12.0 Chapter introduction

When you think of the term experiment, what comes to mind? Perhaps you thought about trying a new soda or changing your cat’s litter to a different brand. We all design informal experiments in our life. We try new things and seek to learn how those things changed us or how they compare to other things we might try. We even create entertainment programs like Mythbusters, where hosts use experimental methods to test the truth of common myths and folk knowledge. It’s likely you’ve already developed an intuitive sense of how experiments work. The content of this chapter will increase your existing competency about using experiments to learn about the social world.

Chapter Outline

  • 12.1 Experimental design: What is it and when should it be used?
  • 12.2 Pre-experimental and quasi-experimental design
  • 12.3 The logic of experimental design
  • 12.4 Analyzing quantitative data

Content Advisory

This chapter discusses or mentions the following topics: substance abuse, eating disorders, prejudice, hurricane Katrina, domestic violence, racism, poverty, and trauma.

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