Laboratory Experiments in the Social Sciences

Laboratory Experiments in the Social Sciences, 1st Edition

Laboratory Experiments in the Social Sciences, 1st Edition,Murray Webster,Jane Sell,ISBN9780123694898

Webster   &   Sell   

Academic Press

9780123694898 New edition

9780080546148 New edition


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A Multidisciplinary Perspective of Laboratory Experiments: From A-Z

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Key Features

· Provides a comprehensive summary of issues in social science experimentation, from ethics to design, management, and financing
· Offers "how-to" explanations of the problems and challenges faced by everyone involved in social science experiments
· Pays attention to both practical problems and to theoretical and philosophical arguments
· Defines commonalities and distinctions within and among experimental situations across the social sciences


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.


The book will be used in methods classes and for work in social science laboratories in sociology, marketing, political science, anthropology, economics, and psychology.

Murray Webster

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina, USA

Jane Sell

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Sociology, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA

Laboratory Experiments in the Social Sciences, 1st Edition

PART I. Orientation - General Issues of Experimentation
PART I Introduction
1. Why Do Experiments?
2. Developing Experimentation in Social Sciences
3. Technological Issues Related to Experiments
4. Ethical Experiments
5. Proper Uses of Experiments in Social Science

PART II. How to Create Experiments for Social Sciences
PART II Introduction
6. Getting Funded, Writing Proposals
7. Eleven Rules of Effective Experimental Design and Operations
8. Training Interviewers and Experimenters
9. Operations and Manipulations
10. Recruiting Participants
11. Some Common Experimental Problems and Some Solutions
12. Applied Experiments

PART III. Case Studies of Specific Experimental Programs
PART III Introduction
13. Status and Expectation States Experiments in Sociology
14. Bargaining and Exchange Networks in Sociology and Economics
15. Voting and Agenda Setting in Political Science and Economics
16. Social Dilemma Experiments in Political Science, Economics, and Sociology
17. Experiments Across the Social Sciences

Quotes and reviews

"...the strongest part of this book were the chapters on methodology and on experimental implementation. The methodological discussions and concepts were excellent...and the advice for implementation covered quite a lot of ground."
--Rachol Croson, University of Texas at Dallas in Journal of Economic Psychology, 2008

"...this is a long-awaited volume, which will serve many social scientists well into the future as a guide to experimentation in a very pragmatic sense."
-Contemporary Sociology, 37,6

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