Increasingly, political scientists use the term 'experiment' or 'experimental' to describe their empirical research. One of the primary reasons for doing so is the advantage of experiments in establishing causal inferences. In this book, Rebecca B. Morton and Kenneth C. Williams discuss in detail how experiments and experimental reasoning with observational data can help researchers determine causality. They explore how control and random assignment mechanisms work, examining both the Rubin causal model and the formal theory approaches to causality. They also cover general topics in experimentation such as the history of experimentation in political science; internal and external validity of experimental research; types of experiments - field, laboratory, virtual, and survey - and how to choose, recruit, and motivate subjects in experiments. They investigate ethical issues in experimentation, the process of securing approval from institutional review boards for human subject research, and the use of deception in experimentation.
Rebecca B. Morton is a Professor in the Wilf Family Department of Politics at New York University. She received her Ph.D. from Tulane University and has held academic positions at Tulane, Texas A & M University, University of Iowa, University of California San Diego, and University of Houston. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Hanse-Wissenschaftkolleg in Delmenhorst, Germany. Her book Learning by Voting: Sequential Choices in Presidential Primaries and Other Elections (with Kenneth Williams, 2001) addresses the effects of voting sequentially, as in presidential primaries in the United States. Her more recent book, Analyzing Elections (2006), is a comprehensive study of the American electoral process. Morton also considered the complexity of empirical evaluation of formal models in her book Methods and Models: A Guide to the Empirical Analysis of Formal Models in Political Science (Cambridge University Press, 1999). Her research has appeared in the American Economic Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Law and Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and the Review of Economic Studies. Kenneth C. Williams is currently a Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and did a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara and also taught several summer courses at Birkbeck, University of London. He has published articles in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, Experimental Economics, Economics and Politics, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, and Public Choice. He is also co-author of Learning by Voting (with Rebecca Morton, 2001).
Winner of American Political Science Association Experimental Research Section: Best Book Award 2011.