The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.
Chapter 53: Field Experiments, Theory, and External Validity
Field Experiments, Theory, and External Validity
In a recent study, Yeh et al. (2018) report on the first randomized control trial that tests whether there are health benefits from wearing parachutes when jumping out of airplanes and helicopters. The authors find no evidence of benefits from wearing parachutes. A potential weakness of the study is that, in order to protect human subjects, the airplane and helicopter used for the trial were small, stationary, and grounded. For critical readers this detail might raise flags about whether we can generalize from this study to other applications of interest.
Of course, Yeh and colleagues meant their study as a joke. It is obvious that you cannot learn anything about effects in realistic situations from this ...