ASOA15100U Introduction to Experiments in Sociology
Welfare, inequality and mobility
Knowledge, organisation and policy
Culture, lifestyle and everyday life
The experimental method is an extremely powerful approach to investigate theorized mechanisms and causal relations. While the controlled laboratory experiment that is commonly associated with the method in the popular imagination is often not available to sociologist, there are a number of related experimental approaches that are commonly used in sociological research and that, in fact, pervade our daily lives.
This course introduces students to the experimental method, its strengths and weaknesses, and applications in sociological research. We will review methodological developments that freed the method from the laboratory setting, such as survey experiments, field experiments, and audit studies. Using peer-reviewed publications, students will gain an understanding of how these alternative experimental approaches can be used to answer sociological questions and how they have contributed to knowledge in all subfields of the discipline.
After successful participation, students will be comfortable reading current sociological research using experimental methods, evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, and be able to identify potential research questions in sociology that can be answered using the experiments.
- Successful participation in the class will prepare students to account for the benefit of applying experimental approaches to study sociological questions
- Additionally, students will be able to identify experimental approaches suited to answer specific sociological problems
- Students will gain facility with working with understanding experimental designs specifically as they relate to social science applications
- Students will be able to evaluate and put into perspective the strengths and weaknesses of given experimental approaches in contrast to other potential research approaches
- Students will be able to plan sociological studies that leverage the potential of the experimental methods
- Students will be able to specialize in cutting-edge experimental methodologies
Readings are comprised primarily of peer-reviewed journal articles. All other materials will be provided through Absalon.
- Class discussions
- Student presentations
Structured feedback to student presentations
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- PortfolioA portfolio assignment is defined as a series of short assignments that address one or more set questions. The assignments are written as the course progresses. All of the assignments are submitted together for assessment at the end of the course. Portfolio assignments can be written individually or in small groups (max. four students).
The portfolio assignments must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student.
- Exam registration requirements
Sociology students must be enrolled under either BSc Curriculum 2016 or MSc Curriculum 2015 to take this exam.
Credit students can be at either bachelor or master level.
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
A written take-home essay: an assignment that addresses one or more NEW questions. The exam is based on the course syllabus, i.e. the literature set by the teacher. The written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student. Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in the General Guide to Examinations at KUnet.
Criteria for exam assesment
See learning outcome