Laboratory Psychology: A Beginner's Guide

1st Edition

Julia Nunn

Psychology Press
Published March 17, 1998
ISBN 9780863777110 - CAT# RU36690

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Experimental design is important enough to merit a book on its own, without statistics, that instead links methodology to a discussion of how psychologists can advance and reject theories about human behaviour. The objective of this book is to fulfil this role. The first four chapters lay the foundations of design in experimental psychology. The first chapter justifies the prominent role given to methodology within the discipline, whilst chapters two and three describe between-subject and within-subject designs. Chapter four compares and contrasts the traditional experimental approach with that of the quasi-experimental, or correlational approach, concluding that the consequences of not recognizing the value of the latter approach can be far-reaching. The following three chapters discuss practical issues involved in running experiments. The first of these offers a comprehensive guide to the student researcher who wants to construct a good questionnaire, including a discussion of reliability and validity issues. The next chapter considers the basic tools of psychological research, whilst both discussing the theoretical problem of how a sample from a population is chosen and offering useful hints on the practical issue of finding adequate populations from which to select participants. The next chapter considers ethical practice within psychological research, written in large part so that psychology students will be better able to anticipate ethical problems in their studies before they occur. The final two chapters consider reporting and reading psychological papers. Chapter eight details what should and should not be included in a laboratory report. The contributors use their collective experience of marking numerous lab reports to highlight common errors and provide solutions. Finally, chapter nine describes the various elements of a journal article, including tips on how to get the best out of your journal reading.


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