Experimentation in Political Science

Rebecca B. Morton, Kenneth C. Williams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article mentions that the number of experiments has increased dramatically in political science in the last thirty-five years because of their power for making causal inferences. It directly confronts the Achilles heel of experiments - their external validity. It also argues that external validity can be achieved if a result can be replicated across a variety of data-sets and situations. The expanding area of experimental political science and some of the concerns involved in experimentation are investigated. It showed the wide variety of ways in which experimentation can be used to answer interesting research questions while speaking to theorists, empiricists, and policy-makers. It is expected that the application of experimentation techniques will continue to rise in political science, just as it has in other social sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577307
ISBN (Print)9780199286546
StatePublished - Aug 21 2008


  • Achilles heel
  • Causal inferences
  • Experimental political science
  • Experimentation
  • External validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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