Research Methods: Experiments

If you’re looking for contemporary examples of experiments with sociological applications, this recent study might be useful at both AS (Culture and Identity) and A2 (Differentiation) levels.

In basic terms it’s a simple variation of the classic “discrimination experiment” whereby researchers do things like apply for jobs using a variety of different ethnic names on behalf of applicants with identical CV’s – the dependent (unmanipulated) variable in the experiment being the identical CV and the (manipulated) independent variable being applicant’s name

In this particular version the researchers, Doleac and Stein, placed a number of identical fake classified advertisements for iPods that “included photographs of the product held by a hand.  Some hands were light-skinned, others dark, and they also included a second potentially stigmatized identity, men with tattoos.  Otherwise the ads were all identical“.


You can, rather depressingly perhaps, probably guess what happenned next…

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