“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.

Sampling and Effect Sizes

When some would have us eliminate college students as a source of information we could ask, tongue-in-cheek, “What is it that occurs when a person’s hand touches their degree that suddenly makes him or her a valid subject in a . . . study where they would not have been a minute earlier?1

—Michael Basil

Our findings would be substantially more credible if students were not so often the first and only choice.2

—William Wells

Learning Objectives

  • Think critically about the use of students and subjects from various sources.
  • Create a plan for recruiting and incentivizing subjects for an experiment.
  • Describe the relationships between power and sample size.
  • Explain effect sizes.
  • Prepare and report the results of a power analysis.

There is nothing more important to experiments than the ...

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