“This book is a must for learning about the experimental design–from forming a research question to interpreting the results this text covers it all.” –Sarah El Sayed, University of Texas at Arlington Designing Experiments for the Social Sciences: How to Plan, Create, and Execute Research Using Experiments is a practical, applied text for courses in experimental design. The text assumes that students have just a basic knowledge of the scientific method, and no statistics background is required. With its focus on how to effectively design experiments, rather than how to analyze them, the book concentrates on the stage where researchers are making decisions about procedural aspects of the experiment before interventions and treatments are given. Renita Coleman walks readers step-by-step on how to plan and execute experiments from the beginning by discussing choosing and collecting a sample, creating the stimuli and questionnaire, doing a manipulation check or pre-test, analyzing the data, and understanding and interpreting the results. Guidelines for deciding which elements are best used in the creation of a particular kind of experiment are also given. This title offers rich pedagogy, ethical considerations, and examples pertinent to all social science disciplines.

Factorial Designs

Needless complexity seldom makes for better experimental research.1

—Diana Mutz

Learning Objectives

  • Identify single-factor and factorial designs.
  • Diagram an experiment using factorial notation and design tables.
  • Explain the differences among between- and within-subjects designs, mixed and incomplete factorials.
  • Create an experiment and explain the use of factors and how subjects are assigned.
  • Plan how to implement a control group.

In chapter 4, this text discussed the different kinds of experiments in broad strokes, including natural and field experiments, true and quasi experiments, and the typologies such as the pretest–posttest control group design and Solomon four-group design. This chapter hones in on one type of experiment—the true or laboratory experiment—and drills down into more specific decisions about designing it. Specifically, this chapter looks at the number of factors in an experiment, ...

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