Online platforms, which monitor and intervene in the lives of billions of people, routinely host thousands of experiments to evaluate policies, test products, and contribute to theory in the social sciences. These experiments are also powerful tools to monitor injustice and govern human and algorithm behavior. How can we do field experiments reliably at scale and also govern their power in society? In this hands-on class, students will develop practical experimentation skills, engaging with methods, theory, ethics, and governance of large-scale behavioral research online.
Identify, analyze, and evaluate the quantitative content of field experiments in the social sciences and computer science.
Describe and evaluate the kinds of knowledge that experiments bring to policy, product design, and theories in the social sciences, as well as their limitations.
Summarize and criticize leading views on the ethics and governance of experiments in society, and in relation to your own projects.
Design and analyze research from the perspective of rapid experimentation and reproduction in industry and the social sciences.
Design a novel field experiment or synthesize novel results from past studies.