Experimental political science

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Experimental political science is the use of experiments, which may be natural or controlled, to implement the scientific method in political science.

History and usage[edit]

The first experiment in political science is regarded to be Harold Gosnell's 1924 study on voter turnout in Chicago.[1] In this experiment, he randomly assigned districts to receive information on voter registration and encouragements to vote.[2] Current experts in experimental methodology in political science include Rebecca Morton and Donald Green.

Since then, experimental research has become a growing area of political science. The publication of experimental research articles in flagship political science journals has risen, especially since the 1980s. Moreover, citation analysis indicates that articles using experimental methods have higher rates of citation.

Among the areas that it is used in are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Morton, Rebecca B.; Williams, Kenneth C. "Experimentation in Political Science" (PDF). The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  2. ^ Gosnell, Harold F. (1926). "An Experiment in the Stimulation of Voting" (PDF). American Political Science Review. 20 (4): 869–874. doi:10.2307/1945435. JSTOR 1945435. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2014.
  3. ^ Humphreys, Macartan; Weinstein, Jeremy (2009). "Field experiments and the Political Economy of Development". Annual Review of Political Science. 12: 367–378. doi:10.1146/annurev.polisci.12.060107.155922.
  4. ^ Hyde, Susan D. (2010). "The future of field experiments in International Relations". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 628 (1): 72–84. doi:10.1177/0002716209351513.
  5. ^ Riker, William (1988) [First published in 1982]. Liberalism Against Populism. Prospect Heights, Illinois, USA: Waveland Press. ISBN 978-0-88133-367-1.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]