Have students design a field experiment


Students can design the field experiment, using Handout 10.3 as a guide. Once the experiment is designed, they can evaluate it based on the criteria described in tables G.1 and G.2 of the Field Experiment Web Appendix.
The main challenge is to get students to design a field experiment. Three ways to stimulate students to design a field experiment are:

1. Have students propose a project that (a) proposes a treatment that attacks an applied problem and (b) evaluates the effectiveness of that treatment. Such projects could involve ways of improving communication between students and administration, improving cleanliness of classrooms, reducing graffiti in bathrooms, and increasing student attendance at extracurricular events.

2. Have students take a laboratory study and describe:

a. why replicating it in the field would be useful; and
b. how it would be done.

3. Use a successful strategy described in

Ferraro, F. R. (1990). Field experiments in personal space invasion for introductory psychology. Teaching of

Psychology, 17, 124-125.

Lutsky, N. (1993). A scheme and variations for studies of social influence in an experimental

social psychology laboratory. Teaching of Psychology, 20, 105-107.

Wann, D. L. (1993). Performing experiments in undergraduate psychology classes. Teaching of

Psychology, 20, 235-236.


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