Despite the growing popularity of experimental designs in sociological research, lab experiments remain relatively rare. Nevertheless, lab experiments are the gold standard for testing theory and assessing causal arguments, especially those that difficult to test using questionnaire measures. This workshop focuses on the logic of experiments, types of questions that are ideal for answering with lab experiments, issues of internal and external validity, and contrasting lab experiments to other experimental and observational methods. Using exemplars from sociology, I will walk through the design of lab experiments, common pitfalls that may surprise unaccustomed researchers, and ways to deal with these issues. The workshop is a mixture of lecture and hands-on exercises and is designed for those interested in designing their first few experiments or those on the fence about using lab experiments in their own research.
Long Doan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland. He is broadly interested in how various social psychological processes motivate behavior and explain patterns of inequality. In particular, Doan is interested in the intersections of sexuality, gender, and race. His work examines how seemingly subtle differences in evaluations of individuals based on their social characteristics lead to larger, more concrete implications, such as the acceptance or denial of legal rights or decisions related to hiring.