Laboratory Experiments in the Social Sciences is the only book providing core information for researchers about the ways and means to conduct experiments. Its comprehensive regard for laboratory experiments encompasses “how-to” explanations, investigations of philosophies and ethics, explorations of experiments in specific social science disciplines, and summaries of both the history and future of social science laboratories. No other book offers such a direct avenue to enlarging our knowledge in the social sciences.
This collection of original chapters combines instructions and advice about the design of laboratory experiments in the social sciences with the array of other issues. While there are books on experimental design and chapters in more general methods books on design, theory, and ethical issues, no other book attempts to discuss the fundamental ideas of the philosophy of science or lays out the methods comprehensively or in such detail. Experimentation has recently prospered because of increasing interest in cross-disciplinary syntheses, and this book of advice, guidelines, and observations underline its potential and increasing importance.
“This volume is a unique and extraordinary resource for scholars and students across the social sciences. It will be of use both to those who conduct experiments themselves and to those who wish to understand how experiments can be used to test theories and build bodies of scientific knowledge.”
Edward J. Lawler, Cornell University
“This book is a much-needed addition to the field. The articles contained in the book are concise, enjoyable, and accessible to scholars who have not yet made the plunge into experimental social science. Along with useful ‘how-to’ chapters, leading scholars summarize the past, portray the present, and foreshadow the future of experiments in a variety of disciplines. Other chapters portray themes, like ‘coordination’ or ‘social dilemmas,’ that transcend disciplinary boundaries. Taken together, the reader sees the various experimental research agendas as having re-shaped social science into a more interdisciplinary enterprise, with the promise of much more to come.”
Gary J. Miller, Washington University