Summer Institute: Designing, Conducting, and Analyzing Field Experiments
July 21-23, 2014
Lincoln Center Campus
New York, New York
Sponsored by the Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy at Fordham University
WE INVITE YOU to attend The Summer Institute: Designing, Conducting, and Analyzing Field Experiments, a three day short course. In this short course you will: Learn why experiments are valuable tools for social science and program evaluation. Examine in depth examples of how field experiments are designed, executed, and analyzed. Explore and develop your own research ideas through discussion with peers and specialists.
What are experiments and why are they valuable?
Experiments enable social scientists to draw valid inferences about cause and effect. The essential ingredient of experimentation is random assignment of people to treatment and control groups. Randomization ensures that these groups differ solely due to chance. So long as an experiment involves an ample number of subjects, the role of chance becomes minimal; the treatment and control conditions become virtually identical. These equivalent groups are then presented with different treatments. Since pre-existing differences have been eliminated, the different responses of the treatment and control groups may be attributed to the influence of the treatment. Experiments correct many of the deficiencies of observational, or nonexperimental, data. Random assignment enables researchers to disentangle the complex causal interplay among variables. It also affords the researcher much more control over what that treatment is and how accurately it is measured. There are, of course, practical as well as ethical limits to the sorts of experiments that can be performed in social science. Nevertheless, the range of applications remains very large. The Summer Institute discusses a wide array of exemplary experiments in the fields of political science, advertising, public policy, health, and criminal justice.
Summer Institute Instructors
Donald P. Green is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. He was previously A. Whitney Griswold Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he taught since 1989. Between 1996 and 2011, he was director of Yale’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies, an interdisciplinary research center that emphasized field experimentation. His research interests span a wide array of topics: voting behavior, partisanship, campaign finance, rationality, research methodology, and hate crime. His recent books include Partisan Hearts and Minds: Political Parties and the Social Identities of Voters (Yale University Press 2002) and Get Out the Vote: How to Increase Voter Turnout, 2nd edition (Brookings Institution Press 2008).
Costas Panagopoulos is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Electoral Politics at Fordham University.