Becoming a Behavioral Science Researcher

Becoming a Behavioral Science Researcher : A Guide to Producing Research That Matters

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Students and beginning researchers often discover that their introductory statistics and methods courses have not fully equipped them to plan and execute their own behavioral research studies. This indispensable book bridges the gap between coursework and conducting independent research. With clarity and wit, the author helps the reader build needed skills to formulate a precise, meaningful research question; understand the pros and cons of widely used research designs and analysis options; correctly interpret the outcomes of statistical tests; make informed measurement choices for a particular study; manage the practical aspects of data screening and preparation; and craft effective journal articles, oral presentations, and posters. Including annotated examples and recommended readings, most chapters feature theoretical and computer-based exercises; an answer appendix at the back of the book allows readers to check their work.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 367 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 521.63g
  • Guilford Publications
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • black & white illustrations, black & white tables, figures
  • 159385837X
  • 9781593858377
  • 248,600

About Rex B. Kline

Rex B. Kline, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal. Since earning a doctorate in clinical psychology, he has conducted research on the psychometric evaluation of cognitive abilities, behavioral and scholastic assessment of children, structural equation modeling, training of researchers, statistics reform in the behavioral sciences, and usability engineering in computer science. Dr. Kline has published a number of books, chapters, and journal articles in these areas. His website is

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Review quote

"Even the most informed psychologist is likely to learn something by reading this book. ... A superb resource for students and teachers alike. ... It would enhance any psychology curriculum and help the students of today become first-rate researchers of tomorrow." - APA PsycCRITIQUES "Kline has written the finest synthesis of getting started and finishing research for graduate students that I have read. It is comprehensive, integrative, and couched at a level that will engage students in the research process. I wish I'd had this book when I was first starting out." - William R. Shadish, Chair, Psychological Sciences Section, University of California, Merced "A book designed to improve the quality of behavioral and social science research and the way in which it is communicated. I would strongly recommend this text for use in both undergraduate and graduate research methods courses. It offers students a glimpse of many important issues in the field. In particular, the emphasis on, and presentation of, measurement and statistics reform should truly benefit students. This book is a valuable resource for anyone who intends to pursue a career in the behavioral or social sciences." - Chris L. S. Coryn, Director, Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Evaluation, The Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University "I appreciated the section on data screening - a crucial topic - and found the author's treatment of how to write each section of an empirical paper quite valuable. The APA style manual is not nearly as instructive. This text is the kind of book that you keep; it would serve as a handy reference." - Theresa DiDonato, doctoral candidate, Department of Psychology, Brown University "This is more than a textbook; it is a portable mentor! Kline brings his considerable knowledge and approachable style to the aid of advanced undergraduates and graduate students alike. The book addresses so many issues that fall through the cracks in our fragmented coursework, such as the general integration of design, measurement, and analysis. I would be remiss if I did not make this mandatory reading for all of my students." - Gregory R. Hancock, Professor and Chair, Department of Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation, University of Maryland, College Park "Many beginning graduate students find that conventional statistics and methods courses do not give them enough of the practical skills in data analysis, interpretation, and oral and written communication that they need to succeed. Kline has given us a wonderfully wise guide to these skills. This book is beautifully written, entirely practical, and includes the latest statistical approaches. It is essential reading for anyone who wishes to become a successful behavioral science researcher today." - Geoff Cumming, School of Psychological Science (Emeritus), La Trobe University "Outstanding! Kline is masterful in helping to fill the sometimes cavernous gap between research coursework and applied practice. The focus on modern approaches, including emphasis on replication and effect sizes, represents a new (and needed) generation of research texts, which will benefit advanced undergraduate and graduate students alike in their research courses and seminars. The book honestly and artfully walks the fine line between applied accessibility and necessary depth of content." - Robin K. Henson, Department of Educational Psychology, University of North Texas

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Table of contents

Part 1. Promise and Problems. Introduction. Not Ready for Prime Time. What Students Say They Need. Plan of the Book. Career Paths for Behavioral Scientists. Summary. Recommended Readings. The Good, the Bad, and (the Really) Ugly of Behavioral Science Research. The Good. The Bad. The (Really) Ugly. Why? Summary. Recommended Readings. Part 2. Concepts. The Research Trinity. Trinity Overview. Design. Measurement. Analysis. Internal Validity. Construct Validity. Conclusion Validity. External Validity and Sampling. Summary. Recommended Readings. Exercises. Design and Analysis. Chapter Overview. From Question to Design. Experimental Designs. Controlled Quasi-Experimental Designs. Nonequivalent-Group Designs. Regression-Discontinuity Designs. Other Quasi-Experimental Designs. Nonexperimental Designs. Resources for Learning More. Summary. Recommended Readings. Exercises. The Truth about Statistics. Study Strategy. A Dozen Truths about Statistics. What Statistical Significance Really Means. Misinterpretations of Statistical Significance. Why Are There So Many Myths? Other Drawbacks of Statistical Tests. In Defense of Statistical Tests. Recommendations for Changing Times. Summary. Recommended Readings. Exercises. Appendix 5.1. Review of Statistics Fundamentals. Effect Size Estimation. Contexts for Estimating Effect Size. Families of Parametric Effect Sizes. Estimating Effect Size When Comparing Two Samples. Measures of Association for More Complex Designs. Effect Sizes for Dichotomous Outcomes. T-Shirt Effect Sizes, Importance, and Cautions. Approximate Confidence Intervals. Research Examples. Summary. Recommended Readings. Exercises. Appendix 6.1. Noncentrality Interval Estimation for Effect Sizes. Measurement. Chapter Scope. The Critical Yet Underappreciated Role of Measurement. Measurement Process Overview. Resources for Finding Measures. Adapting or Translating Tests. Evaluation of Score Reliability and Validity. Checklist for Evaluating Measures. Recent Developments in Test Theory. Summary. Recommended Readings. Exercises. Part 3. Skills. Practical Data Analysis. Vision First, Then Simplicity. Managing Complex Analyses (Batch to the Future). Data Screening. Summary. Recommended Readings. Exercises. Writing. Plagiarism and Academic Integrity. Writing as Learning. Getting Started. The Role of Style Guides. General Principles of Good Writing. Principles of Good Scientific Writing. Writing Sections of Empirical Studies. Effective Graphical Displays. Ready for the Big Time. Summary. Recommended Readings. Appendix 9.1. Example Results Section. Presentations. Challenges of Oral Presentations. Problems with PowerPoint Presentations. Principles for Creating Effective PowerPoint Presentations. Lessons from Multimedia Learning. Other PowerPoint Issues. Poster Presentations. Summary. Recommended Readings. Exercises. Appendix 10.1. Example Slides, Handout, and Poster. Suggested Answers to Exercises.

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