“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.

Ethics and Famous Experiments in History

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.

—Isaac Newton

Learning Objectives

  • Locate the historical origins of methods, techniques, and concepts used in experimental research today.
  • Illustrate the importance of creativity to solving research problems.
  • Summarize the unintended consequences of experimental research as a foundation for the development of ethical guidelines and Institutional Review Boards.
  • Explain the harmful effects of using deception in experiments.
  • Describe how to use deception ethically in the context of experiments.

This chapter briefly deviates from the practical how-to approach in order to give some context in which to understand the role of current issues, concepts, and techniques in social science experiments. This brief history will illustrate how experimental methodology has developed by using ...

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