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Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology, Fifth Edition

Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology, Fifth Edition [Kindle Edition]

Hugh Coolican
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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'This is an excellent book. It covers the topic well but in simple language. I am going to recommend it to all of my students'.

(Abbygail Shrubb, Lecturer, University Centre at Blackburn College, UK 2011-12-02)

Product Description

This fifth edition of Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology has been revised and updated, providing students with the most readable and comprehensive survey of research methods, statistical concepts and procedures in psychology today.

The book assumes no prior knowledge, taking you through every stage of your research project in manageable steps. Advice on planning and conducting studies, analysing data and writing up practical reports is given, and examples provided, as well as advice on how to report results in conventional (APA) style.

Unlike other introductory texts, there is discussion of commonly misunderstood concepts such as ecological validity, the null hypothesis and the role of cross-cultural psychology studies. Qualitative research is included in the central research methods chapters as well as being highlighted in specialist chapters which cover content analysis, grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), narrative analysis, discourse analysis and how to tackle a qualitative research project.

The book provides clear coverage of statistical procedures, and includes everything needed at undergraduate level from nominal level tests to multi-factorial ANOVA designs, multiple regression and log linear analysis. In addition, the book provides detailed and illustrated SPSS instructions (updated to version 16) for all statistical procedures, including data entry and interpreting output, thus eliminating the need for an extra SPSS textbook.

Each chapter contains a glossary, key terms and newly integrated exercises, ensuring that key concepts are understood. A companion website ( provides additional exercises, revision flash cards, links to further reading and data for use with SPSS.

The bestselling research methods text for almost two decades, Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology remains an invaluable resource for students of psychology throughout their studies.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT 7 Jan 2002
I have had to read many books to understand statistics at University. This is an excellent book for those beginning stats, in fact the best I've ever bought. The tables can be a bit difficult to read, however, it is explained in such easy terms, and is very humourous and well-written. It really made sense of stats for me
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extensive, but a little annoying at times 18 Jan 2003
This is a pretty good introduction to statistics, especially for complete beginners. I had to buy it for a course, and at first wasn't too impressed with it, primarily because of the writing style. The author keeps the tone very light and says many jokes and funny things, which never bothered me. What did irritate me was that he also has a tendency to really "dumb-down" everything, to the point where you feel like it has been written for younger students, rather than university students (which I gather it sort of was).
However, I figured out after working my way through the course that the text is actually pretty good: it covers several statistical tests that other texts skip. Tests detailed include: binomial sign test, Chi-square, Wilcoxon matched pairs signed ranks, Mann-Whitney U, Wilcoxon rank sum, t test, Pearson's correlation, Spearman's rho, regression (including multiple), Kruskal-Wallis, Jonkheere trend, Friedman, Page trend, ANOVA (one-way, two-way, more-than-two-way, unrelated and related), MANOVA, ANCOVA. It also covers the design of experiments in detail. And the author really does make an effort to explain everything fully, for readers who have neither a statistical background nor even a strong maths background. It serves as a really good reference, even if reading it is a bit painful.
In short, I doubt this is the best statistics book out there, but it is the best statistics reference book I've seen yet. So I would recommend it if you are starting from scratch. But if you are comfortable with maths or even basic statistics, I wouldn't bother this book, as I'm sure you'll find it as irritating to read as I did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By T. Swan
While this book is an easy read, and will suit those of a less numerical disposition, it won't suit everyone. I am not overly numerical in my thinking, but even I thought the "writing for novices" style was overdone. How dumb does he think people reading this book will be? He appears to assume a primary school level of maths ability. It was almost like the author was talking down to me in a condescending way at times.

In relation, there was too much repetition of key points, and too many examples of those points. I would often understand a point in the first sentence, which is a credit to Coolican's explanatory style, but 3 paragraphs and two example-boxes later I am still reading the same thing and thinking "Alright! i get it already!". Not being concise enough was a big downfall here, as it is in many books, which could be attributed to authors thinking more of the page-count than the readers time.

However, the ease of reading and the "sympathetic" style made it possible to grasp the key points without going back and reading them again.

I don't appreciate doing the exercises at the end of the chapters, only to come to the answers and read "there is no answer to this question", which just means the author couldn't be bothered with one. If you think it's a worthy question, then you must be able to produce a worthy answer, even if it's one possible answer from many, or a general or ambigious one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Research methods and statistics in psychology 19 Oct 2003
By Natalie
When this arrived I was lost on my first psychology report, the easy to follow instructions helped me through. I will continue to let it guide me and recommend it to all other psychology students.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but needs a proofreader 13 Aug 2011
The opening chapters in particular are very clear and effective, using humour and anecdote to lead the reader step by step into the deeper complexities of the subject. Sometimes he becomes a little irritatingly opinionated as to the right way to do things and the failings of other teachers, and he appears to have little sympathy for the avant-garde of qualitative research. The biggest problem, though, is that proofreading seems to have fallen off in my edition (2009), with some sloppy punctuation and inaccurate cross-references. I feel that his explanatory zeal rather runs out of steam when it comes to the nitty-gritty of statistical tests.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stats for psychology 14 Oct 2010
By deecee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very clear and straight forward book which explains the concepts in a language that the novice to the experienced can follow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent book for A level GCE and degree level Psychology - and probably for other subjects as well. It provides clear descriptions and explanations of methods for a wide variety of research, quantitative and qualitative. Examples are given and these are helpful for the struggling student. Rather than being a 'dry' book, Coolican manages to inject some humour and keep the interest going, even for students who are reluctant to get involved with statistics and other aspects of research. This is the best book I have found for this subject; it is very helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 10 July 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This has everything you need to get your head round research methods. One tiny criticism - it good do with a bit of colour to cheer the pages up.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
A helpful book, if you're like me and need all the help you can get then this might just get you through
Published 5 months ago by Ribena berry
5.0 out of 5 stars very useful
This book has helped me so much throughout my degree and has been especially useful in my 4th year as I do my dissertation project. Read more
Published 5 months ago by becccci
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
This book is essential to anyone interested in research!
It is beneficial for all types of research, whether psychology or educational research, since it comprises comon... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Terim Erdemlier
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
This is ok for Y1 in psychology, but in Psychology Y2 i get more information from lectures and seminars to be honest.
Published 7 months ago by Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars A good university level text
I'm not a fan of research methods in the least - but this book makes the concepts much easier to understand than other texts I've battled with. Read more
Published 9 months ago by red_fish8
4.0 out of 5 stars Good.
The book I received was exactly as the seller described it. However, I don't love it as I dislike how dull it is considering research methods and statistics in psychology is rather... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars Research methods and Statistics in Psychology
just what I needed, hoping to start a BA(HONS) and this will help me along the way. Thanks, I imagine it will keep me busy
Published 12 months ago by meshiel brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Studies made easy!
I am studying Psychology in Education. Research Methods will be a large part of my studies this book will really help!
Published 12 months ago by Vida Mainoo
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Useful
For someone who loathes research methods, this book proved to be more than a doorstop. It was very useful and easy to follow, meaning that the content was actually understandable. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Chez
5.0 out of 5 stars As A Psychology Student..
This book has been incredibly helpful, detailed instructions on how to carry out experimental methods and how to interpret SPSS output. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Eilidh McDowall
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