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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Webinar Details

Population-Based Survey Experiments: How to do Them and What They're Good For

Diana C. Mutz
Thursday, August 30, 2012

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Course Description

Population-based survey experiments are an invaluable tool for policy researchers and social scientists struggling to pin down causality outside of the laboratory. Thanks to technological advances in recent years, experiments can now be administered to random samples of the population to which a theory applies, thus enabling researchers to draw strong conclusions about causality using representative samples of the population of interest to a given theory or hypothesis.

The goal of this webinar is to familiarize researchers with this exciting new methodology and to provide a concise and accessible overview of its strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, using creative examples drawn from across many disciplines, researchers will come away with a sense of the unique possibilities offered by this methodological approach along with practical advice on how to get started.

Learning Objectives:

Participants should come away from this webinar with an understanding of:

  • The unique methodological advantages of survey experiments for researchers of all kinds, those formally trained in experimental and/or survey methods.
  • The experimental design considerations that are unique to survey experiments.
  • At least four different styles of survey-experimental designs that are already in use to solve common problems faced by survey researchers as well as experimentalists.
  • Practical considerations in the execution and analysis of survey-experimental results.

About Your Instructor:

ImageDiana C. Mutz, Ph.D. Stanford University, teaches and does research on public opinion, political psychology and mass political behavior, with a particular emphasis on political communication. At Penn she holds the Samuel A. Stouffer Chair in Political Science and Communication, and also serves as Director of the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics at the Annenberg Public Policy Center. She has published articles in a variety of academic journals including American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, Journal of Politics and Journal of Communication. She is also the author of Impersonal Influence: How Perceptions of Mass Collectives Affect Political Attitudes (Cambridge University Press, 1998), a book awarded the Robert Lane Prize for the Best Book in Political Psychology by the American Political Science Association, and the 2004 Doris Graber Prize for Most Influential Book on Political Communication published in the last ten years. In 2006, she published Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative Versus Participatory Democracy (Cambridge University Press) which was awarded the 2007 Goldsmith Prize by Harvard University and the Robert Lane Prize for the Best Book in Political Psychology by the American Political Science Association.

Mutz served as past editor of Political Behavior, and served as founding co-PI of Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS), an interdisciplinary infrastructure project that promotes methodological innovation across the social sciences. Her most recent book, Population-based Survey Experiments (Princeton University Press, 2011) provides the first book-length treatment of this new method drawing examples from across the social sciences. Before coming to Penn, Professor Mutz taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Ohio State University.