Building Experiments: Testing Social Theory

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Building Experiments is the essential text for understanding experimental methods. In engaging style, the book shows how theory is employed in experimental design, how experiments test theory, and how proper design and use of experiments can advance the social sciences as explanatory sciences. The interactive nature of the text encourages students to hone their skills, building and running experiments while learning the underlying principles of theory and experimentation. The book addresses practical issues, ranging from the critical analysis of historically important experiments to understanding how to recruit subjects properly and protect their rights. Founding experiments in sociology are compared to founding experiments in physics to demonstrate fundamental cross-disciplinary similarities of theory, experiment, and scientific method. Finally, the book explains how experimental research and theory can be applied in historical and institutional studies. This book will be a key resource in social science methodology courses at all levels.