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Chapter 2: Research Methods in I/O
Learning Objectives
• Understand the empirical research cycle.
• Know the relative advantages and disadvantages of the laboratory experiment, quasiexperiment, questionnaire, and observation research methods.
• Understand meta-analysis and qualitative research methods.
• Explain the statistical concepts of central tendency and variability.
• Understand the concept of correlation and its interpretation.
• Have an awareness and appreciation of the ethical issues associated with I/O psychological
research.
• Understand the difference between academic-based and practitioner-based research.
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Chapter Summary
• Research is a means by which I/O psychologists understand issues associated with people at work.
• The four primary research methods used by I/O psychologists are experiments, quasiexperiments,
questionnaires, and observation.
• The four primary research methods differ in their extent of control (potential for testing causal
relationships) and realism (naturalness of the research setting).
• Meta-analysis is a secondary research method that is useful in integrating findings from previously
conducted studies.
• I/O psychologists measure variables of interest and apply statistical analyses to understand the
relationships among the variables.
• All psychological research is guided by a code of ethics that protects the rights of research participants.
• Research is conducted in both academic (university) and applied (organizational) settings, but usually for
different purposes.
• As a profession, I/O psychology has a broad base of knowledge derived from both academic and applied
research.
• There are cross-cultural differences in both people’s willingness to serve as research participants and their
responses.
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