"Why Science Matters: Understanding the Methods of Psychological Research" rises above standard research methods texts by presenting an up-to-date view of contemporary psychological science as it is currently understood and practiced. It explores not only the procedural aspects of psychological research, but also delves into the issue of how to accomplish effective science. It explicates how hypotheses and theories are to be evaluated. It suggests that the proper approach to devising and evaluating theories is by abduction, not by induction or deduction alone. It incorporates new investigatory procedures, current methodologists, conflicts and issues, implications of the philosophy of science, and a lively prose style. It provides a picture of science that will engage students and expand their abilities as both scientists and psychologists.
Preface for Instructors. Preface for Students. Part I: Major Methodological Changes in Science from Antiquity to the Present. Chapter 1: Understanding Science: The Armchair versus Practice. Introduction. Justification of Methodological Practices. Precursors to Contemporary Science: An Historical Overview. Research Paradigms, Programs, and Traditions. Naturalism: A Brief Introduction. Remainder of Book. Chapter Summary. Chapter 2: Major Issues to Emerge in 20th Century Approaches to Science. Introduction. Logical Positivism. Operationism. Popper's Falsificationism. Kuhn's Psychologism and Historicism. Chapter Summary. Chapter 3: Methodology in the Postpositivist Era. Introduction. Naturalism in Science. Lakato's Sophisticated Falsificationism. Laudan's Research Traditions and Normative Naturalism. Giere's Cognitive Approach. The Rise of Relativism. Chapter Summary. Part II: Naturalism and Modern Science. Chapter 4: Theory Testing. Introduction. Scientific Theory. Types of Theory. Hypothesis Testing. Induction and Deduction. Abduction and Theory Construction. Chapter Summary. Chapter 5: Inference to the Best Explanation. Introduction. Evaluating Theories: A Critical Evaluation of Criteria. Resolution of Ambiguity Over Time. Natural Selection. Brain Function and Cognitive Neuroscience. Consilience. Chapter Summary. Chapter 6: The New Means of Understanding Science. Introduction. Empirical Methods for Better Understanding Science, Scientific Practice, and Scientists. Chapter Summary. Part III: Applying Naturalism to Contemporary Methodological Issues in Psychology. Chapter 7: Postmodernism and the Rejection of the Conventional Conception of Science. Introduction. Underdetermination and Incommensurability. Postmodernism. Our Critique. Chapter Summary. Chapter 8: Qualitative Research Methods. Introduction. Rationale for Qualitative Methods. Varieties of Qualitative Methods. Chapter Summary. Chapter 9: Critical Evaluation of Qualitative Inquiry's Approach to Qualitative Methods. Introduction. Justification of Qualitative Methods. Misunderstanding of Positivism. Specific Positions of Qualitative Researchers. Chapter Summary. Chapter 10: Internal and External Validity. Introduction. Applications of Scientific Psychology. Scientific Psychology Opposes Pseudoscience. Chapter and Book Summary. References. Glossary of Terms. Glossary of Names. Author Index. Subject Index.
"This book is an excellent exposition of historical and contemporary issues in the philosophy of science, and is particularly useful for psychologists and other behavioral scientists. Its core ideas