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Course Details

Spring 2017-2018
SOC 412 (SA)   na, npdf

Designing Social and Behavioral Field Experiments at Scale

J. Nathan Matias

Online platforms, which monitor and intervene in the lives of billions of people, routinely host thousands of experiments to evaluate policies, test products, and contribute to theory in the social sciences. Field experiments are also powerful tools for monitoring discrimination and governing human and machine behavior. In this hands-on undergraduate class, students will develop practical experimentation skills, engaging with methods, theory, ethics, and politics of large-scale behavioral research online. For a final project, student teams will develop, conduct, and report on a novel experiment together with an online community or platform.

Sample reading list:
W.R. Shadish, T.D. Cook, and T.D. Campbell, Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs
Kohavi, A. Deng, B. Frasca, T. Walker, Y. Xu, Y &, Online Controlled Experiments at Large Scale
K. Munger, Tweetment Effects on the Tweeted:
J. Grimmlemann, The Law and Ethics of Experiments on Social Media Users
R. Glennerster, The Practicalities of Running Randomized Evaluations
M. Salganik, Web-Based Experiments for the Study of Collective Social

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students will read 30-40 pages per week, complete a weekly writing or analysis assignment in pairs, and document their work in a short blog post. The final is a project and a short paper.

Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 20%
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%
Other (See Instructor) - 20%

Other Requirements:
Statistical, design or other software use required
Open to Juniors and Seniors Only.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
POL 345/SOC 305, or with permission of the instructor, other background in statistics or data analysis..

Other information:
Other 20% = Weekly assignments

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43517 S01 08:30:00 am - 09:50:00 am M W   Sherrerd Hall   306   Enrolled:10 Limit:13