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Course Details

Fall 2016-2017
* POL 341 (QR)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Experimental Methods in Politics

Ali A. Valenzuela

The use of experiments to study and influence politics is widespread and growing, partly because they can give conclusive results not possible with surveys or other data. No longer confined to the lab, political scientists and campaign operatives use new technology to conduct experiments on thousands of voters in real elections. Massive political experiments have been conducted on Facebook, by mail and telephone, but is it ethical to influence politics in pursuit of new knowledge? What have experiments taught us about voting, race, and representation in America? This class will cover these and other aspects of using experiments in politics.

Sample reading list:
Diana C. Mutz, Population Based Survey Experiments
W. Phillips Shivley, The Craft of Political Research, 9th edition
Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Reading: 60-80 pages per week from course texts and political science research articles. Writing: 2 short essays (3-4 pp.) and a research report (8-10 pp.), due on Dean's Date, describing the design and results of an original survey experiment that you and your classmates will conduct and analyze working together in small groups.

Requirements/Grading:
Mid Term Exam - 15%
Final Exam - 25%
Programming Assignments - 10%
Papers - 20%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Other (See Instructor) - 20%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Freshmen should email the professor for advice about taking the class..

Other information:
Open to any major; ideal for social science concentrators interested in developing their independent research using experimental methods. Examples and substantive material will be drawn from research on U.S. voter turnout, race and identity, and representation in the U.S. Students and instructor(s) will design, collect and analyze data using an original survey with experimental manipulations targeting undergraduates and Internet-using adults in the general U.S. population.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
22263 L01 10:00 am - 10:50 am T Th   Lewis Library   138   Enrolled:32 Limit:
24041 P01 11:00 am - 11:50 am Th   Lewis Library   117   Enrolled:11 Limit:14 Closed
24042 P02 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm Th        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled
24043 P03 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm Th   Friend Center   203   Enrolled:12 Limit:14 Closed
24044 P04 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th   Friend Center   203   Enrolled:9 Limit:14 Closed
22264 P99 TBA        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled