1st Edition

Concise Handbook of Experimental Methods for the Behavioral and Biological Sciences




ISBN 9780849311048
Published December 20, 2001 by CRC Press
448 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations

USD $185.00

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Book Description

Although there are many books written on the principles and methods of experimentation, few are written in a succinct, comprehensive outline format. The Concise Handbook of Experimental Methods for the Behavioral and Biological Sciences is based on a popular course taught by the author for more than two decades to assist advanced undergraduate and graduate students in understanding and applying the principles and methods of experimentation.

The handbook is organized into three parts. Part One covers the philosophy of science, forms of scientific research, steps of the scientific method, variables in research designs, and the initial and final phases of research. Part Two discusses research ethics and experimental control. Part Three surveys experimental design, sampling and generalization, and hypothesis testing and statistical significance.

The handbook's illustrations, extensive appendices, and detailed index allow you to acquire the techniques necessary to conduct, interpret, and evaluate research and then clearly communicate those findings. The Concise Handbook of Experimental Methods for the Behavioral and Biological Sciences eliminates the need for wading through unnecessary details to find what you need, making it a handy resource for reference and review.

Table of Contents

Part One - Science: The Philosophy and Components

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE: THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO KNOWLEDGE
Philosophy and its Relationship to the Sciences
Approaches to Knowledge
Goals of Science
Assumptions of Science
Requirements of Scientific Observation

FORMS OF SCIENTIFIC OBSERVATION AND RESEARCH
Naturalistic Observation used in Descriptive Research
Techniques of Naturalistic Observation used in Descriptive research
Experimental Observation used in Explanatory / Experimental Research

STEPS OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Introduction
Primary Steps
Secondary Steps
Problem Formulation (Step One of the Scientific Method)
Hypothesis Formulation (Step Two of the Scientific Method)

VARIABLES IN RESEARCH DESIGNS
Design Construction (Step Three of the Scientific Method)
Variables
Principal Variables of Experiments
Accuracy and Consistency of Variables
Abstract Variables and Concrete Definitions
Circular Reasoning

INITIAL AND FINAL PHASES OF RESEARCH
Literature Surveys
Research Proposal
Pilot Study
Serendipity
Research Report

Part Two - Research Ethics and Experimental Control

ETHICS OF RESEARCH
Non-Participant Ethical Issues
Human Participant Ethical Issues
Animal Participant Ethical Issues

CONTROL IN EXPERIMENTS: BASIC PRINCIPALS AND SOME TECHNIQUES
Two Meanings of Experimental Control
Forms of Extraneous Variables
Concept of Variance and Good Experimental Designs
General Sources of Variance
Types of Variance
Minimax Principals of Variance
Maximizing the Primary Variance
Making Equivalent the Secondary Variance: Some Techniques

CONTROL IN EXPERIMENTS: ADDITIONAL TECHNIQUES AND PRINCIPLES
Making Equivalent the Secondary Variance: More Techniques
Minimizing the Error Variance

Part Three - Design and Analysis of Experiments

DESIGNS FOR EXPERIMENTS: INTRODUCTION AND WITHIN-PARTICIPANTS
General Concepts and Principles
Pre-Experimental Design
Quasi-Experimental Designs
Categories of Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs
Within-Participants / Groups (Repeated-Measures) Designs

DESIGNS FOR EXPERIMENTS: BETWEEN-PARTICIPANTS AND MULTIPLE TREATMENTS
Between-Participants, Independent (Randomized), Two-Group Designs
Between-Participants, Related/Matched/Correlated, Two-Group Designs
Multiple Treatment Designs

SAMPLING AND GENERALIZATION
Definitions
Fundamental Decisions When Selecting a Sample of Research Participants
Statistics and Parameters
Sampling Reliability
Sampling Validity
Generalization/ External Validity Concerns
Sampling Techniques

HYPOTHESIS TESTING AND STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE
Types of Hypotheses
Testing the Null Hypothesis: Two Possible Outcomes
Proof versus Disproof: Certainty versus Support
Potential Errors During Statistical Decision Making
Researcher's Dilemma and the Chosen Level of Significance/Confidence
Power/Sensitivity of Statistical Tests and Designs
Sampling Distributions of Differences Between Pairs of Means
Statistical Significance versus Practical Significance

APPENDICES

INDEX

Note: Each chapter also includes a Review Summary and Review Questions

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Reviews

"This is an interesting book on the 'big picture' of experiments, written by a psychology professor from the University of West Florida. . . This would be a good book to include in a list of additional reading for a graduate or undergraduate statistical consulting course. It would help students gain an appreciation of how the entire process of experimentation is viewed by practitioners, and to focus on the role of statisticians in date collection and analysis."
-Christine M. Anderson-Cook, Virginia Tech

"…beautifully written… The purpose is to provide a vast amount of experimental research knowledge to the reader in a concise, easy-to-read, easy-to-use, yet thorough format. Moreover, the outline format is a tremendously ingenious way of presenting this material. The author undoubtedly has achieved his objectives. …This book was a pleasure to read and review and will be of value - to me in particular. I see this book being the core text for research methodology courses as well as a solid text for researchers in the field. I recommend this book without reservation."

- Nicholas Greco IV, M.S., Abbott Laboratories, in Divine, Inc. (formerly Doody Publishing)