WiSe 20/21: Experimental Analysis of Social and Cultural Differences
Christian von Scheve
Information for students
The research placement will be held in English. Reports can be written in English or German. The seminar will be an online class using Webex.
Additional information / Pre-requisites
Exam: research report of approximately 10,000 words. Deadline: March 31, 2021
In this Research Placement (RP), students will use their knowledge of theories and methods to design experimental empirical studies on social and cultural differences, primarily within and across ... read more
In this Research Placement (RP), students will use their knowledge of theories and methods to design experimental empirical studies on social and cultural differences, primarily within and across Europe. Experimental designs are generally the best way to establish causal inference, in particular in well-controlled laboratory settings, but also in less controllable but more “natural” and ecologically valid field experiments. Experiments have been part of the sociological “toolbox” ever since, but regained prominence in research only more recently. The primary goal of this RP is to develop experiments that establish causal relationships between social and cultural differences and certain forms of social action and behavior. Based on pertinent theories and assumptions on motives, attitudes, and preferences, we will develop experiments to identify the ways in which social action systematically differs with actors’ social or cultural background or to show how the manipulation of cultural cues as an independent variable affects attitudes or actions in specific laboratory or field situations. For example, the studies may investigate the effects of national identification on (cross-national) trust and cooperation; the ways in which salient collective identity influences solidarity and reciprocity across groups; or how certain cultural cues (e.g., signs, symbols, language, artifacts) may affect behavior driven by prejudice and stereotypes. In general, the RP serves to get students acquainted with independently conducting empirical research projects by devising, planning, conducting, and analyzing experiments, either on their own or in small groups. Prior knowledge of experimental research is not necessary (but an asset) and the basic methods for conducting experiments will be introduced and discussed in class. Basic knowledge of quantitative data analysis is an advantage. close
Introductory ReadingsJackson, M., Cox, D.R. (2013). The Principles of Experimental Design and Their Application in Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 39, 27–49.Bohnet, I. (2009). Experiments. In ... read more
Jackson, M., Cox, D.R. (2013). The Principles of Experimental Design and Their Application in Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 39, 27–49.
Bohnet, I. (2009). Experiments. In Hedström, P., Bearman, P. (Hg.), The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 639-665.
Shadish, W.R. Cook, T.D., Campbell, D.T. (2001). Experimental and quasiexperimental designs for generalized causal inference. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Willer, D., Walker, H.A. (2007). Building Experiments: Testing Social Theory. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.