Higher Education

Conducting Research in Psychology: Measuring the Weight of Smoke, 4th Edition

  • Brett W. Pelham National Science Foundation
  • Hart Blanton SUNY, Albany
  • ISBN-10: 0495598194  |  ISBN-13: 9780495598190
  • 512 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2007, 2003, 1999
  • © 2013 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $131.00
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Featuring humor and interesting examples that students can understand and relate to, Brett W. Pelham and Hart Blanton's informative and comprehensive research methods text is one that your students will actually enjoy reading. This brief book includes hands-on activities that involve learning by doing, methodology exercises that encourage students to use their intuition to understand research methods, and methodology problems that teach students to apply basic research principles to novel problems.

Features and Benefits

  • With an emphasis on survey research, the text explores both experimental and non-experimental methods, effectively demonstrating authentic research techniques in action.
  • Two Appendices of methodology exercises and hands-on activities teach students to use their intuition to understand research methods and to learn by doing. For example, the Repeated Measures Design exercise in Appendix 2 shows students the benefits and drawbacks of having subjects participate in several conditions of a study as built-in controls. Other activities focusing on such topics as random assignment, statistical interactions, and regression to the mean help students develop insight into common methodological problems and solutions.
  • An Appendix on describing the results of statistical analysis and a chapter on writing effective research reports ensure that students understand current APA style.
  • Topics covered include experimenter ethics, the nature of confounds, noise and artifacts, correlation methodology, and the logic of discovery.
  • CONDUCTING RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY includes a wealth of humorous stories and anecdotes that illustrate basic research principles. For example, Chapter 1, "How Do We Know?" includes a story about measuring the weight of smoke, which immediately captures students' interest.
  • Discussions of classic studies and current research practices are evenly balanced in the text.
  • Authors Pelham and Blanton offer practical tips for writing clear, concise, and coherent research papers that effectively demonstrate the logic of the research design.
  • Important definitions are bold-faced throughout the text to help students identify key terms.

Table of Contents

1. How Do We Know?
2. How Do We Find Out? The Logic, Art, and Ethics of Scientific Discovery.
3. Moving from Fact to Truth: Validity, Reliability, and Measurement.
4. Moving from Notions to Numbers: Psychological Measurement.
5. How Do We Misinterpret? Common Threats to Validity.
6. Nonexperimental Research Designs.
7. Experience Carefully Planned: Experimental Research Designs.
8. Experience Carefully Exploited: Quasi-Experimental Research Designs.
9. Choosing the Right Research Design.
10. A Brief Course in Statistics.
11. Telling the World About It.
12. Putting It All Together: Maximizing Validity with Multi-Method (and Highly Creative) Research.
13. Putting Your Knowledge to Work: 20 Methodology Problems.
Appendix 1. Hands-On Activities.
Appendix 2. Methodology Exercises.
Appendix 3. How to Describe the Results of Statistical Analyses.
Appendix 4. XXX-Box: The Effect of Sexualized Video Games on Players' Rape Supportive Responses.

What's New

  • A new chapter, "Putting It All Together: Maximizing Validity with Multi-Method (and Highly Creative) Research" (Chapter 12), emphasizes the increasing reliance on multi-method approaches to research.
  • Updated examples of contemporary research are presented throughout the text.
  • A new Appendix, "XXX-Box: The Effect of Sexualized Video Games on Players' Rape Supportive Responses," has been added.

Alternate Formats

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  • Cengage Advantage Series

    ISBN-10: 1133588050 | ISBN-13: 9781133588054

    List Price = $120.95  | CengageBrain Price = $120.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $90.75


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

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Instructor Supplements

ExamView® (Windows/Macintosh)  (ISBN-10: 0495598224 | ISBN-13: 9780495598220)

Quickly create customized tests that can be delivered in print or online. ExamView® contains all of the Test Bank questions in electronic format, and its simple "what you see is what you get" interface allows you to easily generate tests of up to 250 items.

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1285184610 | ISBN-13: 9781285184616)

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Brett W. Pelham

BRETT PELHAM grew up as the second of six children near the small town of Rossville, Georgia. Brett received his B.S. from Berry College in 1983 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. He wrote the first edition of this book while working as an associate professor at UCLA, and he is currently a program officer in social psychology at the National Science Foundation. The bulk of his research focuses on automatic social judgment and self-evaluation. He teaches courses in social psychology, research methods, statistics, social cognition, and the self-concept. In his spare time, he enjoys juggling, sculpting, listening to alternative rock music, cooking, and traveling. His two favorite activities while completing the latest revision of this textbook (in late July of 2011) were spending time with his 2.9-year-old daughter Brooklyn and his 8.5-year-old son Lincoln. Along with his wife LJ Pelham, he is co-inventor of the recently released card game PRIME. Along with his son Lincoln, he is co-inventor of the soon-to-be released card game Cliff-Hanger. Along with his daughter Brooklyn, he is coinventor of the not-so-soon-to-be-released card game It’s a Hat. You Like It? His most recent writing project is a novel tentatively entitled Elvis 2.0, which focuses on problems associated with the apparent resurrection of Elvis Presley.

Hart Blanton

HART BLANTON grew up as the second of three children in a small town in Appalachian Virginia. Hart received his B.A. from Virginia Tech in 1990 and received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1994. He worked on the second edition of this book while at SUNY, Albany, and the third edition while at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the fourth edition while at the University of Connecticut. The bulk of his research is on social influence and social communication. He has taught courses in research methods, social psychology, statistics, the self, social comparison, and social influence. Most recently, he has become interested in what he terms “negative psychology.” This he conceptualizes as the formal study of social structural and individual emotional factors that lead people to die before their time. He hopes to finish his work on this new research area very quickly because, well, one never knows.