Critical Thinking About Research Psychology and Related Fields

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Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2017-09-18
Publisher(s): American Psychological Association
List Price: $61.85

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To become informed consumers of research, students need to thoughtfully evaluate the research they read rather than accept it without question. This second edition of a classic text gives students what they need to apply critical reasoning when reading behavioral science research.

This second edition updates the original text with recent developments in research methods, including a new chapter on meta-analyses. Part I gives a thorough overview of the steps in a research project. It focuses on how to assess whether the conclusions drawn in a behavioral science report are warranted by the methods used in the research. Topics include research hypotheses, sampling, experimental design, data analysis, interpretation of results, and ethics. Part II allows readers to practice critical thinking with a series of fictitious journal articles containing built-in flaws in method and interpretation. Clever and engaging, each article is accompanied by a commentary that points out the errors of procedure and logic that have been deliberately embedded in the article. This combination of instruction and practical application will promote active learning and critical thinking in students studying the behavioral sciences.

Author Biography

Julian Meltzoff, PhD, earned his doctorate in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1979 to 1996 he was professor of psychology and director of research at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego. He taught graduate courses in the design and critique of research, conducted doctoral research seminars, and supervised the school’s dissertation process. Prior to 1979, Dr. Meltzoff served for an extended period as chief psychologist in Veterans Affairs facilities in Pennsylvania and New York. Dr. Meltzoff was engaged in doing research, writing about research, and consulting on research throughout his clinical, administrative, and academic career. He is the coauthor of The Day Treatment Center: Principles, Application, and Evaluation (1966) and Research in Psychotherapy (1970), as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. He passed away in December 2015 at age 94.

Harris Cooper, PhD, is the Hugo L. Blomquist Distinguished Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University. He is the author of several books, including Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis: A Step-by-Step Approach (2017); Ethical Choices in Research: Managing Data, Writing Reports, and Publishing Results in the Social Sciences (2016); and Reporting Research in Psychology: How to Meet Journal Article Reporting Standards (2011). He served as editor of the Psychological Bulletin and Archives of Scientific Psychology, and as department chair at Duke University and the University of Missouri–Columbia.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Why Psychologists and Professionals in Related Fields Need to be Critical Thinkers
Overview of the Chapters
Who Will Find This Book Useful?
Part I. Principles of Critical Thinking
1. Seeking Trustworthy Knowledge
2. Research Questions and Hypotheses
3. Research Variables and Strategies
4. The Sample
5. Confounding Variables and Their Control
6. Research Designs and Threats to Internal Validity
7. Manipulation and Measurement Validity
8. Data Analysis, Discussion, and Conclusions
9. Inferences, Conclusions, and the Research Report
10. Research Syntheses and Meta-Analysis
11. Research Ethics
Part II. Critical Thinking Using Practice Articles
Practice Article 1. Use of Counselor “Street Talk” to Stimulate Self-Disclosure of Inner-City Youths
Practice Article 2. Treatment of Flying Phobia: Comparative Efficacy of Two Behavioral Methods
Practice Article 3. The Effect of Divorce on Sons’ Aggression
Practice Article 4. Dyslexia in Fifth-Grade Girls: Personality and Perceptual Factors
Practice Article 5. Time Estimation: Effect of Depression and Pleasantness or Unpleasantness of an Experience
Practice Article 6. Bossiness in Firstborn Girls
Practice Article 7. Effect of Context Upon Accuracy of Recall of Affective Experiences
Practice Article 8. The Effects of Medication and Cognitive Behavior Therapy on Insomnia
Practice Article 9. Midlife Crises of Men at Age 50
Practice Article 10. Effect of Job Stress and Stress Management on Low Back Pain
Practice Article 11. Evaluation of Health Maintenance Organizations
Practice Article 12. Effects of Jury Selection Consultation on Trial Outcome
Practice Article 13. Contingency Reinforcement in the Treatment of Talking Aloud to Self: A Single-Case Study 
Practice Article 14. The Effect of Race of Examiner on IQ Scores of American Indians 
Practice Article 15. Social Effects of Tax Deadline 
Practice Article 16. Comparative Effectiveness of Teacher Management Styles in a Fifth-Grade Classroom
Practice Article 17. Age Differences in Gullibility: A Meta-Analysis 
About the Authors


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