Ninth Edition CoverGraziano & Raulin
Research Methods (9th edition)

Examples of Field Research
from the Literature

Example # 1

Kerfoot, F., Koshyl, V., Roganov, O., Mikhailichenko, K., Gorvova, I, & Pottage, D. (2007). The health and well-being of  neglected, abused, and exploited children: The Kyiv Street Children’s Project. Child Abuse and Neglect, 31, 27-37. 


Little data are available on the street children in Kiev, Ukraine. One reason is that they are an elusive group, not easily identified and located by children’s service agencies. The main purpose of this field research was to identify important characteristics of street children in order to aid the planning and implementation of social and treatment programs.

Ninety seven street children were located, recruited, and interviewed using a semi-structured interview. The items were designed to provide data on psychopathology and styles of adjustment. Researchers found: 66% of the children were not homeless but had opted to leave their families and live on the street. Many still had contact with their families. 78% had some degree of behavior problems, including 43% with persistent and severe behavior problems. 74% had problems of depression.

The researchers concluded that field research can and should be included in the activities of mental health programs for these children. Because the children are characterized by different types of psychological problems and different survival strategies, the agencies may need several different approaches.

Example #2

Urberg, K. A., DeÈirmencioÈlu, S. M., & Pilgrim, C. (1997). Close friend and group influence on adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol use. Developmental Psychology, 33, 834-844.


This was a field study of the factors that were related to, and may have contributed to, initiation of drinking and smoking. Over 1000 kids, from the 6th, 8th, and 10th grades, were followed over the course of one school year. The hypothesis being tested was that the social group influence, especially from one's best friend, would have an impact on the decision to drink or smoke. What they found was only a modest influence from one's peer group; most of the pressure came from one's best friend. Factors such as year in school and gender did not seem to make any difference is susceptibility to peer influence.

Example #3

Downey, G., Freitas, A. L. , Michaelis, B., & Khouri, H. (1998). The self-fulfilling prophesy in close relationships: Rejection sensitivity and rejection by romantic partners. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 75, 545-560.


In a pair of studies--one a field study and the second a laboratory behavioral study--the authors investigated the hypothesis that people who expect rejection in dating relationships behave in ways that elicit rejection from their dating partners. In the field study, participants provided daily records of the relationship-relevant cognitions, affects, behaviors, and conflicts for a four-week period, and then were followed up a year later to determine the status of their relationship. The data showed that excessive sensitivity to rejection was indeed predictive of a higher breakup rate.

Example #4

Bernstein, L. J., & Robertson, L. C. (1998). Illusory conjunctions of color and motion with shape following bilateral parietal lesions. Psychological Science, 9, 167-175.


This was an case study of a neurological patient with bilateral parietal-occipital lesions. Previous research had suggested that patients with such lesions often have difficulty recognizing multiple features of a single object. In this case study, the researchers varied the color, shape, and motion of stimuli and found that the patient was often unable to correctly identify what features went with what objects, suggesting that the damaged region of this patient's brain may be critical in fusing the multiple features of a complex object into a single coherent percept.

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