Concepts, Methods and Techniques in
Political Science, Public Policy
and International Relations

Week 2: 22-26 january 2024

Experimental Political Science

Soledad Artiz Prillaman, Stanford University

Teaching Assistant: Gabriela Armani

Course Description

In recent years there has been a surge in the use of experiments, both survey and field, in political science. This has resulted in substantial advances in experimental research within political science. This course will explore these advances by highlighting exceptional instances of experimental research. By evaluating and understanding the very best of cutting-edge, experimental research, students will learn how to design smart and effective survey, natural, and field experiments from the ground up. The focus of this course will be on the intersection of design and implementation.

When are experiments the right tool for answering research questions and how can experiments be designed to test theories? How do we handle the many unexpected challenges that emerge in experimental implementation? 

In answering these questions, this course aims to interweave the methodological and the practical, preparing students to design and implement their own experimental research while also engaging with the core political science research questions answered through experimental research. The course will cover methodological issues such experimental design, random assignment, and measurement alongside practical issues such as field implementation and data collection challenges. Students will be exposed to canonical and cutting-edge applications of experimental research in political science and we hope will leave with an appreciation of the art of experimentation.

Dates - This course runs January 22-26, 2024.

what we will learn


Students should have at least some experience using either R or Stata