Social Experimentation

Social Experimentation

a Method for Planning and Evaluating Social Intervention

1st Edition - January 28, 1974

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  • Editors: Henry W. Riecken, Robert F. Boruch
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483269955

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Social Experimentation: A Method for Planning and Evaluating Social Intervention summarizes the available knowledge about how randomized experiments might be used in planning and evaluating ameliorative social programs. The book presents various aspects of social experimentation - design, measurement, execution, sponsorship, and utilization of results. Chapters are devoted to topics on experimentation as a method of program planning and evaluation; experimental design and analysis; institutional and political factors in social experimentation; and aspects of time and institutional capacity. Sociologists will find the book a valuable piece of reference.

Table of Contents

  • Contents




    I Experimentation as a Method of Program Planning and Evaluation

    II Why and When to Experiment

    Why Experiment?

    When to Experiment

    III Experimental Design and Analysis

    Components of an Experiment

    Experimental Error


    Reducing Random Error

    How Big Should an Experiment Be?

    Statistical Analysis

    IV Quasi-Experimental Designs

    Regression-Discontinuity Design

    Comparison Group and Time Series Designs


    V Measurement in Experiments

    Response Variables

    Measurement of Treatment Conditions

    Measurement of Initial Conditions

    The Roles of Social Indicators and Archival Data Systems

    VI Execution and Management

    Negotiating Design Objectives and Procedures

    Implementing the Research Design

    Preserving the Integrity of the Design

    Data Collection

    Dissemination and Preparation for Utilization

    VII Institutional and Political Factors in Social Experimentation

    Organizational Roles in Social Experimentation

    Functions, Characteristics, and Potential Actors for Organizational Roles

    Political Aspects of Experimentation


    VIII Human Values and Social Experimentation

    Ethical Problems

    Confidentiality and Disclosure of Identity

    Ensuring Confidentiality and Data Access


    Time Perspective

    Institutional Capacity


    Illustrative Controlled Experiments for Planning and Evaluating Social Programs

    Experiments in Delinquency and Criminal Reform

    Experimental Tests of Law-Related Programs and Procedures

    Experimental Tests of Rehabilitative Programs in Mental Health

    Experimental Assessment of Special Education Programs

    Sociomedical and Fertility Control Experiments

    Appraisals of the Effectiveness of Communication Methods

    Experimental Tests of Methods for Data Collection, Transmission, and Retrieval

    Experiments in Research Utilization

    Economic Experiments


    Author Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 358
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1974
  • Published: January 28, 1974
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483269955

About the Editors

Henry W. Riecken

Robert F. Boruch

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