NOTE: This book should be back in stock on October 16, 2015.

Could the research you read be fundamentally flawed? Could crucial effects in methodology slip by you undetected? To become an informed, interactive consumer of research, you may need an attitude adjustment: from acceptance to inquiry, from reverence to skepticism. Critical Thinking About Research: Psychology and Related Fields equips you with those tools needed to identify errors in others' research and to reduce them to a minimum in your own work.

Table of Contents



I. Principles

  1. Critical Reading
  2. Research Questions and Hypotheses
  3. Research Strategies and Variables
  4. The Sample
  5. Confounding Variables and Their Control
  6. Research Designs and Threats to Internal Validity
  7. Criteria and Criteria Measures
  8. Data Analysis, Discussion, and Conclusions
  9. Research Ethics


II. Practice Articles


  1. Use of Counselor Street Talk to Stimulate Self-Disclosure of Inner-City Youths
    —Consuela Eusis-Lang and Anita Reveles
  2. Treatment of Flying Phobia: Comparative Efficacy of Two Behavioral Methods
    —Marcel Beauchamp, Muriel D. Greenfield, and Luca Campobello
  3. The Effect of Divorce on Sons' Aggression
    —Bernard D. Partes and Junior Fites
  4. Dyslexia in Fifth-Grade Girls: Personality and Perceptual Factors
    —Jane Kent-Reid and John E. Duzzent
  5. Time Estimation: Effect of Depression and Pleasantness or Unpleasantness of an Experience
    —Jane Malheure and Anthony R. Bontiempo
  6. Bossiness in First-Born Girls
    —Beverly Capofiglia
  7. Effect of Context Upon Accuracy of Recall of Affective Experiences
    —Rhea Kahl and I. K. Ferguson
  8. Effect of Medication and Cognitive Behavior Therapy on Insomnia
    —Eleuthra Gaye-Schloffen and Sam Nussbaum
  9. Midlife Crises of Men at Age 50
    —Richard Mennatt, Morris Tuskor, and Jonathan Anten
  10. Effect of Job Stress and Stress Management on Low Back Pain
    —Jeb Strauss and Laura Bakke
  11. Evaluation of Health Maintenance Organizations
    —Harlan M. Oberlin and Pauline P. Olmstead
  12. Effects of Jury Selection Consultation on Trial Outcome
    —Matthew Vawwar and Jacob P. Deere
  13. Contingency Reinforcement in the Treatment of Talking Aloud to Self
    —Earl Singleton, Janet Kase, Paul Enoff, and Enrico Juan
  14. The Effect of Race of Examiner on IQ Scores of Native Americans
    —Frederick B. Whyte and Cheryl Key
  15. Social Effects of Tax Deadline
    —Sam Levy and John Q. Hertz
  16. Comparative Effectiveness of Teacher Management Styles in a Fifth Grade Classroom
    —Madeleine Furman and Eva Marie Loos




About the Author

Reviews & Awards

Meltzoff applies an innovative approach to what many students consider a difficult, tedious subject and produces a readable, even entertaining, text on the basics of understanding, interpreting, and critiquing research design and methodology…Meltzoff addresses the need to be an astute consumer of research through a book that provides the reader with research knowledge and then opportunities to apply that knowledge using their critical thinking skills as they do research-critiquing exercises…the text is well planned and written in an interesting, entertaining style that may be useful in motivating students who are timorous about learning research and statistics. By combing fundamental content, contained in the first section of the book, with process exercises, the practice articles in the second part for developing research-critiquing skills, the text holds promise to produce good results. And, if Meltzoff's hypothesis is correct, the increase in research-critiquing skills should translate into increased critical thinking ability.
—Rehabilitation Education: Official Journal of The National Council on Rehabilitation Education, Vol. 13, No. 2

A lively writing style and highly relevant material combine to make this book a winner. Dedicated completion of its contents will result in you becoming an excellent consumer of psychological research. If sufficient individuals are motivated to take this work seriously, the result should be a general increase in research quality.
—Eye on Psi Chi, Winter 1998

This is truly a masterful piece of work. It is scholarly, broad ranging, and well thought through as a didactic effort. The research examples at the end are ingenious and creative.
—Jerome L. Singer, Department of Psychology, Yale University

This is an excellent book for teaching college students—or anyone else, for that matter—how to be smart when it comes to interpreting other people's research. It is well thought out and filled with useful examples that illustrate how fuzzy thinking can lead to incorrect conclusions.
—Lawrence Kutner, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and columnist, Parents Magazine

Meltzoff challenges consumers, researchers, and reviewers to engage in an interactive dialogue with scientific literature. His book is a manual for developing critical thinking skills transferable to all arenas of professional psychology. Students and psychologists at all levels will benefit from reinforcing their critical mindset and applying these critiquing tools.
—Shane J. Lopez, Chair of the APA Graduate Students subcommittee on Internship and Training Issues

This book can be used independently or as an adjunct to a methods course for any "individual who reads and assesses research" (p. xii)…The book is engagingly written by an experienced researcher and teacher.
—Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1998, Vol 86, p. 351