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Research Methods


Research Methods in Psychology is available as a paperback book at £8.50 and also as an integrated multimedia teaching program and e-book that can be downloaded and installed for only £6.

The book has the same light-hearted style as the program, enlivened by many cartoons. It covers all the principles of scientific reasoning and data collection in Psychology and is ideal for students taking GCSE or A-level Psychology.

The computer program covers the same material in a different way. It contains Section 1 of Introduction to Statistics along with its Demo and Glossary.

Within the program, a Read Book button opens the electronic book at a page relevant to the current topic. You can then browse the book or return to the program at the point where you left it.


Research Methods front cover

Table of Contents

1. Asking answerable questions

Absolutes and relative:

Types of conclusion


2. What are models for?

Laws of nature are models

Devising and testing models

Seeking data to contradict a model

Unfalsifiable models are weak

3. Measurement

Models to make calculation possible

Scales as measuring instruments

Nominal scales

Ordinal (rank-order) scales

Interval scales

Ratio scales

Absolute scales

What level of measurement have we achieved?

Arguing from the normal curve

The importance of scale type

4. Observation, experiment or survey?

Two words of warning

Ways to obtain data

Comparison of methods

Anecdotal evidence

Limits of experimentation


Field and laboratory studies

5. Problems in all data collection



Placebos and placebo groups

Control groups

Blind and double-blind trials


Biased samples

Minimizing bias

Quota samples

Random samples

What can be done if a sample is biased?

6. Identifying causes

Confounded variables

Independent, dependent and nuisance variables

Measuring subjective attributes

Minimizing order effects

Chance as a possible explanation

The null hypothesis

Designing good studies


Answers to self-assessment questions