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The Research Experience

The Research Experience
Planning, Conducting, and Reporting Research

Second Edition

August 2020 | 568 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Research Experience: Planning, Conducting and Reporting Research, Second Edition is the complete guide to the behavioral science research process. The book covers theoretical research foundations, guiding students through each step of a research project with practical instruction and help. The latest technological tools, such as SurveyMonkey®, Qualtrics®, and Amazon Mechanical Turk®, are included to show the increasing influence of the Internet to conduct studies and how research is conducted in the world today. Taking students through the process from generating ideas for research to writing and presenting findings helps them absorb and apply the material. With its practical emphasis and supporting pedagogy, students will be able to successfully design and execute a research project.

Included with this title:

The password-protected Instructor Resource Site (formally known as Sage Edge)
offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides. Learn more.

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

Ways in Which Theories May Differ: Scope and Parsimony

Making a Connection Between a Theory and a Good Research Question


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

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

Confounding or Third Variables: Refining the Research Question and Closing the Research Gap

Time Pressure and Timelines

Academic Fraud and Steps Toward Transparency


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

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


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

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?

What Kinds of Projects Do Not Require IRB Review?

IRB Duties, Membership, and Levels of IRB Review


Components of the IRB Proposal

Informed Consent

Reasonable Person Standard


Children as a Vulnerable Population: Implications for Research

Ethics and Student Participation in Research: Alternatives to the Participant Pool

Offering Incentives in Research: Are Incentives Coercive?

The IRB Training Modules


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Chapter 5 Measurement: Qualities of Measures

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

Catalogues of Measures and Fees Charged

Qualities of Measures: Reliability and Validity

The Importance of Computing Your Own Cronbach’s Alpha

Length and Difficulty of Measures

Instructions for Scoring

Names of Measures and Social Desirability Concerns

Qualifications for Use


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Chapter 6 Surveys: Developing Measures and Items

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

A Few Final Cautions (and Encouragements) About Online Survey Software


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Chapter 7 Correlational Research and Specialized Nonexperimental Designs

Correlational Research: General Characteristics

What Correlational Data Can Tell Us

Considerations of Internal and External Validity in Correlational Research

Drawbacks to Correlational Approaches

Correlational Design: Quasi-Experimental Design (i.e., Questions About Groups)

Statistics Used in Correlational Designs

Factor Analysis: Data Reduction for Correlations Among Multiple Variables

Specialized Nonexperimental Designs

Time-Series and Interrupted Time-Series Designs

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


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Chapter 8 Qualitative Research

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


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Chapter 9 Experimental Research: Between-Subjects Designs: Conceptual and Practical Considerations

Between-Subjects Designs: What Are They?

Characteristics of Between-Subjects Designs: Advantages and Disadvantages

Nomenclature Surrounding IVs

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 Group Design

Multiple Comparisons

Handling Error Variance

Summary of Between-Subjects Design Considerations

Multiple Dependent Variables (DVs) in a Research Design

Practical Considerations: Finding and Creating IVs (Scenarios, Visual Images, Movie Clips, Auditory Clips)

Existing Literature: Method Section

Visual Images: Manipulating an Image


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Project Update Form

Chapter 10 Experimental Research: Within-Subjects Mixed , and Pre–Post Designs: Conceptual and Practical Considerations

Characteristics of Within-Subjects Design: Advantages and Disadvantages

Types of Research Questions More Commonly Asked in Within-Subjects Designs


ABBA Order

Block Randomization

Simple and Complex Within-Subjects Designs

Adding Complexity to Within-Subjects Designs

Mixed Designs

Pre–Post Designs: Characteristics

Types of Pre–Post Designs


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Chapter 11 Recruiting Participants

Who Participates in Research: An Overview

The Participant Pool: The Workhorse of Social Science Research

The Drawbacks to Participant Pools: Concerns About Internal Validity

Limits on the Number of Participants Available From Unpaid Participant 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

Google Consumer Surveys

Online Paid Panels


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Chapter 12 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

Manipulation Checks

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


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Chapter 13 Writing and Presenting Your Research

Writing: One Section at a Time

Writing: Avoiding Plagiarism

Writing: Bias-Free Language

The Writing Itself: Clear and Simple

The “Shape” of Your Paper

Title Page, Authorship, and Author Note

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


Practice Quiz

Build Your Skills

Highly Recommended Papers



SAGE Edge for Instructors

The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.

For additional information, custom options, or to request a personalized walkthrough of these resources, please contact your sales representative.
SAGE Edge for Students

The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.

For additional information, custom options, or to request a personalized walkthrough of these resources, please contact your sales representative.

“The material reflects current thinking in the field…This textbook does a very thoughtful job of organizing [tables and figures]. [A majority of my students are visual learners]…having all of the tables and figures is greatly appreciated…The focus on presentations and presenting the research is very helpful.”

“[This] textbook is very copious and thoughtful, without being overwhelming or patronizing…this textbook has a really nice balance and is comfortable to read. Additionally, the figures/tables are very helpful and are great for all learners, especially visual learners.”

Jeannie Stamatakis-Amess
Lincoln University

“[The key strengths of the text are] the style of writing, the examples, the depth of the information, [and] some chapters are beautifully organized and helpful, [such as writing your research].”

Michaela Porubanova
Farmingdale State College

Excellent text. Well-organized and accessible.

Dr Thomas Frederick
Online & Professional Studies, California Baptist University
March 30, 2021
Key features
  • Updated Ethics Chapter (Ch. 4) reflects the revised Common Rule governing research with human subjects.
  • This edition incorporates updates in the seventh edition of the APA Publication Manual, including Bias-Free Language and new citation and reference styles.
  • Separate chapters on Correlational and Nonexperimental Research and Qualitative Research give more depth to these designs as important fields of study.
  • Covers Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS) to show students all the information that needs to be provided about a project.
  • Includes an explanation of ABBA and randomized block designs for students to better understand options for specialized designs.
  • Updated information on SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, and statistics software packages provides students with the latest information for online research.
  • Practice Quizzes have been added to the end of each chapter to test student understanding.


  • Thorough coverage of research design and methods fundamentals emphasizes the practical issues involved in producing research projects and reports.
  • Coverage of current technological applications enables students to utilize the latest online tools for their research projects.
  • Attention to the kinds of errors in thinking that undermine the research process helps students understand how basic human tendencies such as heuristics influence the research process.
  • Practical information on finding resources and using library databases helps students get started on understanding the research landscape and developing their research question.
  • Three types of questions throughout every chapter include Revisit and Respond, Try This Now, and Build Your Skills to promote student learning.
  • Glossary callouts and in-text definitions help students understand the terminology of research methods.

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