Artifacts in Behavioral Research: Robert Rosenthal and Ralph L. Rosnow's Classic Books

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Oxford University Press, Aug 3, 2009 - Social Science - 912 pages
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This new combination volume of three-books-in-one, dealing with the topic of artifacts in behavioral research, was designed as both introduction and reminder. It was designed as an introduction to the topic for graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and younger researchers. It was designed as a reminder to more experienced researchers, in and out of academia, that the problems of artifacts in behavioral research, that they may have learned about as beginning researchers, have not gone away. For example, problems of experimenter effects have not been solved. Experimenters still differ in the ways in which they see, interpret, and manipulate their data. Experimenters still obtain different responses from research participants (human or infrahuman) as a function of experimenters' states and traits of biosocial, psychosocial, and situational origins. Experimenters' expectations still serve too often as self-fulfilling prophecies, a problem that biomedical researchers have acknowledged and guarded against better than have behavioral researchers; e.g., many biomedical studies would be considered of unpublishable quality had their experimenters not been blind to experimental condition. Problems of participant or subject effects have also not been solved. We usually still draw our research samples from a population of volunteers that differ along many dimensions from those not finding their way into our research. Research participants are still often suspicious of experimenters' intent, try to figure out what experimenters are after, and are concerned about what the experimenter thinks of them.

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About the author (2009)

Robert Rosenthal is distinguished professor of psychology at UC Riverside. He spent 37 years as a professor at Harvard University before joining the UCR faculty in 1999, and is internationally known for his foundational work in statistical analysis of social science literature, the influence of expectations, and nonverbal behavior (including the Rosenthal Effect). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and among his many prizes and awards is a Guggenheim Fellowship. Professor Rosenthal's research has centered for some 50 years on the role of the self-fulfilling prophecy in everyday life and in laboratory situations. Special interests include the effect of teachers' expectations on students' academic and physical performance, the effects of experimenters' expectations on the results of their research, and the effects of clinicians' expectations on their patients' mental and physical health. For over 40 years he has been studying the role of nonverbal communication in (a) the mediation of interpersonal expectancy effects and in (b) the relationship between members of small work groups and small social groups, including teacher-student, doctor-patient, manager-employee, judge-jury, and psychotherapist-client interactions. He served as Chair of the Research Committee of the Bayer Institute for Health Care Communication. Ralph Rosnow is Thaddeus Bolton Professor Emeritus at Temple University, where he taught for 34 years and directed the doctoral program in social and organizational psychology. He also taught at Boston University and as a visiting professor at Harvard University. He was the General Editor of Oxford University Press's Reconstruction of Society Series. He has been a Fellow of AAAS and APA since 1970 and a Charter Fellow of APS since 1988, and has collaborated with Robert Rosenthal for over 43 years on books and articles on research methods and data analysis. In research and theory, Rosnow has explored the imposition of meaning from the perspective of contextualism, rumor and gossip, attitude formation, social cognition, and interpersonal acumen. He has published extensively on each of these topics. Currently, he is interested in focused data analysis and effect size estimation.

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