all information is provided in the doc. This is a discussion post for my sociology 220 class due tonight at midnight.
Requirements: 150-250 words
Online Discussion #2 – Developing Field Experiments
For your 2nd online discussion, I would like you to use the knowledge you’ve gathered from the readings so far to describe experimental research in sociology. In sociological experiments, research participants belong to one of two groups: either a control group, or an experimental group. So experimental researchinvolves “conducting an experiment or intervention on one of the randomly assigned groups in the study while we control our findings with a second group” (Pajo, Section 7.1, para. 3). The control group is not exposed to the stimulus in the study, while the experimental group is exposed to the stimulus. For example, in a experimental research in the field of medicine, a researcher might be studying the effect of a new pharmaceutical drug. In such a study, participants in the experimental group would consume the drug under study. On the other hand, participants in the control group would not consume the drug. Instead, they would consume a placebo like “a sugar pill or another nonpharmacological substance with no effects) instead” (Pajo, Section 1.4, para. 5).
Experimental research in sociology operates a bit differently. There is still a control group and experimental group, but the subject under investigation is usually a social phenomenon rather than a pharmaceutical drug.
For example, on Chapter 6 of Give Methods a Chance, and the coinciding , sociologist Devah Pager, pictured below, studies “the effects of a criminal record and race on employment” (Green & Lageson, 2018, p. 55). Pager uses a method known as an experimental field audit to conduct her study. Pager (2018) conducts experimental research through a method called an experimental field audit. This is a specific type of field experiment that “aims to review and report on real-world behavior” (Green & Lageson, 2018, p. 56). A field experiment is “an experiment conducted in people’s natural environment” (Open Education Sociology Dictionary, n.d.). In other words, Devah Pager’s study was conducted in an everyday setting (workplaces), and examined true human behavior as it unfolded in society.
To determine how a person’s race and criminal background affects employment, Devah Pager (2018) “actually hired young white and Black men, matching them into pairs based on their looks and personality” (Green & Lageson, 2018, p. 55). She sent the pairs of research participants to find and apply for real job openings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The participants marked down that they had received felony drug convictions on job applications, (even though no one in the study actually had any criminal records). This allowed Pager and her research team to review how both a person’s race and their felony record would impact their ability to get hired in the real world. Pager “rotated which member of the tester pair presented evidence of the criminal record”, allowing her to control for different characteristics (Green & Lageson, 2018, p. 57).
Pager found that “people with criminal records were about half as likely to receive a callback as equally qualified applicants with no record”, and she also found that tragically, “the effect of a criminal record was actually larger for Black applicants” (Green & Lageson, 2018, p. 58). Green & Lageson (2018) highlight that Pager’s research found that “Black applicants with criminal records were about two-thirds less likely [than white applicants] to receive a callback” for a job (p. 58).
In the chapter and , Pager (2018) notes that field experiments pose some specific challenges for sociologists. Research conducted in the real world is difficult to control, because there are an innumerable amount of interfering conditions that research participants might encounter. For example, a research subject may encounter a wide variety of personalities, group dynamics, and environments in various workplace settings that do not match. Each resume that the participants used needed to have the same content to promote the validity and reliability of research findings across settings. Each participant also had to navigate their own emotions and well-being as they went through the job application process. In particular, Black research participants had to ensure “daily and repeated rejection from employers and […] an immediate dismissal from these gatekeepers” (Green & Lageson, 2018, p. 59). This made the consequences of the job application process more difficult for many of the research participants coming from this position.
Consider the specific details that one would need to consider while conducting field experiments in sociological research. In your post, use information from your Give Methods a Chance and/or Introduction to Research Methods textbooks to respond to at least 2 of the questions below. Be sure that you cite quotes or paraphrase ideas from at least one of your textbooks with proper APA citations. This will allow you to enhance the evidence in your discussion post.
What are field experiments, and how can they provide valuable sociological insights?
What are experimental field audits specifically? How is this form of sociological research conducted, and what benefits and drawbacks does it entail?
Using examples from your Give Methods a Chancetextbook, please describe how experiments are generally conducted. What are the the major differences between lab experiments and field experiments?
What are control groups and experimental groups? Why are they important to sociological field experiments?
In Devah Pager’s study, which participants do you think belonged in the control group, and which belonged in the experimental group? Or is it difficult to determine?
Describe the benefits of field experiments. Why is this a valuable sociological research method to consider?
Explain the drawbacks of field experiments. What are some challenges that field experiments pose? How might these challenges be resolved?
Why is it important for field experiment researchers to consider real-world variations in the environment? How might different settings be subject to different conditions, and thus distinct results?
What type of emotional impacts does Devah Pager describe occurred for some research participants in her study? Which research participants more likely to experience negative impacts during the job application process? Why do you think this was the case?
What type of ethical rules are important to consider in field experiments? Do you think there were any ethical problems in Devah Pager’s study? If so, do you think she addressed these ethical problems effectively? Why or why not?
(Write a post between 150-250 words in length. You may go over 250 words, but please try to stay as close to this range as possible)
Finally, please comment on the posts of at least 2 of your classmates. In your replies to other students, identify what you like about their response. Note if you have any common understandings of these concepts. Make parallels between the ideas of your classmates and your own. If you learned something new from a classmate, be sure to note this in your reply. Be sure to be detailed, specific, and remain on topic. Be sure to provide strong rationale for your replies, and to meet the length requirements. (Write 2 replies to 2 separate classmates. Use at least 75 words in each reply. You may go over 75 words for each reply, but please try to stay as close to this range as possible).
Be sure to follow in your original post and your replies to other students. It is also expected that you go beyond stating opinions and use information from the textbook and other reliable academic research sources to back up your ideas. Of course, as stated previously, you must ensure that you cite any outside information that you use to guide your responses.
Note: it is not required that you use outside sources, but I do ask that you incorporate information from at least one of our class textbook(s) in your post. When you do this, please use APA in-text citations and references.
If you do outside research for this discussion from sources outside our textbooks, it is expected that you use citations also. When you summarize, paraphrase, or include quotes from the textbook, supplemental readings, internet sites, or other outside materials in your response, be sure to cite your sources with in-text citations & a references list in APA style. If you do not do this, you will lose points on your post.
(to list at the end of your entry)
If you are citing information from your Introduction to research methods: A hands-on approach (2nd ed.) textbook, here is how you can do this in APA style:
In-text citations for direct quotes: (Pajo, 2023, Section 1.3, para. 1).
In-text citations if paraphrasing/summarizing: (Pajo, 2023).
References (to list at the end of your entry): Pajo, B. (2023). Introduction to research methods: A hands-on approach (2nd ed.). Sage Publications, Inc.
If you are citing information from your Give Methods a Chance textbook, here is how you can do this in APA style. For outside sources, note that the phrase “et al.” (and others) is used after the first author’s last name for in-text citations when there is more than two authors. All authors must be listed in the references list, starting with last names followed by first initials.
In-text citations for direct quotes: (Green & Lageson, 2018, p. 1).
In-text citations if paraphrasing/summarizing: (Green & Lageson, 2018).
References (to list at the end of your entry): Green, K. & Lageson, S. (2018). Give methods a chance. W.W. Norton & Company.
Follow a similar model for citing any supplemental readings or outside sources. If you have questions about how to implement proper citations, you can revisit the APA Citations Module from Week 1. Note: you can also simply model your in-text citations and references after the ones I’ve included in the Instructor Summaries, located in the .
Discussion Point Value
This discussion is worth 20 points total. You can receive up to 15 points for writing a 150-250 word post by clicking “Reply” at the bottom of this screen and posting your original discussion entry. Then, you can receive up to 5 points for successful completion of Part II, and responding to at least 2 posts from your classmates. In order to receive full points, you must meet the length requirements and thoughtful and respectfully respond to the required amount of questions in the prompt.
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