Experimental Design Strategies

Center for the Study of Law and Society
Miniseries in Empirical Research Methods

Friday, November 5, 2010, 9 a.m. – 12 noon. Lunch to follow.
JSP Seminar Room, 2240 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley

Robert MacCoun
Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

Experimental methods remain the most powerful method for testing causal hypotheses in empirical legal studies.  In this workshop, we will simply stipulate that experimentation creates tradeoffs with respect to real-world generalizability, and instead focus on designing experiments that are maximally informative for testing theory.  We will examine between- vs. within-respondent designs, factorial and parametric designs, mediator and moderator analyses, power analysis, subtle confounds, and the construct validity of experimental manipulations (do they really represent the variables we actually care about)?  Each issue will be illustrated by recent experiments in sociolegal research.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own ideas for experiments to discuss in the workshop.

Workshop materials:

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