posted September 2, 2002

Research Methods in Psychology in 6th Edition

Not only producers but also "consumers" of research are intended to benefit from"Research Methods in Psychology," a textbook co-authored by Dr. John Shaughnessy of the Hope College faculty and recently published in a sixth edition.

"We recognize that most students in our classes will be consumers of research and not producers of research," Shaughnessy and his co-authors, Gene and Jeanne Zechmeister of the psychology faculty at Loyola University of Chicago, Ill., note in their preface. "Students who choose to take on either role will benefit from developing critical thinking skills. We believe that we can best help our students think critically by taking a problem-solving approach to the study of research methods."

The textbook provides up-to-date explanations of how psychologists pose questions, execute studies, analyze data and interpret their findings. In the new edition, Shaughnessy and his co-authors liken the scientific process to the criminal justice process.

"Detectives can know the excitement of discovering a critical piece of evidence. Prosecuting attorneys can know the satisfaction of bringing a guilty person to justice, and defense attorneys can prevent a miscarriage of justice. Judges and juries bear the responsibility for discovering the truth," they write in the preface. "Research psychologists play all these roles as they search for evidence, make the case, and render verdicts about what principles of behavior and mental processes are true."

The book is published by McGraw-Hill Inc. of New York, N.Y. Since the first edition appeared in 1985, "Research Methods in Psychology" has been used at many colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. The textbook has been praised by adopters for the clarity of its writing style, its logical organization and depth of coverage, and the wide variety of examples from different fields of psychology.

Shaughnessy is a professor of psychology at Hope. He joined the college's faculty in 1975 after completing the B.S. degree at Loyola University of Chicago in 1969 and his doctorate at Northwestern University in 1972. He is also co-author, with Benton J. Underwood, of "Experimentation in Psychology" (Wiley, 1975) and of "Essentials of Research Methods of Psychology," with Jeanne and Gene Zechmeister (McGraw-Hill, 2001).

He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society whose recent research has focused on practical aspects of memory. He served as chair of the college's department of psychology from the spring of 1997 until the fall of 2000. The college's graduating class selected him as the college's "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" in 1992.