Strategies and Tactics of Behavioral Research: 3rd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Strategies and Tactics of Behavioral Research

3rd Edition

By James M. Johnston, Henry S. Pennypacker


400 pages | 62 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780805858822
pub: 2008-08-29
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Almost entirely rewritten and reformatted with many more learning tools, this classic text now has even greater appeal to today’s students. This edition features much more discussion of how research methods are relevant for practitioners, and many examples are based on field research and service delivery scenarios.

This comprehensive treatment of single-subject or within-subject design focuses on the strategic (the overall goal) and tactical (the methods and procedures) options available to investigators as they try to determine the most effective way of addressing research questions. The authors guide readers to consider the rationale for different ways of measuring behavior and designing experimental comparisons. At every point, the text explains the strengths and weaknesses of alternative choices so that readers can make the best decision in each situation.

Highlights of the new third edition include:

  • Rewritten in a straightforward and accessible style for students without a background in this area, this edition features many more field-based examples and applications.
  • Increased focus on the application of research methods to the needs of practitioners in measuring behavior change and evaluating interventions under field conditions.
  • Increased use of learning aids, including a "built-in study guide," summary tables, figures, boxed discussions of special topics, key terms with definitions, chapter summaries, suggested readings, discussion questions and exercises, and a glossary.
  • Instructor’s resource materials available on a password-protected website with digital access to figures, tables, definition of new terms by chapters, multiple choice test questions, and content from the book’s learning aids, including study guide questions and suggested topics for class discussion and exercises.

With a focus on direct behavioral measurement and within-subject design, this book is intended for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in behavioral research methods, basic or applied behavior analysis, or single-/within-subject design taught in psychology (especially clinical and counseling psychology), social work, education, developmental disabilities, and other social and health science programs that deal with human behavior in research or practice settings. Although the book is written for students without a background in behavioral research, its comprehensive approach to designing procedures for measuring behavior and creating experimental comparisons also make it a valuable resource for investigators and professionals.


"The book contains particularly good discussions of the pros and cons of different types of within-subjects designs that are often lacking in more general texts on experimental design. … The book has a clear relevance to practitioners using behaviour analysis methods in behavioural therapy. … As well as containing much sound generic advice, and some thought-provoking essays on specific issues, this book also provides a clear introduction to the terminology and approach of modern behaviour analysis." – Melissa Bateson, Newcastle University, in Animal Welfare

"A top choice for methodology courses … I would adopt this text … [and] enthusiastically recommend it to others teaching advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students. Highly recommended for aspiring and experienced researchers who wish to understand and apply the conceptual underpinnings … to the design and analysis of research projects. It is the standard by which all other behavioral research methodology texts must be judged." - R. Wayne Fuqua, Western Michigan University

"Well written and easy to understand … appropriate for either advanced undergraduate level or master’s level courses in behavioral analysis. A very useful reference for students and professionals." - James P. Whelan, The University of Memphis

Table of Contents

Part 1. The Natural Science of Behavior. Science and Scientific Behavior. Behavior as a Scientific Subject Matter. Asking Experimental Questions. Part 2. Measurement. Selecting and Defining Response Classes. Dimensional Quantities and Units of Measurement. Observing and Recording. Assessing Measurement. Part 3. Design. Behavioral Variability. Steady States and Transitions. Strategic Issues in Experimental Design. Creating Experimental Designs. Part 4. Interpretation. Analyzing Behavioral Data. Interpreting Experiments.

About the Authors

James M. Johnston is a Professor of Psychology at Auburn University. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Florida. He is an Associate Editor of Behavioral Technology Today.

Henry S. Pennypacker is Professor Emeritus of the University of Florida. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University. He is a member of the editorial board of Behavior and Social Issues.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Experimental Methods
PSYCHOLOGY / Research & Methodology

Free Resources

Student Resources

Students can access the free book resources with this free download.

Instructor Resources

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