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Principles and Methods of Social Research

3rd Edition

By William D. Crano, Marilynn B. Brewer, Andrew Lac

Routledge – 2015 – 600 pages

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    September 11th 2014
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    September 11th 2014
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Used to train generations of social scientists, this thoroughly updated classic text covers the latest research techniques and designs. Through a multi-methodology approach, the text guides readers toward the design and conduct of social research from the ground up. Explained with applied examples useful to the social, behavioral, educational, and organizational sciences, the methods described are intended to be relevant to contemporary researchers.

Applauded for its comprehensive coverage, the breadth and depth of content is unparalleled.The underlying logic and mechanics of experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental research strategies are discussed in detail. Introductory chapters covering topics such as validity and reliability furnish readers with a firm understanding of foundational concepts. Chapters dedicated to sampling, interviewing, questionnaire design, stimulus scaling, observational methods, content analysis, implicit measures, dyadic and group methods, and meta-analysis provide coverage of these essential methodologies

Principles and Methods of Social Research is noted for its:

-Emphasis on understanding the principles that govern the use of a method to facilitate the researcher’s choice of the best technique for a given situation.

- Use of the laboratory experiment as a touchstone to describe and evaluate field experiments, correlational designs, quasi experiments, evaluation studies, and survey designs.

-Coverage of the ethics of social research including the power a researcher wields and tips on how to use it responsibly.

The new edition features:

-A new co-author, Andrew Lac, instrumental in fine tuning the book’s accessible approach and highlighting the most recent developments at the intersection of design and statistics.

-More learning tools including more explanation of the basic concepts, more research examples, tables, and figures, and the addition of bold faced terms, chapter conclusions, discussion questions, and a glossary.

-Extensive revision of chapter (3) on measurement reliability theory that examines test theory, latent factors, factor analysis, and item response theory.

-Expanded coverage of cutting-edge methodologies including mediation and moderation, reliability and validity, missing data, and more physiological approaches such as neuroimaging and fMRIs.

-A new web based resource package that features Power Points and a test bank for each chapter and additional readings.

Intended as a text for graduate or advanced undergraduate courses in research methods (design) in psychology, communication, sociology, education, public health, and marketing, an introductory course on research methods is recommended.


"The depth of understanding in research methodology provided in this book is second to none. I used this book as a graduate student, and when I started teaching graduate students I found that no other text provided the amount of detail required at the graduate level. … I have (and will for as long as it’s in print) be using this text in Basic and Applied Research Methods …a graduate course for students in our counseling psychology MA program. …I am ecstatic that a new edition might be published."Joseph A. Camilleri, Westfield State University, USA

"I have been using this book as my primary text for Res Methods, which is a first-year graduate (PhD) course for our Clinical, Developmental and Psychometrics programs. I have been very happy with the book. … It provides foundation material at the appropriate level for an introductory graduate course. …The proposed changes will make for an even stronger book. …My students like the book and find it accessible yet informative. … I would recommend it to colleagues (and already do). The book has a great balance between coverage and depth and serves my purposes well for an introductory graduate Research methods course in Psychology."Tiffany Yip, Fordham University, USA

"I feel positively about the proposed changes. … These changes will make the book a better teaching tool. … This book can be used for a graduate level research proposal or methods class. …This book will definitely fit psychology, human development, and education graduate programs."Wen-Pin Chang, Creighton University, USA, permission to quote


Part 1: Introduction to Social Research Methods 1. Basic Concepts 2. Internal and External Validity 3. Measurement Reliability 4. Measurement Validity Part 2: Research Design Strategies: Experiments, Quasi-experiments, and Non-experiments 5. Designing Experiments: Variations on the Basics 6. Constructing LaboratoryExperiments 7.External Validity of Laboratory Experiments 8. Conducting Experiments outside the Laboratory 9.Nonexperimental Research: Correlational Design and Analyses 10.Quasi-Experiments and Evaluation Research Part 3: Data Collecting Methods 11. Survey Studies: Design and Sampling 12. Systematic Observational Methods 13. Interviewing 14. Content Analysis 15. Questionnaire Design and Scale Construction 16. Implicit Measures of Cognition and Affect 17. Scaling Stimuli: Social Psychophysics 18. Methods for Assessing Dyads and Groups Part 4: Concluding Perspectives 19.Synthesizing Research Results: Meta-Analysis 20. Social Responsibility and Ethics in Social Research

Author Bio

William D. Crano is the Oskamp Distinguished Chair and Head of the Department of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University.

Marilynn B. Brewer is Professor Emeritus from the Ohio State University and a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of New South Wales.

Andrew Lac is Research Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University.

Name: Principles and Methods of Social Research: 3rd Edition (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By William D. Crano, Marilynn B. Brewer, Andrew Lac. Used to train generations of social scientists, this thoroughly updated classic text covers the latest research techniques and designs. Through a multi-methodology approach, the text guides readers toward the design and conduct of social research from...
Categories: Experimental Design & Research Methods, Research Methods - Soc. Policy, Communication Research Methods, Social Psychology, Research Methods in Education