100 books like Research Methods in Psychology

By Beth Morling,

Here are 100 books that Research Methods in Psychology fans have personally recommended if you like Research Methods in Psychology. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth

Gary Smith Author Of Distrust: Big Data, Data-Torturing, and the Assault on Science

From my list on science’s eroding reputation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the Fletcher Jones Professor of Economics at Pomona College. I started out as a macroeconomist but, early on, discovered stats and stocks—which have long been fertile fields for data torturing and data mining. My book, Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics is a compilation of a variety of dubious and misleading statistical practices. More recently, I have written several books on AI, which has a long history of overpromising and underdelivering because it is essentially data mining on steroids. No matter how loudly statisticians shout correlation is not causation, some will not hear.

Gary's book list on science’s eroding reputation

Gary Smith Why did Gary love this book?

Ritchie was part of a team that attempted to replicate a famous study led by a prominent psychologist, Daryl Bem, claiming that people did better on a word memorization test if they studied the words after taking the test.

Ritchie and his co-authors attempted to replicate this study and found no evidence supporting Bem’s claim. This is but one example of a scientific crisis in that attempts to replicate influential studies published in top peer-reviewed journals fail nearly half the time. Ritchie explains and illustrates the reasons for the current replication crisis in science.

By Stuart Ritchie,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Science Fictions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An insider’s view of science reveals why many scientific results cannot be relied upon – and how the system can be reformed.

Science is how we understand the world. Yet failures in peer review and mistakes in statistics have rendered a shocking number of scientific studies useless – or, worse, badly misleading. Such errors have distorted our knowledge in fields as wide-ranging as medicine, physics, nutrition, education, genetics, economics, and the search for extraterrestrial life. As Science Fictions makes clear, the current system of research funding and publication not only fails to safeguard us from blunders but actively encourages bad…


Book cover of Beyond Significance Testing

Geoff Cumming Author Of Introduction to the New Statistics: Estimation, Open Science, and Beyond

From my list on open science better research with better statistics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I gradually shifted my statistics teaching from significance testing — traditional but bamboozling — to estimation (confidence intervals), which I called "the new statistics" because, although not new, relying on it would, for many researchers, be very new. It’s more informative, makes sense, and is a pleasure to teach and use. I "retired" to write Understanding the New Statistics. Then Open Science arrived—hooray! Robert Calin-Jageman joined me for an intro textbook with Open Science and The New Statistics all through. Our first edition came out in 2017. The second edition has wonderful new open-source software (‘esci’), which is also ideal for more advanced students and researchers. Enjoy!

Geoff's book list on open science better research with better statistics

Geoff Cumming Why did Geoff love this book?

You may have heard of ‘significance testing,’ and the magical ‘p < .05,’ which somehow makes a research result ‘significant,’ which is often taken as (almost) ‘true.’ Even if you haven’t heard of all that, Kline explains clearly why significance testing has been disastrous for science, leading to misleading conclusions and much valuable research not even being reported.

He draws on my work to explain how ‘the new statistics’ (estimation) is a much better way to understand results. The first chapter is fairly easy to read. Later chapters are also terrific but get more technical as Kline explains lots of ways to do things better. As I’m quoted on the back cover, “Read this book and see the future!” Happily, the future is increasingly looking as Kline recommended.

By Rex B. Kline,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond Significance Testing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traditional education in statistics that emphasises significance testing leaves researchers and students ill prepared to understand what their results really mean. Specifically, most researchers and students who do not have strong quantitative backgrounds have difficulty understanding outcomes of statistical tests.

As more and more people become aware of this problem, the emphasis on statistical significance in the reporting of results is declining. Increasingly, researchers are expected to describe the magnitudes and precisions of their findings and also their practical, theoretical, or clinical significance.

This accessibly written book reviews the controversy about significance testing, which has now crossed various disciplines as…


Book cover of The Design of Experiments in Neuroscience

Geoff Cumming Author Of Introduction to the New Statistics: Estimation, Open Science, and Beyond

From my list on open science better research with better statistics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I gradually shifted my statistics teaching from significance testing — traditional but bamboozling — to estimation (confidence intervals), which I called "the new statistics" because, although not new, relying on it would, for many researchers, be very new. It’s more informative, makes sense, and is a pleasure to teach and use. I "retired" to write Understanding the New Statistics. Then Open Science arrived—hooray! Robert Calin-Jageman joined me for an intro textbook with Open Science and The New Statistics all through. Our first edition came out in 2017. The second edition has wonderful new open-source software (‘esci’), which is also ideal for more advanced students and researchers. Enjoy!

Geoff's book list on open science better research with better statistics

Geoff Cumming Why did Geoff love this book?

Another research design textbook, this one more specifically about neuroscience. My co-author, neuroscientist Robert Calin-Jageman, highly recommends it.

This third edition has clear and up-to-date discussions of issues such as p hacking and publication bias that emphasise the need for Open Science. There’s a focus on effect sizes and confidence intervals, as in the new statistics. The book also describes strategies needed to enhance the rigor and reproducibility of neuroscience research.

By Mary E. Harrington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Design of Experiments in Neuroscience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Using engaging prose, Mary E. Harrington introduces neuroscience students to the principles of scientific research including selecting a topic, designing an experiment, analyzing data, and presenting research. This new third edition updates and clarifies the book's wealth of examples while maintaining the clear and effective practical advice of the previous editions. New and expanded topics in this edition include techniques such as optogenetics and conditional transgenes as well as a discussion of rigor and reproducibility in neuroscience research. Extended coverage of descriptive and inferential statistics arms readers with the analytical tools needed to interpret data. Throughout, practical guidelines are provided…


Book cover of A Student's Guide to Open Science: Using the Replication Crisis to Reform Psychology

Geoff Cumming Author Of Introduction to the New Statistics: Estimation, Open Science, and Beyond

From my list on open science better research with better statistics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I gradually shifted my statistics teaching from significance testing — traditional but bamboozling — to estimation (confidence intervals), which I called "the new statistics" because, although not new, relying on it would, for many researchers, be very new. It’s more informative, makes sense, and is a pleasure to teach and use. I "retired" to write Understanding the New Statistics. Then Open Science arrived—hooray! Robert Calin-Jageman joined me for an intro textbook with Open Science and The New Statistics all through. Our first edition came out in 2017. The second edition has wonderful new open-source software (‘esci’), which is also ideal for more advanced students and researchers. Enjoy!

Geoff's book list on open science better research with better statistics

Geoff Cumming Why did Geoff love this book?

Charlotte Pennington eagerly started her PhD but became anxious and depressed when her experiments "didn’t work’" and were refused publication. She read about the replication crisis — many published studies won’t replicate—and Open Science. Soon, it was her passion to teach about Open Science and what’s needed to achieve efficient research and trustworthy research literature.

The result is A Student’s Guide to Open Science. It’s short, clear, and highly readable. She’s well-informed and covers the story in engaging detail. There are practical guides to using Open Science practices and numerous links to follow as you wish. Statistical issues are mentioned but are not her focus.

By Charlotte Pennington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Student's Guide to Open Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Dr Charlotte R. Pennington has pulled off a remarkable trifecta of being clear, concise, and comprehensive in covering the origins of the open science movement and practical advice for adopting the behaviors"

Professor Brian Nosek, Executive Director, Center for Open Science; University of Virginia, US

"My hope is that every psychology student will finish their degree with a heavily annotated, well-thumbed copy of this important and timely book!"

Dr Madeleine Pownall, University of Leeds, UK

"This book should be on the reading list for all university science degrees and on all library bookshelves. It is concise, accessible, and remarkably interactive,…


Book cover of The Seven Deadly Sins of Psychology: A Manifesto for Reforming the Culture of Scientific Practice

Rick Szostak Author Of Integrating the Human Sciences: Enhancing Progress and Coherence across the Social Sciences and Humanities

From my list on reforming the social sciences and humanities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am proud to be a human (social) scientist but think that we could collectively achieve a much more successful human science enterprise. And I believe that a better human science would translate into better public policy. Most human scientists focus on their own research, paying little attention to how the broader enterprise functions. I have written many works of a methodological nature over the years. I am pleased to point here to a handful of works with sound advice for enhancing the human science enterprise.

Rick's book list on reforming the social sciences and humanities

Rick Szostak Why did Rick love this book?

Though this book focuses on psychology, it has lessons for all social sciences.

Chambers, like me, is critical of certain practices and yet deeply respectful of what has been accomplished. He devotes much of his attention to the problem of confirmation bias. We as humans are more likely to accept results that conform to prior beliefs.

Journals are also more likely to publish such results. Scholars play with their findings, adding or removing data points to achieve a target level of statistical significance. The result is that we are often more confident in scholarly consensus than we should be. Chambers explains complex ideas clearly, and is passionate about the need for reform.

By Chris Chambers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Seven Deadly Sins of Psychology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why psychology is in peril as a scientific discipline-and how to save it

Psychological science has made extraordinary discoveries about the human mind, but can we trust everything its practitioners are telling us? In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that a lot of research in psychology is based on weak evidence, questionable practices, and sometimes even fraud. The Seven Deadly Sins of Psychology diagnoses the ills besetting the discipline today and proposes sensible, practical solutions to ensure that it remains a legitimate and reliable science in the years ahead. In this unflinchingly candid manifesto, Chris Chambers shows how…


Book cover of Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology, and Human Nature

David F. Prindle Author Of Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution

From my list on the politics of evolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

While growing up as a budding intellectual, two of my passions were social science (in other words, politics), and natural science, particularly biology. For decades, I thought of those as two unconnected fields of knowledge. I studied politics in my professional capacity as a government professor, and I read nature and wildlife studies as a hobby. Then, one day in 2000, I picked up a copy of a book by Stephen J. Gould, a Harvard paleontologist. It struck me that in every sentence he was combining science and politics. It was an on-the-road-to-Damascus moment. Since then, I have studied and written about the politics of evolution.  

David's book list on the politics of evolution

David F. Prindle Why did David love this book?

A Marxist critique of evolutionary biology, authored by a geneticist, a neuroscientist, and a psychologist.  From a perspective about as far from the viewpoint of creationists as it is possible to get, these three scholars argue that the philosophical assumptions, methodology, and social organization of modern biology add up to a politically conservative conspiracy reinforcing capitalism, racism, classism, and misogyny. Although their attack is general, it is most specifically aimed at intelligence testing, which, they argue, is shoddy science in the service of racist ideology.

By Richard Lewontin, Steven Rose, Leon J. Kamin

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not in Our Genes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not in our Genes systematically exposes and dismantles the claims that inequalities class, race, gender are the products of biological, genetic inheritances. 'Informative, entertaining, lucid, forceful, frequently witty... never dull... should be read and remembered for a long time.' - New York Times Book Review. 'The authors argue persuasively that biological explanations for why we act as we do are based on faulty (in some cases, fabricated) data and wild speculation... It is debunking at its best.' - Psychology Today


Book cover of Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge

Alex M. Thomas Author Of Macroeconomics: An Introduction

From my list on becoming a critical economist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the dissemination of economic ideas both inside and outside university spaces. In addition to classroom lectures at my university, I give a lot of public lectures on economics. Through these talks, I introduce the audience to the tradition of doing economics using a critical perspective. I have an MA and MPhil in Economics from the University of Hyderabad and a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Alex's book list on becoming a critical economist

Alex M. Thomas Why did Alex love this book?

Feyerabend argues against monism in science.

Drawing on the history of science, he demonstrates that science has progressed from pluralism. In other words, there is no the scientific method. 

Currently, mainstream economics education does not include history or philosophy in its curriculum. And economists are enthusiastically adopting a monist approach to knowledge production.

Feyerabend’s book tells us why such a naïve and narrow approach to knowledge dissemination (and production) is problematic. I feel extremely lucky to have been exposed to his work along with other philosophers of science during my master’s.

By Paul Feyerabend,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Against Method as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Contemporary philosophy of science has paid close attention to the understanding of scientific practice, in contrast to the previous focus on scientific method. Paul Feyerabend's acclaimed work, which sparked controversy and continues to fuel fierce debate, shows the deficiencies of many widespread ideas about the nature of knowledge. He argues that the only feasible explanation of any scientific success is a historical account, and that anarchism must now replace rationalism in the theory of knowledge. This updated edition of this classic text contains a new foreword by Ian Hacking, a leading contemporary philosopher of science, who reflects on Feyerabend's life…


Book cover of Mapping the Spectrum: Techniques of Visual Representation in Research and Teaching

Barbara J. Becker Author Of Unravelling Starlight: William and Margaret Huggins and the Rise of the New Astronomy

From my list on the history of astrophysics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Barbara J. Becker received her PhD in the history of science from Johns Hopkins University. Until her retirement, she taught at the University of California at Irvine and now resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is a leading authority on astronomer William Huggins. Her research interests include the role of the amateur in the development of nineteenth-century professional astronomy, the redefining of disciplinary boundaries in the face of new knowledge and new practice, and the role of controversy in shaping the substance and structure of scientific knowledge. She is the author of numerous journal articles and editor of Selected Correspondence of William Huggins (2 volumes).

Barbara's book list on the history of astrophysics

Barbara J. Becker Why did Barbara love this book?

The proverbial scientist at work conjures the image of a solitary investigator bent over a workbench cluttered with arcane instruments nestled among reams of scribbled notes just waiting to be transformed into creative answers to pressing questions about the natural world. The image's simplicity belies the complexity of the process it purports to represent. Adding descriptions of the what, how, and why of scientific inquiry, observation, and analysis still misses a crucial element that makes the improvement, dissemination, and acceptance of new knowledge possible, namely the active behind-the-scenes collaboration between scientists and the illustrators, photographers, printers, and other artisans who use visual representation to shape and successfully communicate that knowledge. 

Mapping the Spectrum is not just an exhaustive and illuminating history of spectrum analysis.  In it, author Klaus Hentschel brilliantly exposes the essential role of visual culture in bringing this all-important tool of modern science to useful life.  He has…

By Klaus Hentschel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mapping the Spectrum as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ever since the boom of spectrum analysis in the 1860s, spectroscopy has become one of the most fruitful research technologies in analytic chemistry, physics, astronomy, and other sciences. This book is the first in-depth study of the ways in which various types of spectra, especially the sun's Fraunhofer lines, have been recorded, displayed, and interpreted. The book assesses the virtues and pitfalls of various types of depictions, including hand sketches, woodcuts,
engravings, lithographs and, from the late 1870s onwards, photomechanical reproductions. The material of a 19th-century engraver or lithographer, the daily research practice of a spectroscopist in the laboratory, or…


Book cover of The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Eric M. Schlegel Author Of The Restless Universe: Understanding X-Ray Astronomy in the Age of Chandra and Newton

From my list on humbly learning our place in the universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been increasingly interested in astrophysics since I was six years old. My mother hooked me on reading at five by stopping novels at critical points and urging me to continue. I’ve ever since read a broad range of books. I stumbled upon Dr. Loren Eiseley in the early 1970s and enjoyed his books immensely. As soon as a book by Dr. Carl Sagan was published, I wanted to read it. As I’ve grown older, I try not to think that ‘peak humanity’ is behind us–and books such as Sagan, Eiseley, and Rovelli offset that potentially depressing thought and provide solid encouragement.

Eric's book list on humbly learning our place in the universe

Eric M. Schlegel Why did Eric love this book?

As with my first recommendation, this book pulls together many of the ideas about people’s beliefs and thinking that I had growing up.

While I read it in ‘early middle age,’ it again synthesized a good many questions across a very broad range of topics. In the process, the book helped to solidify my own thoughts about the world in which we live and how to learn more about our Universe.

By Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Demon-Haunted World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace

“A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”—Los Angeles Times

How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the…


Book cover of Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science

Kees Van der Pijl Author Of States of Emergency: Keeping the Global Population in Check

From my list on the hidden dimensions of political power.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kees van der Pijl was lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex in the UK. He retired in 2012. At Sussex he was head of department and director of the Centre for Global Political Economy. Besides democracy and anti-war activism he continues to write on transnational classes and policy networks, including the role of “deep politics”.

Kees' book list on the hidden dimensions of political power

Kees Van der Pijl Why did Kees love this book?

As the attack on democracy in the West has come to include the grip of Big Pharma on public health programmes and on bodies like the World Health Organization, the covert dimensions of how this influence is being exercised have also come under scrutiny.

With a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. highlighting the fate of successive critics of medical misconduct, one of the most vocal of these critics and her co-author offer a shocking account of the repression they faced.

Passionate, personal, and highly revealing about the risks one takes by speaking out on the basis of facts.

By Judy Mikovits, Kent Heckenlively,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Plague of Corruption as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 on Amazon Charts, New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller-Over 100,000 Copies in Print!

"Kent Heckenlively and Judy Mikovits are the new dynamic duo fighting corruption in science." -Ben Garrison, America's #1 political satirist

Dr. Judy Mikovits is a modern-day Rosalind Franklin, a brilliant researcher shaking up the old boys' club of science with her groundbreaking discoveries. And like many women who have trespassed into the world of men, she uncovered decades-old secrets that many would prefer to stay buried.

From her doctoral thesis, which changed the treatment of HIV-AIDS, saving the lives of millions, including basketball great Magic…


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