Bias in Social Science Experiments

Authored by: Sharon Crasnow

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138825758
eBook ISBN: 9781315410098
Adobe ISBN: 9781315410081


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No method has come to be so closely identified with modern science as experimental method. Nonetheless, until the second half of the 20th century experiments were rare in the social sciences. Experimental method first came to prominence in psychology. More recently there has been a marked increase in the use of experimental methods in the other social sciences, most notably economics and political science. Rebecca B. Morton and Kenneth C. Williams, authors of a key text for experimental method in political science, outline the key reason for this turn to experimentation: “nonexperimental methods have failed to answer some significant research questions, particularly causal ones” (Morton and Williams 2010, 260).

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