Designing and Conducting an Effective Survey Experiment in International Relations


In this case study, we use a recent study of Islam and foreign policy opinion as an opportunity to investigate the process of designing and conducting survey experiments in Political Science and International Relations. We explore a number of issues in the design, execution, and analysis phases of experimental research, including navigating concerns about the realism, strength, and timing of experiments, piloting experiments for meaningful feedback, using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) as an experimental research platform, and analyzing and reporting experimental results effectively. Major themes in the case study include considering the participant’s experience in an experimental study, and piloting and testing experiments carefully before collecting any data.

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