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Designing Experiments for the Social Sciences
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Designing Experiments for the Social Sciences
How to Plan, Create, and Execute Research Using Experiments

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September 2018 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
 “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.


 
 
 
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Discovering Cause and Effect
Causation

 
Experiments Compared to Other Methods

 
Basic Criteria for Experiments

 
Elements of Experiments

 
Starting a Study of Your Own

 
 
2. Ethics and Famous Experiments in History
The Scurvy Studies

 
The Contributions of Charles Peirce

 
Ronald Fisher’s Plots and Tea

 
B. F. Skinner: Small Samples, High Tech

 
Stanley Milgram Shocks the World

 
Philip Zimbardo: Raising Consciences in a Stanford Basement

 
Conclusion

 
 
3. Theory, Literature, and Hypotheses
The Literature Review

 
Hypotheses and Research Questions

 
 
4. Types of Experiments
Campbell and Stanley’s Typology of Experiments

 
Quasi Experiments

 
Natural Experiments

 
Field Experiments

 
 
5. Internal and External Validity
Ecological and External Validity

 
Generalizability

 
Cause and Effect

 
Logical Inference

 
Replication

 
Internal Validity

 
 
6. Factorial Designs
Single-Factor Designs

 
Factorial Designs

 
How Subjects Are Used in Designs

 
Control Groups

 
 
7. Random Assignment
The Purpose of Random Assignment

 
Operationalizing Random Assignment

 
Reporting Random Assignment

 
Balanced and Unbalanced Designs

 
Checking That Random Assignment Was Effective

 
Blocking, Matching, and Other Strategies

 
Random Assignment of Other Things

 
Random Assignment Resistance

 
 
8. Sampling and Effect Sizes
Student Samples

 
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

 
Other Subject Sources

 
Recruiting

 
Incentives

 
Sample Size and Power

 
 
9. Stimuli and Manipulation Checks
Examples of Stimuli

 
Advice on Creating Stimuli

 
Manipulation Checks

 
Reporting the Stimuli and Manipulation Checks

 
 
10. Instruments and Measures
Instruments

 
Measurement Issues

 
 
11. The Institutional Review Board and Conducting Ethical Experiments
Institutional Review Boards

 
Ethical Issues in Experiments

 
Protecting Subjects

 
Researcher Issues

 
Pilot Studies

 
 
Glossary
 
Index

Supplements

Instructor Teaching Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.

Student Study Site

The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:

  • Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included.

“This book offers many examples and hands-on instruction that can help students learn how to conduct experiments.”

Francis O. Adeola
University of New Orleans

“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

“This text provides students with an excellent explanation of experimental methodology: not just descriptions of elements of the experiment method, but understanding of where those elements came from, how and why they work together, and how students can become scholars.”

Kyle J. Holody
Coastal Carolina University

“This is a comprehensive text on experiments, clearly and engagingly written, with many excellent examples. Renita Coleman has included everything the student will need to develop, design, and execute a methodologically-sound experiment.”

Glenn Leshner
University of Oklahoma

“This textbook is detailed and well organized, with each topic progressing logically to build on foundational knowledge. Students will find it easy to master research concepts, and practice using the exercises and examples provided. The ‘Study Spotlight’ scenarios and practical examples are effective tools to demonstrate research designs, and the ‘Test Your Knowledge Quizzes’ reinforce student learning.”

Janet Reid-Hector
Rutgers University

“This book is well-written and readable. If you need to grasp concepts of experimental designs, this book guides you as to what the experimental designs are, and what you should keep in mind in conducting your studies.”

Ji-Hoon Ryoo
University of Virginia

As the title of the book indicates, this book presents very general information not specific to any particular discipline within the social sciences. As a specific target audience is lacking, the book does not provide an extensive coverage of any topic within the scope of research methods. The book cannot be used as a textbook for students of Psychology.

Professor Usha Barahmand
Psychology Dept, Cuny Queens College
September 17, 2018

As the title of the book indicates, this book presents very general information not specific to any particular discipline within the social sciences. As a specific target audience is lacking, the book does not provide an extensive coverage of any topic within the scope of research methods. The book cannot be used as a textbook for students of Psychology.

Professor Usha Barahmand
Psychology Dept, Cuny Queens College
September 17, 2018

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Discovering Cause and Effect

Chapter 7: Random Assignment


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Renita Coleman

Renita Coleman has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida, a master’s and Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Missouri.   Her research focuses on ethics, framing and agenda setting with a special focus on visual communication. She has studied the effects of photographs on ethical reasoning, the framing and attribution of responsibility in health news, and the moral development of journalists and public relations practitioners, among other topics. She has published more than 40 peer reviewed articles in academic journals including Journal of Communication, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly,... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781506377322
$80.00