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PSYC 005: Research Methods Review Sheet: Chapter 12 – Descriptive Statistics


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PSYC 005: Research Methods

Review Sheet: Chapter 12 – Descriptive Statistics

Answer the following items based on the content of chapter 12, “Descriptive Statistics” from your textbook.

1. The standard deviation is a common measure of variability and a statistic that is often reported in research literature. Using your own words based on your understanding of the reading, what is a standard deviation and why is it important to help understand averages?

2. In the section about percentile ranks and z scores , your book describes the importance of z scores. What is a z score? How is it calculated? Why is it important for helping to understand the true meaning of a raw score?

3. Using APA formatting, how would you present the following descriptive statistics in writing? Use complete sentences.

Number of Senior Citizens

Average Age

Amount of dispersion or variation in age




Number of Study Participants Completing the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)

Average Depression Score (BDI)

Amount of dispersion or variation in Depression Score (BDI)




4. For the following dataset 11, 8, 9, 12, 9, 10, 12, 13, 11, 13, 12, 6, 10, 17, 13, 11, 12, 12, 14, 14 do the following:

· create a frequency table,

· transform the frequency table into a histogram,

· compute the mean, median, mode, standard deviation, and range, and

· identify the shape of the dataset.


Research Methods in Psychology

Research Methods in Psychology

4th edition




Research Methods in Psychology by Rajiv S. Jhangiani, I-Chant A. Chiang, Carrie Cuttler, & Dana C. Leighton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

This adaptation constitutes the fourth edition of this textbook, and builds upon the second Canadian edition by Rajiv S. Jhangiani (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and I-Chant A. Chiang (Quest University Canada), the second American edition by Dana C. Leighton (Texas A&M University-Texarkana), and the third American edition by Carrie Cuttler (Washington State University) and feedback from several peer reviewers coordinated by the Rebus Community. This edition is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Acknowledgements ix

About this Book xi

About the Authors of the Current Edition xvi

Preface xviii

Chapter I. The Science of Psychology

1. Methods of Knowing 3

2. Understanding Science 6

3. Goals of Science 10

4. Science and Common Sense 12

5. Experimental and Clinical Psychologists 15

6. Key Takeaways and Exercises 19

Chapter II. Overview of the Scientific Method

7. A Model of Scientific Research in Psychology 25

8. Finding a Research Topic 28

9. Generating Good Research Questions 36

10. Developing a Hypothesis 40

11. Designing a Research Study 45

12. Analyzing the Data 49

13. Drawing Conclusions and Reporting the Results 52

14. Key Takeaways and Exercise 54

Chapter III. Research Ethics

15. Moral Foundations of Ethical Research 59

16. From Moral Principles to Ethics Codes 65

17. Putting Ethics Into Practice 74

18. Key Takeaways and Exercises 79

Chapter IV. Psychological Measurement

19. Understanding Psychological Measurement 83

20. Reliability and Validity of Measurement 92

21. Practical Strategies for Psychological Measurement 99

22. Key Takeaways and Exercises 105

Chapter V. Experimental Research

23. Experiment Basics 109

24. Experimental Design 117

25. Experimentation and Validity 125

26. Practical Considerations 130

27. Key Takeaways and Exercises 138

Chapter VI. Non-Experimental Research

28. Overview of Non-Experimental Research 143

29. Correlational Research 148

30. Complex Correlation 157

31. Qualitative Research 163

32. Observational Research 169

33. Key Takeaways and Exercises 179

Chapter VII. Survey Research

34. Overview of Survey Research 185

35. Constructing Surveys 188

36. Conducting Surveys 198

37. Key Takeaways and Exercises 204

Chapter VIII. Quasi-Experimental Research

38. One-Group Designs 209

39. Non-Equivalent Groups Designs 215

40. Key Takeaways and Exercises 219

Chapter IX. Factorial Designs

41. Setting Up a Factorial Experiment 223

42. Interpreting the Results of a Factorial Experiment 229

43. Key Takeaways and Exercises 238

Chapter X. Single-Subject Research

44. Overview of Single-Subject Research 241

45. Single-Subject Research Designs 244

46. The Single-Subject Versus Group “Debate” 254

47. Key Takeaways and Exercises 259

Chapter XI. Presenting Your Research

48. American Psychological Association (APA) Style 263

49. Writing a Research Report in American Psychological Association (APA) Style 272

50. Other Presentation Formats 287

51. Key Takeaways and Exercises 293

Chapter XII. Descriptive Statistics

52. Describing Single Variables 297

53. Describing Statistical Relationships 309

54. Expressing Your Results 321

55. Conducting Your Analyses 332

56. Key Takeaways and Exercises 337

Chapter XIII. Inferential Statistics

57. Understanding Null Hypothesis Testing 343

58. Some Basic Null Hypothesis Tests 350

59. Additional Considerations 366

60. From the “Replicability Crisis” to Open Science Practices 374

61. Key Takeaways and Exercises 382

Glossary 385

References 417


This textbook represents a labor of love and a deep commitment to students. Each of us had previously worked on adapting, updating, and refining successive editions of this textbook since its initial publication. In coming together to produce this fourth edition collaboratively, we were able to build on our own expertise and classroom experience as well as thoughtful feedback from several peer reviewers.

We would like to thank the Rebus Community, especially Zoe Wake Hyde and Apurva Ashok, for guiding and supporting us through the process of peer review and for building an intellectually supportive and encouraging community of authors and open educators.

We are immensely grateful to our peer reviewers Judy Grissett (Georgia Southwestern State University), Amy Nusbaum (Washington State University), and one additional anonymous reviewer, who volunteered their time and energy to provide valuable suggestions and feedback that improved the quality and consistency of the 4th edition of this book.

Finally, we are grateful to Lana Radomsky for her assistance with formatting and compiling the glossary and references.

Rajiv, Carrie, and Dana (May 2019)

Acknowledgements | ix

Rajiv S. Jhangiani, Carrie Cuttler, & Dana C. Leighton

x | Acknowledgements

About this Book

This textbook is an adaptation of one written by [unnamed original author] and adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee. The original text is available here:

The first Canadian edition (published in 2013) was authored by Rajiv S. Jhangiani (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Revisions included the addition of a table of contents, changes to Chapter 3 (Research Ethics) to include a contemporary example of an ethical breach and to reflect Canadian ethical guidelines and privacy laws, additional information regarding online data collection in Chapter 9 (Survey Research), corrections of errors in the text and formulae, spelling changes from US to Canadian conventions, the addition of a cover page, and other necessary formatting adjustments.

The second Canadian edition (published in 2015) was co-authored by Rajiv S. Jhangiani (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and I-Chant A. Chiang (Quest University Canada) and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Revisions included: (throughout) language revision, spelling & formatting, additional video links and website links, interactive visualizations, figures, tables, and examples; (Chapter 1) the Many Labs Replication Project; (Chapter 2) double-blind peer review, contemporary literature databases, how to read academic papers; (Chapter 3) Canadian ethics; (Chapter 4) laws, effects, theory; (Chapter 5) fuller description of the MMPI, removal of IAT, validity descriptions; (Chapter 6) validity & realism descriptions, Latin Square design; (Chapter 7) Mixed- design studies, qualitative-quantitative debate; (Chapter 8) 2 × 2 factorial exercise; (Chapter 9) Canadian Election Studies, order and open-ended questions; (Chapter 13) p-curve and BASP announcement about banning p-values; “replicability crisis” in psychology; (Glossary) added key terms.

The second U.S. edition (published in 2017) was authored by Dana C. Leighton (Southern Arkansas University) and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Revisions included reversion of spelling from Canadian English to U.S. English and the addition of a cover photo: “Great Wave off Kanagawa” after Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) is public domain.

The third U.S. edition (published in 2017) was authored by Carrie Cuttler (Washington State University) and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Revisions included general reorganization, language revision, spelling, formatting, additional video links, and examples throughout. More specifically, the overall model section was moved from Chapter 1 to Chapter 2, new sections were added to Chapter 1 on methods of knowing and goals of science, and a link on the replication crisis in psychology was added to Chapter 1. Chapter 2 was also reorganized by moving the section on reviewing the research literature to earlier in the chapter and taking sections from Chapter 4 (on theories and hypotheses), moving them to Chapter 2, and cutting the remainder of Chapter 4. Sections of Chapter 2 on correlation were also moved to Chapter 6. New sections on characteristics of good research questions, an overview of experimental vs. non-experimental research, a description of field vs. lab studies, and making conclusions were also added to Chapter 2. Chapter 3 was expanded by adding a definition

About this Book | xi

of anonymity, elaborating on the Belmont Report (the principles of respect for persons and beneficence were added), and adding a link to a clip dispelling the myth that vaccines cause autism. Sections from Chapter 4 (on defining theories and hypotheses) were moved to Chapter 2 and the remainder of the previous Chapter 4 (on phenomenon, theories, and hypotheses) was cut. Chapter 5 was reorganized by moving the sections on four types of validity, manipulation checks, and placebo effects to later in the chapter. Descriptions of single factor two-level designs, single factor multi-level designs, matched-groups designs, order effects, and random counterbalancing were added to Chapter 5 and the concept of statistical validity was expanded upon. Chapter 6 was also reorganized by moving sections describing correlation coefficients from Chapters 2 and 12 to Chapter 6. The section of the book on complex correlation was also moved to Chapter 6 and the section on quasi-experiments was moved from Chapter 6 to its own chapter (Chapter 8). The categories of non-experimental research described in Chapter 6 were change to cross- sectional, correlational, and observational research. Chapter 6 was further expanded to describe cross- sectional studies, partial correlation, simple regression, the use of regression to make predictions, case studies, participant observation, disguised and undisguised observation, and structured observation. The terms independent variable and dependent variable as used in the context of regression were changed to predictor variable and outcome/criterion variable respectively. A distinction between proportionate stratified sampling and disproportionate stratified sampling was added to Chapter 7. The section on quasi- experimental designs was moved to its own chapter (Chapter 8) and was elaborated upon to include instrumentation and testing as threats to internal validity of one-group pretest-posttest designs, and to include sections describing the one-group posttest only design, pretest-posttest nonequivalent groups design, interrupted time-series with nonequivalent groups design, pretest-posttest design with switching replication, and switching replication with treatment removal designs. The section of Chapter 9 on factorial designs was split into two sections and the remainder of the chapter was moved or cut. Further, examples of everyday interactions were added and a description of simple effects was added to Chapter 9. The section on case studies that appeared in Chapter 10 was edited and moved to Chapter 6. Further, labels were added to multiple-baseline across behaviours, settings, and participants designs, and a concluding paragraph on converging evidence was added to Chapter 10. Only minor edits were made to the remaining chapters (Chapters 11, 12, and 13).

This fourth edition (published in 2019) was co-authored by Rajiv S. Jhangiani (Kwantlen Polytechnic University), Carrie Cuttler (Washington State University), and Dana C. Leighton (Texas A&M University—Texarkana) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Revisions throughout the current edition include changing the chapter and section numbering system to better accommodate adaptions that remove or reorder chapters; continued reversion from the Canadian edition; general grammatical edits; replacement of “he/she” to “they” and “his/ her” to “their”; removal or update of dead links; embedded videos that were not embedded; moved key takeaways and exercises from the end of each chapter section to the end of each chapter; a new cover design. In addition, the following revisions were made to specific chapters:

• Chapter 1:

◦ Updated list of empirically supported therapies. • Chapter 2:

◦ Added description of follow-up research by Drews, Pasupathi, and Strayer (2004) demonstrating

xii | About this Book

that cell phone conversations while driving carry a greater risk than conversations with a passenger

◦ Added the term meta-analysis along with a definition of this term ◦ Replaced terms men and women with males and females ◦ Updated the description of the number of records returned with different search terms to a

broader description of the relative number of records (that will not change as more articles are added to PsychINFO)

◦ Replaced the term “operationally define” variables with a more general statement about measuring variables since the term operational definition is not formally defined until later in the text

◦ Added a citation for Zajonc’s (1965) research ◦ Added a brief description of factors (i.e., small sample size, stringent alpha level) that increase the

likelihood of a Type II error. • Chapter 3:

◦ Removed titles of tables in references to tables ◦ Added statement that many people, including children, have died as a result of people avoiding the

MMR vaccine ◦ Added a statement about self-plagiarizing being unethical and provided an example of submitting

the same assignment in multiple classes ◦ Explained the respect for persons principle ◦ Revised the levels of IRB review to match terminology used in federal regulations ◦ Footnotes for references were made actual footnotes in Pressbooks

• Chapter 4:

◦ Removed potentially offensive or stigmatizing examples ◦ Clarified definition of levels of measurement ◦ Added citations for the various scales described ◦ Added further description of why IQ is measured on an interval scale ◦ Added descriptions of the indicators of central tendency that are appropriate to compute and

report for each of the scales of measure (nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio) ◦ Added a paragraph on operationally defining the construct that reviews the process of transferring

a conceptual definition to something that can be directly observed and measured ◦ Added brief description of PsycTESTS and link to these tests ◦ Removed the statement that family and friends can serve as good pilot subjects

• Chapter 5:

◦ Clarified the distinction between independent and dependent variables ◦ Moved up the discussion of a control condition ◦ Briefly discussed research ethics within the description of the study by Guéguen & de Gail (2003) ◦ More clearly defined a power analysis and emphasized the importance of conducting one ◦ Referenced confounds within the discussion of internal validity ◦ Noted that within-subjects experiments require fewer participants ◦ Removed duplicate reference ◦ Added citations ◦ Updated language

About this Book | xiii

• Chapter 6:

◦ Clarified when non-experimental approaches are appropriate ◦ Added information about Milgram’s non-experimental study of obedience to authority ◦ Added a discussion of cross-sectional, longitudinal, and cross-sequential studies ◦ Revised organization of non-experimental approaches ◦ Removed description of experimenter-selected independent variable ◦ Specified types of variables that may be measured in correlational research ◦ Added an example of a correlational study that uses categorical variables ◦ Added a factor analysis table ◦ Listed more examples of nonstatistical data analysis techniques ◦ Added a table to summarize some differences between quantitative and qualitative research ◦ Described some group dynamics and personality characteristics that might influence participation

in focus groups ◦ Discussed Festinger’s research on cognitive dissonance that used disguised participant

observation ◦ Described the Hawthorne effect ◦ Added an example of a study that used structured observation within a laboratory environment

• Chapter 7:

◦ Clarified language concerning data collection methods vs. research designs ◦ Mentioned randomizing the order of presentation of questions as another way of reducing

response order effects ◦ Explained reverse coding ◦ Described additional types of non-probability sampling ◦ Reiterated the importance of conducting a power analysis ◦ Added common online data collection sites

• Chapter 8:

◦ Discussed how the inclusion of a control group rules out threats to internal validity within a o

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