New workshop on field experiments

We’re pleased to announce a new workshop in our schedule:

Introduction to experimental methods in the social & behavioral sciences (May 3rd, 12-4 PM EST, $175)

During the past decade, experiments in the social and behavioral sciences have gained in popularity as the internet has made implementing experiments easier, cheaper, and faster.  However, although researchers may have a conceptual knowledge of how experiments work, the actual experience of implementing an experiment for the first time is often frustrating and time consuming.  Researchers without prior experience often struggle with a number of issues such as navigating IRB, obtaining true random sampling and assignment, understanding blocking, and interpreting different types of treatment effects.  The initial learning curve may be steep but the rewards are plentiful as experiments produce highly valued original data, lend themselves to causal analysis in ways that traditional survey data cannot, and become easier to implement as a researcher’s experience level increases.

By the end of the workshop, participants should understand the basic terminology of experiments, when experiments can and should be implemented, the causal advantages of experiments, the major ethical issues surrounding experiments, the major aspects of randomization, blocking, matching, and sampling, and the major aspects of different types of validity with experiments. Most importantly, participants should gain the knowledge to immediately begin designing valid and robust experiments to address a variety of research questions.

About the instructor

Dr. S. Michael Gaddis is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UCLA whose research focuses on racial discrimination, educational inequality, and mental health. He often uses experiments to examine levels of discrimination in employment and housing as well as the conditions under which racial discrimination occurs. He has led the data collection efforts on over a dozen field and survey experiments.

He recently published a book on the experimental method used to investigate discrimination titled Audit Studies: Behind the Scenes with Theory, Method, and Nuance. His research has been published in top journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Social Forces, Social Science & Medicine, and Sociological Science and has been funded by the National Academy of Education, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. His work has been covered by The Boston Globe, The Economist, Education Week, Inside Higher Ed, PBS NewsHour, and Times Higher Education.