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A Practical Guide to Behavioral Research

Tools and Techniques

Fifth Edition

Robert Sommer and Barbara Sommer

Publication Date - 16 August 2001

ISBN: 9780195142099

400 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


This new edition of Robert Sommer and Barbara Sommer's successful book A Practical Guide to Behavioral Research continues to emphasize a hands-on, multimethod, and interdisciplinary approach to behavioral research in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. It expands the fourth edition's coverage of computer-related research methods and employs an international perspective, presenting general principles and their practical applications. Like previous editions, A Practical Guide to Behavioral Research, 5/e, covers the four major approaches to behavioral research (experimentation, observation, questionnaire, interview) and examines other important methods, including attitude and rating scales, the case study, semantic differential, unobtrusive measures, and the use of personal documents. It provides particularly strong treatment of observational approaches, behavior and cognitive mapping, electronic searches and Internet research, and action research. This revision includes two new chapters stimulated by student interest: Chapter 14, "Action Research," addresses the gap between doing research and having it applied; Chapter 15, "The Big Fuzzies," describes techniques for researching important concepts that are difficult to define and measure.
Written in an accessible, colloquial style, this popular book encourages students to actually do research instead of just learning the concepts and language. Clear descriptions and concrete examples of abstract concepts demystify research and help students think about research procedures in a variety of settings, not just in the laboratory. Ideal for undergraduates in research methods classes, A Practical Guide to Behavioral Research, 5/e, is an invaluable reference for students of communications, education, nursing, design, and business. It is also a useful resource for readers who need reliable information or anyone interested in behavioral studies.

The authors maintain a useful companion website at http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/Sommerr/pg5/.

Previous Publication Date(s)

March 1997

Table of Contents

    1. Multimethod Approach
    2. Ethics in Behaviorial Research
    3. Search the Technical Literature
    4. Observation
    5. Mapping and Trace Measures
    6. Experimentation
    7. Simulation
    8. Interview
    9. The Questionnaire
    10. Attitude and Rating Scales
    11. Content Analysis
    12. Personal Documents and Archival Measures
    13. Case Study
    14. Action Research
    15. The Big Fuzzies: Research on Difficult-to-Define Concepts
    16. Standardized Tests and Inventories
    17. Sampling
    18. Descriptive Statistics
    19. Inferential Statistics
    20. Writing and Reviewing a Research Report
    21. After the Report
    22. Concluding Notes
    Appendix A - E
    Name Index
    Subject Index

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