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Experimental Political Science and the Study of Causality : From Nature to the Lab - Rebecca B. Morton

Experimental Political Science and the Study of Causality

From Nature to the Lab

Paperback

Published: 6th August 2010
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Increasingly, political scientists are describing their empirical research or the reasoning behind their choices in empirical research using the terms experiment or experimental. One of the primary reasons for doing so is the advantage of experiments in establishing causal inferences. In this book, Rebecca B. Morton and Kenneth C. Williams discuss in detail how experiments and experimental reasoning with observational data can help researchers determine causality. They explore how control and random assignment mechanisms work, examining both the Rubin causal model and the formal theory approaches to causality. They also cover general topics in experimentation such as the history of experimentation in political science; internal and external validity of experimental research; types of experiments field, laboratory, virtual, and survey and how to choose, recruit, and motivate subjects in experiments. They investigate ethical issues in experimentation, the process of securing approval from institutional review boards for human subject research, and the use of deception in experimentation."

'This is a landmark contribution - not only in what it offers for experimentalists but for social science in general. Morton and Williams present a distinctive approach to how to conduct research that is sure to be widely discussed and debated.' James N. Druckman, Northwestern University 'This path-breaking work is the first political science monograph to cover laboratory, survey, and field experimentation. Using a wealth of examples from a wide array of subfields, Morton and Williams cover topics from causal inference to research ethics in a lively and engaging manner.' Donald Green, Yale University 'Morton and Williams's review of experimental methodology and reasoning in political science will be the benchmark reference for experimental methodology in political science for years to come. It is comprehensive in its discussion of methods, scientific reasoning, and ethics, and at the same time it tears down boundaries across subfields of political science and across different approaches to experimental research in the discipline. The authors successfully argue for and carefully lay out discipline-wide standards for experimental methodology in political science. The framework provided can be fruitfully used by those who conduct lab, field, or survey experiments as well as those who use experimental reasoning with observational data.' Thomas Palfrey, California Institute of Technology

Introduction:
The advent of experimental political science
Experimental Reasoning about Causality:
Experiments and causal relations
The causal inference problem and the Rubin causal model
Controlling observables and unobservables
Randomization and pseudo-randomization
Formal theory and causality
What Makes a Good Experiment?:
Validity and experimental manipulations
Location, artificiality, and related design issues
Choosing subjects
Subjects' motivations
History of codes of ethics and human subjects research
Ethical decision making and political science experiments
Deception in experiments
The future of experimental political science
Appendix: the experimentalist's to do list
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521136488
ISBN-10: 0521136482
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 606
Published: 6th August 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.4  x 3.7
Weight (kg): 0.805
Edition Number: 1