and Booth, 2009 ). According to literature, what research method is used and why a certain research method is used is complex as it depends on various factors that may include paradigm (O'Neil and Koekemoer, 2016 ), research question (Grix, 2002 ), or the skill and exposure of the researcher (Nind et al., 2015 ). How these research methods are employed is also difficult to discern as research methods are often depicted as having fixed boundaries that are continuously crossed in research (Johnson et al., 2001 ; Sandelowski, 2011 ). Examples of this crossing include adding quantitative aspects to qualitative studies (Sandelowski et al., 2009 ), or stating that a study used a mixed-method design without the study having any characteristics of this design (Truscott et al., 2010 ).

The inappropriate use of research methods affects how students and researchers improve and utilise their research skills (Scott Jones and Goldring, 2015 ), how theories are developed (Ngulube, 2013 ), and the credibility of research results (Levitt et al., 2017 ). This, in turn, can be detrimental to the field (Nind et al., 2015 ), journal publication (Ketchen et al., 2008 ; Ezeh et al., 2010 ), and attempts to address public social issues through psychological research (Dweck, 2017 ). This is especially important given the now well-known replication crisis the field is facing (Earp and Trafimow, 2015 ; Hengartner, 2018 ).

Due to this lack of clarity on method use and the potential impact of inept use of research methods, the aim of this study was to explore the use of research methods in the field of psychology through a review of journal publications. Chaichanasakul et al. ( 2011 ) identify reviewing articles as the opportunity to examine the development, growth and progress of a research area and overall quality of a journal. Studies such as Lee et al. ( 1999 ) as well as Bluhm et al. ( 2011 ) review of qualitative methods has attempted to synthesis the use of research methods and indicated the growth of qualitative research in American and European journals. Research has also focused on the use of research methods in specific sub-disciplines of psychology, for example, in the field of Industrial and Organisational psychology Coetzee and Van Zyl ( 2014 ) found that South African publications tend to consist of cross-sectional quantitative research methods with underrepresented longitudinal studies. Qualitative studies were found to make up 21% of the articles published from 1995 to 2015 in a similar study by O'Neil and Koekemoer ( 2016 ). Other methods in health psychology, such as Mixed methods research have also been reportedly growing in popularity (O'Cathain, 2009 ).

A broad overview of the use of research methods in the field of psychology as a whole is however, not available in the literature. Therefore, our research focused on answering what research methods are being used, how these methods are being used and for what topics in practice (i.e., journal publications) in order to provide a general perspective of method used in psychology publication. We synthesised the collected data into the following format: research topic [areas of scientific discourse in a field or the current needs of a population (Bittermann and Fischer, 2018 )], method [data-gathering tools (Nieuwenhuis, 2016 )], sampling [elements chosen from a population to partake in research (Ritchie et al., 2009 )], data collection [techniques and research strategy (Maree, 2016 )], and data analysis [discovering information by examining bodies of data (Ktepi, 2016 )]. A systematised review of recent articles (2013 to 2017) collected from five different journals in the field of psychological research was conducted.

Grant and Booth ( 2009 ) describe systematised reviews as the review of choice for post-graduate studies, which is employed using some elements of a systematic review and seldom more than one or two databases to catalogue studies after a comprehensive literature search. The aspects used in this systematised review that are similar to that of a systematic review were a full search within the chosen database and data produced in tabular form (Grant and Booth, 2009 ).

Sample sizes and timelines vary in systematised reviews (see Lowe and Moore, 2014 ; Pericall and Taylor, 2014 ; Barr-Walker, 2017 ). With no clear parameters identified in the literature (see Grant and Booth, 2009 ), the sample size of this study was determined by the purpose of the sample (Strydom, 2011 ), and time and cost constraints (Maree and Pietersen, 2016 ). Thus, a non-probability purposive sample (Ritchie et al., 2009 ) of the top five psychology journals from 2013 to 2017 was included in this research study. Per Lee ( 2015 ) American Psychological Association (APA) recommends the use of the most up-to-date sources for data collection with consideration of the context of the research study. As this research study focused on the most recent trends in research methods used in the broad field of psychology, the identified time frame was deemed appropriate.

Psychology journals were only included if they formed part of the top five English journals in the miscellaneous psychology domain of the Scimago Journal and Country Rank (Scimago Journal & Country Rank, 2017 ). The Scimago Journal and Country Rank provides a yearly updated list of publicly accessible journal and country-specific indicators derived from the Scopus® database (Scopus, 2017b ) by means of the Scimago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator developed by Scimago from the algorithm Google PageRank™ (Scimago Journal & Country Rank, 2017 ). Scopus is the largest global database of abstracts and citations from peer-reviewed journals (Scopus, 2017a ). Reasons for the development of the Scimago Journal and Country Rank list was to allow researchers to assess scientific domains, compare country rankings, and compare and analyse journals (Scimago Journal & Country Rank, 2017 ), which supported the aim of this research study. Additionally, the goals of the journals had to focus on topics in psychology in general with no preference to specific research methods and have full-text access to articles.

The following list of top five journals in 2018 fell within the abovementioned inclusion criteria (1) Australian Journal of Psychology, (2) British Journal of Psychology, (3) Europe's Journal of Psychology, (4) International Journal of Psychology and lastly the (5) Journal of Psychology Applied and Interdisciplinary.

Journals were excluded from this systematised review if no full-text versions of their articles were available, if journals explicitly stated a publication preference for certain research methods, or if the journal only published articles in a specific discipline of psychological research (for example, industrial psychology, clinical psychology etc.).

The researchers followed a procedure (see Figure 1 ) adapted from that of Ferreira et al. ( 2016 ) for systematised reviews. Data collection and categorisation commenced on 4 December 2017 and continued until 30 June 2019. All the data was systematically collected and coded manually (Grant and Booth, 2009 ) with an independent person acting as co-coder. Codes of interest included the research topic, method used, the design used, sampling method, and methodology (the method used for data collection and data analysis). These codes were derived from the wording in each article. Themes were created based on the derived codes and checked by the co-coder. Lastly, these themes were catalogued into a table as per the systematised review design.

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Systematised review procedure.

According to Johnston et al. ( 2019 ), “literature screening, selection, and data extraction/analyses” (p. 7) are specifically tailored to the aim of a review. Therefore, the steps followed in a systematic review must be reported in a comprehensive and transparent manner. The chosen systematised design adhered to the rigour expected from systematic reviews with regard to full search and data produced in tabular form (Grant and Booth, 2009 ). The rigorous application of the systematic review is, therefore discussed in relation to these two elements.

Firstly, to ensure a comprehensive search, this research study promoted review transparency by following a clear protocol outlined according to each review stage before collecting data (Johnston et al., 2019 ). This protocol was similar to that of Ferreira et al. ( 2016 ) and approved by three research committees/stakeholders and the researchers (Johnston et al., 2019 ). The eligibility criteria for article inclusion was based on the research question and clearly stated, and the process of inclusion was recorded on an electronic spreadsheet to create an evidence trail (Bandara et al., 2015 ; Johnston et al., 2019 ). Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are a popular tool for review studies and can increase the rigour of the review process (Bandara et al., 2015 ). Screening for appropriate articles for inclusion forms an integral part of a systematic review process (Johnston et al., 2019 ). This step was applied to two aspects of this research study: the choice of eligible journals and articles to be included. Suitable journals were selected by the first author and reviewed by the second and third authors. Initially, all articles from the chosen journals were included. Then, by process of elimination, those irrelevant to the research aim, i.e., interview articles or discussions etc., were excluded.

To ensure rigourous data extraction, data was first extracted by one reviewer, and an independent person verified the results for completeness and accuracy (Johnston et al., 2019 ). The research question served as a guide for efficient, organised data extraction (Johnston et al., 2019 ). Data was categorised according to the codes of interest, along with article identifiers for audit trails such as authors, title and aims of articles. The categorised data was based on the aim of the review (Johnston et al., 2019 ) and synthesised in tabular form under methods used, how these methods were used, and for what topics in the field of psychology.

The initial search produced a total of 1,145 articles from the 5 journals identified. Inclusion and exclusion criteria resulted in a final sample of 999 articles ( Figure 2 ). Articles were co-coded into 84 codes, from which 10 themes were derived ( Table 1 ).

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Journal article frequency.

Codes used to form themes (research topics).

Social Psychology31Aggression SP, Attitude SP, Belief SP, Child abuse SP, Conflict SP, Culture SP, Discrimination SP, Economic, Family illness, Family, Group, Help, Immigration, Intergeneration, Judgement, Law, Leadership, Marriage SP, Media, Optimism, Organisational and Social justice, Parenting SP, Politics, Prejudice, Relationships, Religion, Romantic Relationships SP, Sex and attraction, Stereotype, Violence, Work
Experimental Psychology17Anxiety, stress and PTSD, Coping, Depression, Emotion, Empathy, Facial research, Fear and threat, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, Mortality, Motivation and Achievement, Perception, Rumination, Self, Self-efficacy
Cognitive Psychology12Attention, Cognition, Decision making, Impulse, Intelligence, Language, Math, Memory, Mental, Number, Problem solving, Reading
Health Psychology7Addiction, Body, Burnout, Health, Illness (Health Psychology), Sleep (Health Psychology), Suicide and Self-harm
Physiological Psychology6Gender, Health (Physiological psychology), Illness (Physiological psychology), Mood disorders, Sleep (Physiological psychology), Visual research
Developmental Psychology3Attachment, Development, Old age
Personality3Machiavellian, Narcissism, Personality
Psychological Psychology3Programme, Psychology practice, Theory
Education and Learning1Education and Learning
Psychometrics1Measure
Code Total84

These 10 themes represent the topic section of our research question ( Figure 3 ). All these topics except, for the final one, psychological practice , were found to concur with the research areas in psychology as identified by Weiten ( 2010 ). These research areas were chosen to represent the derived codes as they provided broad definitions that allowed for clear, concise categorisation of the vast amount of data. Article codes were categorised under particular themes/topics if they adhered to the research area definitions created by Weiten ( 2010 ). It is important to note that these areas of research do not refer to specific disciplines in psychology, such as industrial psychology; but to broader fields that may encompass sub-interests of these disciplines.

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Topic frequency (international sample).

In the case of developmental psychology , researchers conduct research into human development from childhood to old age. Social psychology includes research on behaviour governed by social drivers. Researchers in the field of educational psychology study how people learn and the best way to teach them. Health psychology aims to determine the effect of psychological factors on physiological health. Physiological psychology , on the other hand, looks at the influence of physiological aspects on behaviour. Experimental psychology is not the only theme that uses experimental research and focuses on the traditional core topics of psychology (for example, sensation). Cognitive psychology studies the higher mental processes. Psychometrics is concerned with measuring capacity or behaviour. Personality research aims to assess and describe consistency in human behaviour (Weiten, 2010 ). The final theme of psychological practice refers to the experiences, techniques, and interventions employed by practitioners, researchers, and academia in the field of psychology.

Articles under these themes were further subdivided into methodologies: method, sampling, design, data collection, and data analysis. The categorisation was based on information stated in the articles and not inferred by the researchers. Data were compiled into two sets of results presented in this article. The first set addresses the aim of this study from the perspective of the topics identified. The second set of results represents a broad overview of the results from the perspective of the methodology employed. The second set of results are discussed in this article, while the first set is presented in table format. The discussion thus provides a broad overview of methods use in psychology (across all themes), while the table format provides readers with in-depth insight into methods used in the individual themes identified. We believe that presenting the data from both perspectives allow readers a broad understanding of the results. Due a large amount of information that made up our results, we followed Cichocka and Jost ( 2014 ) in simplifying our results. Please note that the numbers indicated in the table in terms of methodology differ from the total number of articles. Some articles employed more than one method/sampling technique/design/data collection method/data analysis in their studies.

What follows is the results for what methods are used, how these methods are used, and which topics in psychology they are applied to . Percentages are reported to the second decimal in order to highlight small differences in the occurrence of methodology.

Firstly, with regard to the research methods used, our results show that researchers are more likely to use quantitative research methods (90.22%) compared to all other research methods. Qualitative research was the second most common research method but only made up about 4.79% of the general method usage. Reviews occurred almost as much as qualitative studies (3.91%), as the third most popular method. Mixed-methods research studies (0.98%) occurred across most themes, whereas multi-method research was indicated in only one study and amounted to 0.10% of the methods identified. The specific use of each method in the topics identified is shown in Table 2 and Figure 4 .

Research methods in psychology.

Quantitative4011626960525248283813
Qualitative28410523501
Review115203411301
Mixed Methods7000101100
Multi-method0000000010
Total4471717260615853473915

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Research method frequency in topics.

Secondly, in the case of how these research methods are employed , our study indicated the following.

Sampling −78.34% of the studies in the collected articles did not specify a sampling method. From the remainder of the studies, 13 types of sampling methods were identified. These sampling methods included broad categorisation of a sample as, for example, a probability or non-probability sample. General samples of convenience were the methods most likely to be applied (10.34%), followed by random sampling (3.51%), snowball sampling (2.73%), and purposive (1.37%) and cluster sampling (1.27%). The remainder of the sampling methods occurred to a more limited extent (0–1.0%). See Table 3 and Figure 5 for sampling methods employed in each topic.

Sampling use in the field of psychology.

Not stated3311534557494343383114
Convenience sampling558101689261
Random sampling15391220211
Snowball sampling14441200300
Purposive sampling6020020310
Cluster sampling8120020000
Stratified sampling4120110000
Non-probability sampling4010000010
Probability sampling3100000000
Quota sampling1010000000
Criterion sampling1000000000
Self-selection sampling1000000000
Unsystematic sampling0100000000
Total4431727660605852484016

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Sampling method frequency in topics.

Designs were categorised based on the articles' statement thereof. Therefore, it is important to note that, in the case of quantitative studies, non-experimental designs (25.55%) were often indicated due to a lack of experiments and any other indication of design, which, according to Laher ( 2016 ), is a reasonable categorisation. Non-experimental designs should thus be compared with experimental designs only in the description of data, as it could include the use of correlational/cross-sectional designs, which were not overtly stated by the authors. For the remainder of the research methods, “not stated” (7.12%) was assigned to articles without design types indicated.

From the 36 identified designs the most popular designs were cross-sectional (23.17%) and experimental (25.64%), which concurred with the high number of quantitative studies. Longitudinal studies (3.80%), the third most popular design, was used in both quantitative and qualitative studies. Qualitative designs consisted of ethnography (0.38%), interpretative phenomenological designs/phenomenology (0.28%), as well as narrative designs (0.28%). Studies that employed the review method were mostly categorised as “not stated,” with the most often stated review designs being systematic reviews (0.57%). The few mixed method studies employed exploratory, explanatory (0.09%), and concurrent designs (0.19%), with some studies referring to separate designs for the qualitative and quantitative methods. The one study that identified itself as a multi-method study used a longitudinal design. Please see how these designs were employed in each specific topic in Table 4 , Figure 6 .

Design use in the field of psychology.

Experimental design828236010128643
Non-experimental design1153051013171313143
Cross-sectional design123311211917215132
Correlational design5612301022042
Not stated377304241413
Longitudinal design21621122023
Quasi-experimental design4100002100
Systematic review3000110100
Cross-cultural design3001000100
Descriptive design2000003000
Ethnography4000000000
Literature review1100110000
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)2000100000
Narrative design1000001100
Case-control research design0000020000
Concurrent data collection design1000100000
Grounded Theory1000100000
Narrative review0100010000
Auto-ethnography1000000000
Case series evaluation0000000100
Case study1000000000
Comprehensive review0100000000
Descriptive-inferential0000000010
Explanatory sequential design1000000000
Exploratory mixed-method0000100100
Grounded ethnographic design0100000000
Historical cohort design0100000000
Historical research0000000100
interpretivist approach0000000100
Meta-review1000000100
Prospective design1000000000
Qualitative review0000000100
Qualitative systematic review0000010000
Short-term prospective design0100000000
Total4611757463635856483916

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Design frequency in topics.

Data collection and analysis —data collection included 30 methods, with the data collection method most often employed being questionnaires (57.84%). The experimental task (16.56%) was the second most preferred collection method, which included established or unique tasks designed by the researchers. Cognitive ability tests (6.84%) were also regularly used along with various forms of interviewing (7.66%). Table 5 and Figure 7 represent data collection use in the various topics. Data analysis consisted of 3,857 occurrences of data analysis categorised into ±188 various data analysis techniques shown in Table 6 and Figures 1 – 7 . Descriptive statistics were the most commonly used (23.49%) along with correlational analysis (17.19%). When using a qualitative method, researchers generally employed thematic analysis (0.52%) or different forms of analysis that led to coding and the creation of themes. Review studies presented few data analysis methods, with most studies categorising their results. Mixed method and multi-method studies followed the analysis methods identified for the qualitative and quantitative studies included.

Data collection in the field of psychology.

Questionnaire3641136542405139243711
Experimental task68663529511551
Cognitive ability test957112615110
Physiological measure31216253010
Interview19301302201
Online scholarly literature104003401000
Open-ended questions15301312300
Semi-structured interviews10300321201
Observation10100000020
Documents5110000120
Focus group6120100000
Not stated2110001401
Public data6100000201
Drawing task0201110200
In-depth interview6000100000
Structured interview0200120010
Writing task1000400100
Questionnaire interviews1010201000
Non-experimental task4000000000
Tests2200000000
Group accounts2000000100
Open-ended prompts1100000100
Field notes2000000000
Open-ended interview2000000000
Qualitative questions0000010001
Social media1000000010
Assessment procedure0001000000
Closed-ended questions0000000100
Open discussions1000000000
Qualitative descriptions1000000000
Total55127375116797365605017

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Object name is frma-05-00001-g0007.jpg

Data collection frequency in topics.

Data analysis in the field of psychology.

Not stated5120011501
Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM)4000000000
Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA)17813421001
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)112601629151715653
Auto-regressive path coefficients0010000000
Average variance extracted (AVE)1000010000
Bartholomew's classification system1000000000
Bayesian analysis3000100000
Bibliometric analysis1100000100
Binary logistic regression1100141000
Binary multilevel regression0001000000
Binomial and Bernoulli regression models2000000000
Binomial mixed effects model1000000000
Bivariate Correlations321030435111
Bivariate logistic correlations1000010000
Bootstrapping391623516121
Canonical correlations0000000020
Cartesian diagram1000000000
Case-wise diagnostics0100001000
Casual network analysis0001000000
Categorisation5200110400
Categorisation of responses2000000000
Category codes3100010000
Cattell's scree-test0010000000
Chi-square tests52201756118743
Classic Parallel Analysis (PA)0010010010
Cluster analysis7000111101
Coded15312111210
Cohen d effect size14521323101
Common method variance (CMV)5010000000
Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA)0000000010
Confidence Interval (CI)2000010000
Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA)5713400247131
Content analysis9100210100
Convergent validity1000000000
Cook's distance0100100000
Correlated-trait-correlated-method minus one model1000000000
Correlational analysis2598544182731348338
Covariance matrix3010000000
Covariance modelling0110000000
Covariance structure analyses2000000000
Cronbach's alpha61141865108375
Cross-validation0020000001
Cross-lagged analyses1210001000
Dependent t-test1200110100
Descriptive statistics3241324349414336282910
Differentiated analysis0000001000
Discriminate analysis1020000001
Discursive psychology1000000000
Dominance analysis1000000000
Expectation maximisation2100000100
Exploratory data Analysis1100110000
Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA)145240114040
Exploratory structural equation modelling (ESEM)0010000010
Factor analysis124160215020
Measurement invariance testing0000000000
Four-way mixed ANOVA0101000000
Frequency rate20142122200
Friedman test1000000000
Games-Howell 2200010000
General linear model analysis1200001100
Greenhouse-Geisser correction2500001111
Grounded theory method0000000001
Grounded theory methodology using open and axial coding1000000000
Guttman split-half0010000000
Harman's one-factor test13200012000
Herman's criteria of experience categorisation0000000100
Hierarchical CFA (HCFA)0010000000
Hierarchical cluster analysis1000000000
Hierarchical Linear Modelling (HLM)762223767441
Huynh-Felt correction1000000000
Identified themes3000100000
Independent samples t-test38944483311
Inductive open coding1000000000
Inferential statistics2000001000
Interclass correlation3010000000
Internal consistency3120000000
Interpreted and defined0000100000
Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)2100100000
Item fit analysis1050000000
K-means clustering0000000100
Kaiser-meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy2080002020
Kendall's coefficients3100000000
Kolmogorov-Smirnov test1211220010
Lagged-effects multilevel modelling1100000000
Latent class differentiation (LCD)1000000000
Latent cluster analysis0000010000
Latent growth curve modelling (LGCM)1000000110
Latent means1000000000
Latent Profile Analysis (LPA)1100000000
Linear regressions691941031253130
Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count0000100000
Listwise deletion method0000010000
Log-likelihood ratios0000010000
Logistic mixed-effects model1000000000
Logistic regression analyses17010421001
Loglinear Model2000000000
Mahalanobis distances0200010000
Mann-Whitney U tests6421202400
Mauchly's test0102000101
Maximum likelihood method11390132310
Maximum-likelihood factor analysis with promax rotation0100000000
Measurement invariance testing4110100000
Mediation analysis29712435030
Meta-analysis3010000100
Microanalysis1000000000
Minimum significant difference (MSD) comparison0100000000
Mixed ANOVAs196010121410
Mixed linear model0001001000
Mixed-design ANCOVA1100000000
Mixed-effects multiple regression models1000000000
Moderated hierarchical regression model1000000000
Moderated regression analysis8400101010
Monte Carlo Markov Chains2010000000
Multi-group analysis3000000000
Multidimensional Random Coefficient Multinomial Logit (MRCML)0010000000
Multidimensional Scaling2000000000
Multiple-Group Confirmatory Factor Analysis (MGCFA)3000020000
Multilevel latent class analysis1000010000
Multilevel modelling7211100110
Multilevel Structural Equation Modelling (MSEM)2000000000
Multinominal logistic regression (MLR)1000000000
Multinominal regression analysis1000020000
Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC)0000110000
Multiple mediation analysis2600221000
Multiple regression341530345072
Multivariate analysis of co-variance (MANCOVA)12211011010
Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA)38845569112
Multivariate hierarchical linear regression1100000000
Multivariate linear regression0100001000
Multivariate logistic regression analyses1000000000
Multivariate regressions2100001000
Nagelkerke's R square0000010000
Narrative analysis1000001000
Negative binominal regression with log link0000010000
Newman-Keuls0100010000
Nomological Validity Analysis0010000000
One sample t-test81017464010
Ordinary Least-Square regression (OLS)2201000000
Pairwise deletion method0000010000
Pairwise parameter comparison4000002000
Parametric Analysis0001000000
Partial Least Squares regression method (PLS)1100000000
Path analysis21901245120
Path-analytic model test1000000000
Phenomenological analysis0010000100
Polynomial regression analyses1000000000
Fisher LSD0100000000
Principal axis factoring2140001000
Principal component analysis (PCA)81121103251
Pseudo-panel regression1000000000
Quantitative content analysis0000100000
Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis2001000000
Relative weight analysis1000000000
Repeated measures analyses of variances (rANOVA)182217521111
Ryan-Einot-Gabriel-Welsch multiple F test1000000000
Satorra-Bentler scaled chi-square statistic0030000000
Scheffe's test3000010000
Sequential multiple mediation analysis1000000000
Shapiro-Wilk test2302100000
Sobel Test13501024000
Squared multiple correlations1000000000
Squared semi-partial correlations (sr2)2000000000
Stepwise regression analysis3200100020
Structural Equation Modelling (SEM)562233355053
Structure analysis0000001000
Subsequent t-test0000100000
Systematic coding- Gemeinschaft-oriented1000100000
Task analysis2000000000
Thematic analysis11200302200
Three (condition)-way ANOVA0400101000
Three-way hierarchical loglinear analysis0200000000
Tukey-Kramer corrections0001010000
Two-paired sample t-test7611031101
Two-tailed related t-test0110100000
Unadjusted Logistic regression analysis0100000000
Univariate generalized linear models (GLM)2000000000
Variance inflation factor (VIF)3100000010
Variance-covariance matrix1000000100
Wald test1100000000
Ward's hierarchical cluster method0000000001
Weighted least squares with corrections to means and variances (WLSMV)2000000000
Welch and Brown-Forsythe F-ratios0100010000
Wilcoxon signed-rank test3302000201
Wilks' Lamba6000001000
Word analysis0000000100
Word Association Analysis1000000000
scores5610110100
Total173863532919219823722511715255

Results of the topics researched in psychology can be seen in the tables, as previously stated in this article. It is noteworthy that, of the 10 topics, social psychology accounted for 43.54% of the studies, with cognitive psychology the second most popular research topic at 16.92%. The remainder of the topics only occurred in 4.0–7.0% of the articles considered. A list of the included 999 articles is available under the section “View Articles” on the following website: https://methodgarden.xtrapolate.io/ . This website was created by Scholtz et al. ( 2019 ) to visually present a research framework based on this Article's results.

This systematised review categorised full-length articles from five international journals across the span of 5 years to provide insight into the use of research methods in the field of psychology. Results indicated what methods are used how these methods are being used and for what topics (why) in the included sample of articles. The results should be seen as providing insight into method use and by no means a comprehensive representation of the aforementioned aim due to the limited sample. To our knowledge, this is the first research study to address this topic in this manner. Our discussion attempts to promote a productive way forward in terms of the key results for method use in psychology, especially in the field of academia (Holloway, 2008 ).

With regard to the methods used, our data stayed true to literature, finding only common research methods (Grant and Booth, 2009 ; Maree, 2016 ) that varied in the degree to which they were employed. Quantitative research was found to be the most popular method, as indicated by literature (Breen and Darlaston-Jones, 2010 ; Counsell and Harlow, 2017 ) and previous studies in specific areas of psychology (see Coetzee and Van Zyl, 2014 ). Its long history as the first research method (Leech et al., 2007 ) in the field of psychology as well as researchers' current application of mathematical approaches in their studies (Toomela, 2010 ) might contribute to its popularity today. Whatever the case may be, our results show that, despite the growth in qualitative research (Demuth, 2015 ; Smith and McGannon, 2018 ), quantitative research remains the first choice for article publication in these journals. Despite the included journals indicating openness to articles that apply any research methods. This finding may be due to qualitative research still being seen as a new method (Burman and Whelan, 2011 ) or reviewers' standards being higher for qualitative studies (Bluhm et al., 2011 ). Future research is encouraged into the possible biasness in publication of research methods, additionally further investigation with a different sample into the proclaimed growth of qualitative research may also provide different results.

Review studies were found to surpass that of multi-method and mixed method studies. To this effect Grant and Booth ( 2009 ), state that the increased awareness, journal contribution calls as well as its efficiency in procuring research funds all promote the popularity of reviews. The low frequency of mixed method studies contradicts the view in literature that it's the third most utilised research method (Tashakkori and Teddlie's, 2003 ). Its' low occurrence in this sample could be due to opposing views on mixing methods (Gunasekare, 2015 ) or that authors prefer publishing in mixed method journals, when using this method, or its relative novelty (Ivankova et al., 2016 ). Despite its low occurrence, the application of the mixed methods design in articles was methodologically clear in all cases which were not the case for the remainder of research methods.

Additionally, a substantial number of studies used a combination of methodologies that are not mixed or multi-method studies. Perceived fixed boundaries are according to literature often set aside, as confirmed by this result, in order to investigate the aim of a study, which could create a new and helpful way of understanding the world (Gunasekare, 2015 ). According to Toomela ( 2010 ), this is not unheard of and could be considered a form of “structural systemic science,” as in the case of qualitative methodology (observation) applied in quantitative studies (experimental design) for example. Based on this result, further research into this phenomenon as well as its implications for research methods such as multi and mixed methods is recommended.

Discerning how these research methods were applied, presented some difficulty. In the case of sampling, most studies—regardless of method—did mention some form of inclusion and exclusion criteria, but no definite sampling method. This result, along with the fact that samples often consisted of students from the researchers' own academic institutions, can contribute to literature and debates among academics (Peterson and Merunka, 2014 ; Laher, 2016 ). Samples of convenience and students as participants especially raise questions about the generalisability and applicability of results (Peterson and Merunka, 2014 ). This is because attention to sampling is important as inappropriate sampling can debilitate the legitimacy of interpretations (Onwuegbuzie and Collins, 2017 ). Future investigation into the possible implications of this reported popular use of convenience samples for the field of psychology as well as the reason for this use could provide interesting insight, and is encouraged by this study.

Additionally, and this is indicated in Table 6 , articles seldom report the research designs used, which highlights the pressing aspect of the lack of rigour in the included sample. Rigour with regards to the applied empirical method is imperative in promoting psychology as a science (American Psychological Association, 2020 ). Omitting parts of the research process in publication when it could have been used to inform others' research skills should be questioned, and the influence on the process of replicating results should be considered. Publications are often rejected due to a lack of rigour in the applied method and designs (Fonseca, 2013 ; Laher, 2016 ), calling for increased clarity and knowledge of method application. Replication is a critical part of any field of scientific research and requires the “complete articulation” of the study methods used (Drotar, 2010 , p. 804). The lack of thorough description could be explained by the requirements of certain journals to only report on certain aspects of a research process, especially with regard to the applied design (Laher, 20). However, naming aspects such as sampling and designs, is a requirement according to the APA's Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS-Quant) (Appelbaum et al., 2018 ). With very little information on how a study was conducted, authors lose a valuable opportunity to enhance research validity, enrich the knowledge of others, and contribute to the growth of psychology and methodology as a whole. In the case of this research study, it also restricted our results to only reported samples and designs, which indicated a preference for certain designs, such as cross-sectional designs for quantitative studies.

Data collection and analysis were for the most part clearly stated. A key result was the versatile use of questionnaires. Researchers would apply a questionnaire in various ways, for example in questionnaire interviews, online surveys, and written questionnaires across most research methods. This may highlight a trend for future research.

With regard to the topics these methods were employed for, our research study found a new field named “psychological practice.” This result may show the growing consciousness of researchers as part of the research process (Denzin and Lincoln, 2003 ), psychological practice, and knowledge generation. The most popular of these topics was social psychology, which is generously covered in journals and by learning societies, as testaments of the institutional support and richness social psychology has in the field of psychology (Chryssochoou, 2015 ). The APA's perspective on 2018 trends in psychology also identifies an increased amount of psychology focus on how social determinants are influencing people's health (Deangelis, 2017 ).

This study was not without limitations and the following should be taken into account. Firstly, this study used a sample of five specific journals to address the aim of the research study, despite general journal aims (as stated on journal websites), this inclusion signified a bias towards the research methods published in these specific journals only and limited generalisability. A broader sample of journals over a different period of time, or a single journal over a longer period of time might provide different results. A second limitation is the use of Excel spreadsheets and an electronic system to log articles, which was a manual process and therefore left room for error (Bandara et al., 2015 ). To address this potential issue, co-coding was performed to reduce error. Lastly, this article categorised data based on the information presented in the article sample; there was no interpretation of what methodology could have been applied or whether the methods stated adhered to the criteria for the methods used. Thus, a large number of articles that did not clearly indicate a research method or design could influence the results of this review. However, this in itself was also a noteworthy result. Future research could review research methods of a broader sample of journals with an interpretive review tool that increases rigour. Additionally, the authors also encourage the future use of systematised review designs as a way to promote a concise procedure in applying this design.

Our research study presented the use of research methods for published articles in the field of psychology as well as recommendations for future research based on these results. Insight into the complex questions identified in literature, regarding what methods are used how these methods are being used and for what topics (why) was gained. This sample preferred quantitative methods, used convenience sampling and presented a lack of rigorous accounts for the remaining methodologies. All methodologies that were clearly indicated in the sample were tabulated to allow researchers insight into the general use of methods and not only the most frequently used methods. The lack of rigorous account of research methods in articles was represented in-depth for each step in the research process and can be of vital importance to address the current replication crisis within the field of psychology. Recommendations for future research aimed to motivate research into the practical implications of the results for psychology, for example, publication bias and the use of convenience samples.

Ethics Statement

This study was cleared by the North-West University Health Research Ethics Committee: NWU-00115-17-S1.

Author Contributions

All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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IMAGES

  1. Research Methods

    research methods in psychology

  2. PPT

    research methods in psychology

  3. Type Of Research Methods In Psychology / How Applied Research Is Used

    research methods in psychology

  4. PPT

    research methods in psychology

  5. Research Methods in Psychology

    research methods in psychology

  6. Types of Research Archives

    research methods in psychology

VIDEO

  1. Intro Chapter 2 Research

  2. Validity in psychological research

  3. Research methods in cognitive psychology

  4. PSY 2120: Why study research methods in psychology?

  5. AQA Psychology A Level Past Papers

  6. PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH METHODS 22:CONTENT AND THEMATIC ANALYSIS

COMMENTS

  1. Research Methods in Psychology

    The text segues appropriately by introducing the science of psychology, followed by scientific method and ethics before getting into the core of scientific research in the field of psychology. Details are provided in quantitative and qualitative research, correlations, surveys, and research design.

  2. Research Methods in Psychology

    Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology. 1.1 Understanding Science. 1.2 Scientific Research in Psychology. 1.3 Science and Common Sense. 1.4 Science and Clinical Practice. Chapter 3: Research Ethics. 3.1 Moral Foundations of Ethical Research. 3.2 From Moral Principles to Ethics Codes. 3.3 Putting Ethics Into Practice.

  3. APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology

    APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology: Research Designs: Quantitative, Qualitative, Neuropsychological, and Biological, edited by H. Cooper, M. N. Coutanche, L. M. McMullen, A. T. Panter, D. Rindskopf, and K. J. Sher

  4. Research in Psychology: Methods You Should Know

    Psychologists use the scientific method to conduct studies and research in psychology. The basic process of conducting psychology research involves asking a question, designing a study, collecting data, analyzing results, reaching conclusions, and sharing the findings.

  5. Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology

    There are several different research methods in psychology, each of which can help researchers learn more about the way people think, feel, and behave. If you're a psychology student or just want to know the types of research in psychology, here are the main ones as well as how they work.

  6. APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology

    The initial chapters in this indispensable three-volume handbook address broad, crosscutting issues faced by researchers: the philosophical, ethical, and societal underpinnings of psychological research.

  7. The Use of Research Methods in Psychological Research: A

    Research methods are therefore viewed as important tools used by researchers to collect data (Nieuwenhuis, 2016) and include the following: quantitative, qualitative, mixed method and multi method (Maree, 2016 ). Additionally, researchers also employ various types of literature reviews to address research questions (Grant and Booth, 2009 ).

  8. APA handbook of research methods in psychology: Foundations

    Abstract. With significant new and updated content across dozens of chapters, the second edition of this handbook presents the most exhaustive treatment available of the techniques psychologists and others have developed to help them pursue a shared understanding of why humans think, feel, and behave the way they do.