Building Experiments: Testing Social Theory

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Stanford Social Sciences, 2007 - Social Science - 159 pages
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Building Experiments is the essential text for understanding experimental methods. In engaging style, the book shows how theory is employed in experimental design, how experiments test theory, and how proper design and use of experiments can advance the social sciences as explanatory sciences. The interactive nature of the text encourages students to hone their skills, building and running experiments while learning the underlying principles of theory and experimentation.

The book addresses practical issues, ranging from the critical analysis of historically important experiments to understanding how to recruit subjects properly and protect their rights. Founding experiments in sociology are compared to founding experiments in physics to demonstrate fundamental cross-disciplinary similarities of theory, experiment, and scientific method. Finally, the book explains how experimental research and theory can be applied in historical and institutional studies. This book will be a key resource in social science methodology courses at all levels.

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What Is an Experiment?
Theory and the Scientific Method
Empirically Driven Experiments

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actors American Sociological Association applied Archimedes Aristotle artifacts Asch Asch's Bales behavior Belmont Report Berger Billy Budd central Chapter Cohen cold fusion confederate Connected Exchange Contrast Sensitivity control group curved mirror debriefing deception deindividuated demand characteristics dependent variable Desensitization develop difference discussed double-blind effects Elementary Theory empirically driven experiments Empiricism empiricist end conditions epinephrine Ernest Nagel ethical Euclid example Exchange Structures experimental control experimental design experimental group experimental replicas experimenter bias external validity f-test falling bodies Figure Fisher's method Galileo game theory geometric optics grounded theories Hippocrates However hypotheses ICOM II questions inclined plane infer inferential statistics influence initial conditions institutional review boards interaction investigation ity groups J. S. Mill Joseph Berger laboratory law of reflection laws of levers linked logic logic of empirically low status Max Weber maxims measure ments metatheory method method of agreement method-of-difference microsociological Milgram Milgram's experiments Mill's Mill's method models National Health Service neoclassical null hypothesis Observation & Control observed Orne outside the lab P/D game participant observation partner Patricia Powell payoffs percent periments phenomena Philip Zimbardo placebo plano poker chips portunities positions predictions primum non nocere principle probability theory produce R. A. Fisher random assignment rationality recidivism rectilinear propagation regularities relations replicas sample means sanctions scope similar Simpson Snell's Law social social science sociology Stanford Prison Experiment statements Status Characteristics subjects task test theory theoretical theory-driven experiments theory's tion tivate Toyota Motor Company Tuskegee experiment Tuskegee Syphilis Study Type II questions volts water clock Why We Fight Willer

About the author (2007)

David Willer is the Scudder Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina. Henry A. Walker is Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona.

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