Laboratory Psychology : A Beginner's Guide book cover
1st Edition

Laboratory Psychology
A Beginner's Guide

Edited By

Julia Nunn

ISBN 9780863777110
Published April 1, 1998 by Psychology Press
192 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Why Does Psychology Need Methodology? P. Ayton Aims. Introduction. Is Psychology a Science? Methods for Acquiring Knowledge. Some Objections to Experimental Psychology. Conclusions. References. Notes. Between-subjects Versus Within-subject Designs, J. Hampton. Between-subjects vs. Within-subject Designs. Aims. Understanding, Predicting, Controlling. The Ideal Experiment. The Between-subjects Experiment. Why Use a Between-subjects Design? Getting a Result. The Power of Experiments. Factorial Designs. References. Within-subject Designs, E.J. Hellier. Introduction. Examples of Common Within-subject Designs. Advantages of Within-subject Designs. Limitations of Within-subject Designs. Overcoming the Limitations of Within-subject Designs. Choosing a Within-subject or a Between-subjects Design. References. Experimental Versus Correlational Methods, P. Ayton. Aims. The Simple Experiment: Active Observation. The Correlational Study: Passive Observation. Experimental and Correlational Approaches: A Comparison. The Analysis of Experimental and Correlational Studies. References. Questionnaire Design, I. Schoon. Aims. Introduction: The Function of a Questionnaire. Questionnaire Planning. Modes of Data Collection. Response Format. Question Wording. Questionnaire Layout. Criteria for a Good Questionnaire. References. People, Materials and Situations, D.B. Wright. Aims. "Make £5 by Taking Part in a Psychological Study": Recruiting Participants. Materials and Hypotheses. Situations for Psychological Research. Conclusions. References. Note. Ethics, J. Nunn. Introduction. The Rise of Ethical Concerns in Psychological Research. Ethical Guidelines. Translating Ethical Principles into Valid Research Methods. References. Writing Experimental Reports, Z. Kaminska. Aims. Are Reports Really Necessary? Format of the Report. Some General Advice on Writing Your Report. Producing the Report. Making Sense of a Journal Article, J.M. Gardiner. Aims. Introduction. Structure of an Article. Introduction to the Sample Article. General Rules for Reading Journal Articles. References. Author Index. Subject Index.

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This book would be suitable for any psychology course that contains laboratory classes and/or an introduction to methodology and analysis. As far as I know, this is all psychology courses. The book aims to provide the background to laboratory classes: why do experiments at all, how to do experiments properly, and how to write them up. These are important and often neglected problems. This book tackles these problems head on, and is generally very successful in doing so. Its style is friendly and direct, and it should be a welcome addition to any student's armoury of useful texts. - Trevor Harley, University of Dundee