Research Methods in Psychology is an established methods text for (US) undergraduates. The book is divided into five parts: general issues (including scientific method and ethical issues); descriptive methods (observation, survey research, unobtrusive measures of behaviour, such as archival data); experimental methods (independent and repeated measures designed up to two-way Anova); applied research (single case designs/ small-n research, quasi-experimental designs and program evaluation); and analysing and reporting research.
Given that the book is written primarily for the US market, it is difficult to see it as a core undergraduate methods text that could compete with the many already available. It does not venture beyond two-way analysis of variance, and has no discussion of multivariate approaches. It is also very light on qualitative approaches. However, it does cover less common areas, for example, survey methods, observational methods, and single-case/small-n designs.
The authors want to convey the excitement of research in psychology to students who, they believe, will be primarily consumers, not producers, of research. Seen in this light, rather than as a methods handbook for trainee researchers, it has many strong points.
Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology is the third volume in a trilogy. It covers quantitative and qualitative approaches, includes detailed treatment of professional issues such as ethics, and gives insights into detailed aspects of professional research awareness rarely discussed with students.
This is a detailed, practical and modern book that is excellent value for money. In its own right, it is a book many should seriously consider as a core text, but it is even more impressive when seen as the final volume of a trilogy.
John Hegarty is head of psychology, Keele University.
Research Methods in Psychology. Seventh edition
Author - John J. Shaughnessy, Eugene B. Zechmeister and Jeanne S. Zechmeister
Publisher - McGraw-Hill
Pages - 578
Price - £32.99
ISBN - 0 07 111655 9