Becoming a Behavioral Science Researcher

Second Edition
A Guide to Producing Research That Matters

Rex B. Kline

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November 12, 2019
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Acclaimed for helping novice behavioral scientists hit the ground running as producers of meaningful research, this text now has been extensively revised with more than 50% new material, including current guidance on open science; transparency; replication; and quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods reporting standards. The book provides the conceptual knowledge and practical skills needed to bridge the gap between introductory research design and analysis courses and execution of an independent study. In a candid, conversational style, Rex B. Kline guides the reader to choose appropriate research designs and analysis options; avoid common fallacies in interpreting the outcomes of statistical tests; make informed measurement choices; screen data for problems that could yield inaccurate results; and craft effective theses, journal articles, and presentations. Revised pedagogical features include engaging examples from published studies and student theses, as well as end-of-chapter exercises with answers.

New to This Edition

“An extremely flexible resource that can be used in a variety of classes….Because of Kline's wonderfully comprehensive work, the book is an easy reference for all researchers looking for more modern approaches to research design and analysis. Even the most informed psychologist is likely to learn something by reading this book....A superb resource for students and teachers alike....It would enhance any psychology curriculum and help the students of today become first-rate researchers of tomorrow.”

PsycCRITIQUES (on the first edition)


“This could easily be a standalone book for a course or seminar as well as a supplemental text for any graduate or advanced level course in research methods....I love this book.”

Doody's Review Service (on the first edition)


“Recommended. Graduate students through researchers and faculty.”

Choice Reviews (on the first edition)


“This book is perfect for upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level thesis students. Kline takes the next step in treating psychology as a science. He argues for thoughtful, rigorous, and transparent research, because it will make our knowledge base more reproducible. He argues for effect size estimation taking precedence over significance testing, because a mature science asks not 'Yes or no?,' but rather 'How much?' I know of no other intermediate-level text that places front and center the need to register and replicate research, to prepare reports using disciplinary guidelines, and to share data. It is wonderful to see these developments making their way into a text meant to teach the fundamentals of research design and analysis. This is truly a new book for a new time.”

—Harris M. Cooper, PhD, Hugo L. Blomquist Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University


“An outstanding book is now even better! In the decade since the first edition, we’ve seen the replication crisis and, in reply, the rise of open science. Researchers now need a deep understanding of preregistration, replication, the new statistics, the dangers of p hacking, and much, much more. Kline once again speaks with great authority and clarity in providing the ideal guide for beginning researchers finding their way in a rapidly changing research world. Every graduate student and postdoc in psychology needs this book as a constant companion. It will also be of great value for education and other social and behavioral sciences.”

—Geoff Cumming, DPhil, Professor Emeritus, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia


“This book is different in that it bridges the gap between how research methods are traditionally taught and how they are put into practice. As such, it can help researchers apply the concepts they are learning about. I applaud the updated coverage of qualitative studies and the practical information about what researchers should know about significance testing. This information fills in concepts that are sometimes missing in graduate research education.”

—Julie Peterson Combs, EdD, Department of Educational Leadership, Sam Houston State University


“Kline’s writing is excellent and entertaining. In the second edition, the chapter on research crises is excellent and much needed, and the open-science chapter provides great database resources for students. I use this book as a supplemental text in my classes and recommend it to colleagues.”

—Craig D. Marker, PhD, Department of Clinical Psychology, Mercer University


“This excellent resource supports students' evolving understanding of the planning, implementation, and analysis of independent research. For example, the chapter on analysis leads readers through a step-by-step process of thinking about their data. I recommend Kline’s book for both class use and independent honors, master’s thesis, and dissertation guidance. It is a 'must read' for my students at all levels.”

—Diana P. F. Montague, PhD, Department of Psychology, La Salle University

Table of Contents

I. Promise and Problems

1. Introduction sample

2. Research Trinity: Design, Measurement, and Analysis

3. Crises

II. Remedies

4. Reporting Standards: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Research

5. Open Science

6. Statistics Reform

Appendix 6.A. Significance Testing Glossary

7. Effect Size

Appendix 7.A. Source Tables for Two Factorial Examples

8. Psychometrics

III. Skills

9. Practical Data Analysis

10. Writing

11. Presentations

Appendix 11.A. Example Thesis Student Slideshow

Appendix 11.B. Example Handout


About the Author

Rex B. Kline, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Concordia University in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Since earning a doctorate in clinical psychology, he has conducted research on the psychometric evaluation of cognitive abilities, behavioral and scholastic assessment of children, structural equation modeling, training of researchers, statistics reform in the behavioral sciences, and usability engineering in computer science. Dr. Kline has published a number of chapters and journal articles in these areas. His books include Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling, Fourth Edition, and Becoming a Behavioral Science Researcher, Second Edition.

Audience

Early-career behavioral scientists; students in psychology, human development, family studies, education, sociology, social work, nursing, public health, and management.

Course Use

Serves as a core book or supplement in advanced undergraduate-level courses such as the Honors Thesis or as a supplement in graduate-level courses such as the Master's Thesis or Research Methods.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2009
ISBN: 9781593858377
New to this edition: