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Research Methods for Social Psychology

  • ID: 2330017
  • Book
  • July 2008
  • 424 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Research Methods for Social Psychology will help students learn to conduct empirical research in social psychology. The author teaches students to think like experimental social psychologists, that is, to use or develop explanatory theories and to manipulate and measure variables in order to explain the origin or purpose of some aspect of social life. Students will learn to perform research projects on human social behavior from start to finish, from selecting a research topic to collecting and analyzing data to writing up and the results using the American Psychological Association s required format (i.e., APA–style). Along the way, they will learn about the particular ethical issues social psychologists face, the logic of experimental design, alternative research approaches, sorting accuracy from error in research, and how to orally present their findings, among other issues.

This book contains up–to–date scholarship and emphasizes active learning through pedagogical activities and exercises designed to help students design and execute their own social psychological research.

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Detailed Table of Contents.

List of Active Learning Exercises.



1 Studying Social Psychology.

2 Developing Research Topics in Social Psychology.

3 Ethical Issues in Social Psychological Research.

4 Basic Experimental Design.

5 Alternatives to Experimental Research in Social Psychology.

6 Developing Questionnaires and Surveys.

7 Introducing a Difference: Independent Variables.

8 Measuring What Happens: Dependent Variables.

9 Validity and Realism in Research.

10 Conducting Social Psychology Experiments: Practical Matters.

11 Data Analysis.

12 Presenting Social Psychological Research.

Appendix A Major Journals in Social Psychology.

Appendix B Reading Journal Articles in Social Psychology.

Appendix C Annotated Student Research Paper.


Author Index.

Subject Index

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Though research methods courses for specific areas of psychology are becoming increasingly common at colleges and universities, most available books are general, applicable to any area of psychology. Dunn (Moravian College) provides an introduction to all of the usual research methods topics (e.g., choosing a research question, strategies of investigation, data analysis techniques) using examples from social psychology. Though the concepts Dunn covers are the same as those covered in most research–methods textbooks, the frequent mention of famous social psychology experiments and eminent social psychologists adds to the presentation and may motivate students engaged in the study of social psychology. In addition, Dunn′s prose is clear and accessible, and the book′s visual formatting is straightforward rather than flashy. Though intended primarily as a textbook, this volume would also be a welcome addition to a library′s holdings.
Summing Up: Recommended. Upper–division undergraduates and graduate students. ––
B. J. Lovett, Elmira College (
Choice, February 2009)
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