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The Research Experience

The Research Experience
Planning, Conducting, and Reporting Research

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April 2017 | 504 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Research Experience: Planning, Conducting, and Reporting Research presents a process-oriented approach to research for students in the behavioral sciences. In-depth, practical advice for conducting each step of the research process includes coverage of the most common research methods and current technologies—including Qualtrics, Google Scholar, and Amazon Mechanical Turk—as well as techniques for finding participants and collecting data in a variety of settings. With robust pedagogy and six helpful appendices, this text will further readers’ ability to produce well-executed projects and critically evaluate information in both their personal and professional lives.
About the Author
Chapter 1 Research, Biases in Thinking, and the Role of Theories
Why Research Matters  
The Research Process: Humans Make Predictions  
Heuristics and the Work of Kahneman and Tversky  
Other Problems in Thinking  
Doing Science as Tradition and Innovation  
Research and the Value of Common Sense  
Flexibility in Thinking  
Theories: What They Are and Why They Matter  
Making a Connection Between a Theory and a Good Research Question  
Chapter 2 Generating and Shaping Ideas: Tradition and Innovation
Ideas: Information Services, aka The Library  
Ideas: Searching Effectively in the Library  
Electronic Resources and Keywords  
Keywords: The “Key” to Success  
Other Databases and Indexes in the Social Sciences  
The Web and Peer Review  
Particular Kinds of Articles  
How Journals Differ: Issues Related to Quality  
Open Access and Predatory Publishers  
Publication Practices of Journals  
Journal Articles Versus Book Chapters  
Physically Obtaining an Article: A Closer Look at Databases  
Summary of the Article Locator Search Process  
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Systems and World Catalog (WorldCat)  
What to Do With Your Articles (Read More Than the Abstract!)  
The Introduction  
The Method Section  
The Results Section  
The Discussion Section: Conflicts and Gaps  
Keeping Track: ILL, Mendeley, and RefWorks  
Reasonable Questions and the Problem of Third Variables: Closing the Research Gap  
Time Pressure and Timelines  
Academic Fraud  
Chapter 3 Research Design Approaches and Issues: An Overview
Research Quality Affects Research Answers  
What Research Can Tell You: The Continuum of Certainty  
Correlation Versus Causation  
Why Conduct Correlational Research?  
The Language of Correlation and Causation  
Correlational Research Approaches: Correlational and Quasi-experimental  
Hallmarks of True Experimental Approaches  
Differentiation of Independent and Dependent Variables  
Reframing a Research Idea  
Type I Versus Type II Error  
Type II Errors: Sample Size, Power, and Effect Size  
Internal Validity  
Behavior of the Experimenter and Demand Characteristics  
Behavior of the Participant: Role Attitude  
Single- and Double-Blind Approaches to Research  
Cover Stories  
Pilot Tests and Manipulation Checks  
Summary of Additional Threats to Internal Validity  
External Validity and Ecological Validity  
Where Research Takes Place  
Where Qualitative Research Takes Place  
Chapter 4 Ethics and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) Process
What Is the IRB, and Why Does It Exist?  
History of Ethical Oversight  
The APA Code of Ethics  
What Is Research? What Are Human Subjects?  
IRB Membership and Duties  
Levels of IRB Review  
Components of the IRB Proposal  
Informed Consent  
Children as a Vulnerable Population: Implications for Research  
Research With Children: Secondary Data Analysis  
Deception and Its Alternatives  
Ethics and Student Participation in Research: Alternatives to the Subject Pool  
Offering Incentives in Research: Are Incentives Coercive?  
Preparing an IRB Proposal  
The IRB Training Modules  
Chapter 5 Measures and Survey Research Tools
The Concept of Measurement: Ideal Versus Real  
The Purpose of Measures  
Measurement Scale Types  
Sensitivity of a Scale and Anchor Values  
The Process of Identifying Measures: The Literature  
Databases of Tests (PsycTESTS and HaPI)  
Books of Measures  
Department Resources and Professors  
Catalogs of Measures and Fees Charged  
Qualities of Measures: Reliability and Validity  
The Importance of Computing Your Own Cronbach’s Alpha  
Qualities of Measures: Validity  
Length and Difficulty of Measures  
Instructions for Scoring  
Names of Measures and Social Desirability Concerns  
Qualifications for Use  
Developing Your Own Instrument  
Scale Types and Flexibility in Answering Research Questions  
The Order of Questions in a Survey  
Online Survey Software Tools  
Features of Online Survey Software Programs  
Program Features  
Google Docs Forms  
Downloading Online Surveys into SPSS  
Survey Appearance  
Chapter 6 Correlational and Qualitative Research
Correlational Research: General Characteristics  
Questions Posed About the Sample  
Drawbacks to Correlational Approaches  
Correlational Design: Quasi-experimental Design (i.e., Questions About Groups)  
Statistics Used in Correlational Designs  
Qualitative Research  
Qualitative Research and the Concept of Reflexivity  
Acceptance of Qualitative Methodology in the Social and Behavioral Sciences  
Qualitative Approaches to Research  
How to Capture Behavior: Behavioral Categories  
How Often and How Long to Observe  
Calculation of Inter-rater Reliability (IRR)  
Acceptable Values for Inter-rater Agreement  
Participant and Nonparticipant Observation and Overt/Covert Observation  
Ethnography: Extended Observation  
Issues in Ethnography: Gaining Access  
Initial Ethnographic Tours  
Preserving Information  
Grounded Theory  
Focus Groups  
Interviews: Degrees of Structure  
Recording or Not  
Case Studies and Case Histories  
Where Qualitative Meets Quantitative: Content Analysis  
Summary of Steps in a Content Analysis  
Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS)  
Qualitative Research and the Emotional Self: A Final Consideration  
Chapter 7 Experimental Approaches: Between Subjects Designs
Between Subjects Designs: What Are They?  
Characteristics of Between Subjects Designs: Advantages and Disadvantages  
Sensitivity of IV  
More on Power, Sample Size, and Power Calculations  
Number of IVs and Interaction Effects  
Evaluating an Interaction by Hand  
Common Types of Between Subjects Design  
Matched Groups Design  
Multiple Comparisons  
Handling Error Variance  
Summary of Between Subjects Design Considerations  
Finding and Creating IVs (Scenarios; Visual Images; Movie Clips; Auditory Clips)  
Existing Literature: Method Section  
Visual Images: Manipulating an Image  
Multiple Dependent Variables (DVs) in a Research Design  
Factor Analysis: An Overview  
Chapter 8 Within, Mixed, Pre–Post Experimental, and Specialized Correlational Designs
Characteristics of Within Subjects Design: Advantages and Disadvantages  
Types of Research Questions More Commonly Asked in Within Subjects Designs  
Simple and Complex Within Subjects Designs  
Adding Complexity to Within Subjects Designs  
Mixed Designs  
Pre–Post Designs: Characteristics  
Types of Pre–Post Designs  
Specialized Correlational Designs  
Time-Series and Interrupted Time-Series Design  
Strengths and Weaknesses of This Approach  
When Is This Approach Used?  
Real-World Challenges: Postoccupancy Evaluation (POE)  
Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Designs  
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Longitudinal Approach  
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Cross-Sectional Approach  
Cohort-Sequential Design  
Advantages of Using Multiple Methods  
Chapter 9 Recruiting Participants
Who Participates in Research: An Overview  
The Subject Pool: The Workhorse of Social Science Research  
The Drawbacks to Subject Pools: Concerns About Internal Validity  
Limits on the Number of Participants Available From Unpaid Subject Pools  
Keeping Track of Participants: Online Participant Management Systems  
Practical Issues in Communicating About Recruiting  
Research on Sensitive Topics and the Role of the IRB  
Recruiting Off Campus  
Using Your Personal Connections  
Using Your Institution’s Connections  
Vulnerable Populations in the Community  
Physical Security Issues in Conducting Research off Campus  
Service Learning Courses and Recruiting Participants: Opportunities and Complications  
Conflicts of Interest and Multiple Relationships  
Dustin’s Dozen: Tips for Collecting Data in the Field  
Identifying Information  
Other Sources of Participants: The Online Approach  
Online Use of Adverts (Advertisements) Versus Snowball Samples  
Ethical Issues in Online Environments: The Facebook Emotional Contagion Study  
Nonresponse Bias and Threats to Internal Validity  
Nonresponse and Nonresponse Bias  
Response Rates and Reporting Them  
Incentives: Practical Issues  
Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTURK): The World Awaits  
Questions of Validity in Using Amazon MTURK  
Online Paid Panels  
Chapter 10 Organizing Data and Analyzing Results
Paper and Online Surveys: An Overview  
The Importance of Labeling  
Labeling in a Data File and Deciding on a Coding System  
Other Labeling Recommendations  
Labeling Issues in Online Survey Software  
Entering Individual Items Versus Item Totals  
Backing Up Data  
Dealing With Missing Data: Differing Points of View  
Replacing Missing Data Through Single Value Imputation  
Some Recommendations for Missing Data  
Identifying Missing Data  
Handling Out-of-Range Values  
Handling Outliers  
Going Fishing and Other Data Dredging Practices  
Ethics, Cleaning Up, and Reporting Your Data: Final Comments  
Preliminary Analyses  
Significance Levels and p Values: What Are They?  
Transforming and Selecting Data: Useful Commands in SPSS  
Summary of Data Organization Steps  
Evaluating Your Hypotheses: Where to Begin  
Making Use of Free Response Items  
Additional Aids: Online Calculators and Word Clouds  
Other Statistical Software  
Chapter 11 Writing and Presenting Your Research
Writing: One Section at a Time  
Writing: Avoiding Plagiarism  
The Writing Itself: Clear and Simple  
The “Shape” of Your Paper  
The Title of the Paper and Its Importance  
The Abstract  
The Introduction: Content  
The Method Section  
Writing About Results  
Nonsignificant Results: What Can You Say?  
Statistical Versus Practical Significance  
General Formatting Issues: Mastering APA Style  
Presenting Numbers: The Short Story  
Common Grammatical Mistakes  
Creating Conference Presentations  
Highly Recommended Papers  
Appendix A: Decision Tree for Statistical Analysis
Appendix B: Sample Informed Consent Document
Appendix C: Sample Debriefing Statement
Appendix D: Resource Guide to Commonly Used Measures
Appendix E: Commonly Used Analyze Functions in SPSS
Appendix F: Scale Types and Associated Statistical Analyses for Common Research Approaches
Name Index
Subject Index


Instructor Teaching Site

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Microsoft® Word® test bank is available, containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course.
  • Discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter.
    Video and website links appeal to students with different learning styles.
Student Study Site

    SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. SAGE edge content is open access and available on demand. Learning and teaching has never been easier!

    SAGE edge for Students
     provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

    • A customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience
    • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material
    • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
    • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
    • Video and website links which appeals to different learning styles
    • EXCLUSIVE! access to SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter to encourage students to think critically.

    “While most research methods textbooks use little citation which suggests that much of the content is the author’s original thought, this author uses, in a masterful way, a variety of sources to teach each characteristic of the research process,”

    Charles Baker
    Delaware County Community College

    “The text does a great job of touching upon all relevant areas of applied research while presenting the information in a manner that is understandable to students first exposed to the research process.” 

    Michael J. Rovito
    University of Central Florida

    “[Key strengths of the text are] many good examples, interesting questions interspersed in each chapter, helpful guides to successful writing, interesting ideas to ponder, and up-to-date content on online subject pools.”

    Mark W. Dewalt
    Winthrop University

    “The text walks students through the logistics of actually running a study or experiment. It also deals with technology and the advantages and disadvantages of the technologies that students most rely on.” 

    Pauline S. Sawyers
    Oakwood University

    Devlin's text is an immensely practical and incredibly thorough resource on doing research. The eleven chapters cover the range of stages of research - from conception to operationalization, and from analysis to presentation. In this structure, Devlin does not steer away from the complexity of research towards some more assumedly accessible (but arguably simplistic) model. Instead, her writing tackles this complexity head on, and complements how the editing and design of the book coordinates examples, templates, prompts, definitions, and all manner of supplementary material to contextualize this organization of information. The result is not a dense text, but a comprehensive one (or thoroughly representative one, at least): a resource that should be ready to hand for anyone in virtually any academic field, or at any stage of experience - from undergrad to doctoral supervisor.

    Professor Kris Erickson
    Interdiscipline, Ryerson University
    March 17, 2017

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    ISBN: 9781506325125