Laboratory Experiments in the Social Sciences

Edited by

  • Murray Webster, Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina, USA
  • Jane Sell, Department of Sociology, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA
  • Murray Webster, Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina, USA
  • Jane Sell, Department of Sociology, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA

Laboratory Experiments in the Social Sciences is the only book providing core information for researchers about the ways and means to conduct experiments. Its comprehensive regard for laboratory experiments encompasses “how-to” explanations, investigations of philosophies and ethics, explorations of experiments in specific social science disciplines, and summaries of both the history and future of social science laboratories. No other book offers such a direct avenue to enlarging our knowledge in the social sciences.This collection of original chapters combines instructions and advice about the design of laboratory experiments in the social sciences with the array of other issues. While there are books on experimental design and chapters in more general methods books on design, theory, and ethical issues, no other book attempts to discuss the fundamental ideas of the philosophy of science or lays out the methods comprehensively or in such detail. Experimentation has recently prospered because of increasing interest in cross-disciplinary syntheses, and this book of advice, guidelines, and observations underline its potential and increasing importance.
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The book will be used in methods classes and for work in social science laboratories in sociology, marketing, political science, anthropology, economics, and psychology.


Book information

  • Published: July 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-369489-8


"...the strongest part of this book were the chapters on methodology and on experimental implementation. The methodological discussions and concepts were excellent...and the advice for implementation covered quite a lot of ground." --Rachol Croson, University of Texas at Dallas in Journal of Economic Psychology, 2008 "...this is a long-awaited volume, which will serve many social scientists well into the future as a guide to experimentation in a very pragmatic sense." -Contemporary Sociology, 37,6

Table of Contents

PART I. Orientation - General Issues of ExperimentationPART I Introduction1. Why Do Experiments? 2. Developing Experimentation in Social Sciences 3. Technological Issues Related to Experiments 4. Ethical Experiments5. Proper Uses of Experiments in Social Science PART II. How to Create Experiments for Social SciencesPART II Introduction6. Getting Funded, Writing Proposals 7. Eleven Rules of Effective Experimental Design and Operations 8. Training Interviewers and Experimenters 9. Operations and Manipulations 10. Recruiting Participants 11. Some Common Experimental Problems and Some Solutions 12. Applied Experiments PART III. Case Studies of Specific Experimental ProgramsPART III Introduction13. Status and Expectation States Experiments in Sociology 14. Bargaining and Exchange Networks in Sociology and Economics 15. Voting and Agenda Setting in Political Science and Economics 16. Social Dilemma Experiments in Political Science, Economics, and Sociology 17. Experiments Across the Social Sciences