Archive for August, 2014

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Randomization and its constraints: A critical look at the current reserach practices in social psychology

August 29, 2014

Taku Iwatsuki

Abstract: In this talk, I investigate the importance of randomization in the context of social psychological research. I compare the costs and the benefits of randomization, and argue that the current research practices in social psychology seem to put too much emphasis on the use of randomization. The talk will be structured as follows: First, I briefly explain what randomization is and what role it typically plays in social psychological research. Next, I explore its methodological benefits in the context of causal inference through critical examination of arguments for randomization. Then, I investigate what the costs of randomization are, focusing on the constraints it imposes on other aspects of research design and eventually on psychological theorizing based on such research. Finally, comparing these costs and benefits, I conclude that the use of more diverse research designs with less emphasis on the use of randomization seems to be necessary for developing better psychological theories.