Methods in Psychological Research introduces students to the rich world of research in psychology through student-friendly writing, compelling real-world examples, and frequent opportunities for practice. Using a relaxed yet supportive tone that eases student anxiety, the authors present a mixture of conceptual and practical discussions, and spark reader interest in research by covering meaningful topics that resonate with today’s students. In-text features like Conceptual Exercises, FYI sections, and FAQ sections with accompanying visual cues support learning throughout the research experience. The Fourth Edition equips students with the tools they need to understand research concepts, conduct their own experiments, and present their findings.

Understanding the Research Literature


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After studying this chapter, students should be able to

  • Search the literature using common online databases
  • Describe what is contained in each section of a typical research article
  • Calculate the typical descriptive statistics found in research articles
  • Appraise the complex statistical procedures found in research articles

You have selected your research topic. Now, you need to discover what research has already been done on the topic. It is time for you to peruse the research literature. You will probably find some research on your topic, but it is unlikely that anyone has done exactly the same study that you have in mind. We often tell our students to think through their topic before going to the literature because it is easier to be creative about ...

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