Experimental Political Science

Course Description: 

The last few decades have seen a sea change in quantitative social science research that is often called the “credibility revolution”. In short, this refers to the changes in the standards of how claims involving causality should be made, justified and critiqued as well as a shift from scholars’ attention from statistical analysis (how we analyze data) to research design (what data we want to analyze). In this class, we will survey some of the key concepts and methods of causal inference with both classic and cutting-edge examples from political science. We place an emphasis on experimental methods but also discuss some approaches using observational data from the perspective of experiments. In the last part of the course students will design their own survey-experiments which will be fielded to a representative sample. By the end of this course, students will be able to critically engage with causal claims made in empirical political science studies and learn the fundamentals to design and implement such research themselves.