Tuesday, October 2, 2007

thinking experimentally

as chair, i attend far more meetings than talks these days. there's a talk at harvard today that i'd love to sink my teeth into:

The Applied Statistics Workshop presents another installment this week with Thomas Cook, Department of Sociology, Northwestern University presenting a talk entitled, "When the causal estimates from randomized experiments and non-experiments coincide: Empirical findings from the within-study comparison literature."

i've always been fascinated with social experiments and the collision between experimental and non-experimental methods. a lot of what we know about this subject comes from the literature on employment and training interventions. my reading of the cook, shadish, and wong paper discussed today is that non-experimental methods might fare better outside this context. hmmm. this sort of work strikes me as absolutely fundamental to understanding and contextualizing social scientific knowledge.

coincidentally, i'm editing proofs right now for thinking experimentally, a li'l essay written for experiments in criminology and law, edited by christine horne and mike lovaglia. my contribution is an homage to the fine graduate methods training that i received at the wizversity -- and, i suppose, an apologia for straying from the course.

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