- The Oxford Handbooks of American Politics
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- About the Contributors
- The State of Survey Research as a Research Tool in American Politics
- Optimizing Survey Questionnaire Design in Political Science: Insights from Psychology
- Laboratory Experiments in American Political Behavior
- Field Experiments and the Study of Political Behavior
- Formal Modeling, Strategic Behavior, and the Study of American Elections
- Why is American Turnout so Low, and Why Should We Care?
- American Voter Turnout in Historical Perspective
- Expanding the Possibilities: Reconceptualizing Political Participation as a Toolbox
- Voter Registration: Turnout, Representation, and Reform
- Early, Absentee, and Mail‐in Voting
- Digital Democracy: How Politics Online is Changing Electoral Participation
- Voting Technology
- The Study of Electoral Behavior
- The American Voter
- Politics, Expertise, and Interdependence within Electorates
- Constructing The Vote: Media Effects in a Constructionist Model
- Campaign Effects on Vote Choice
- Forecasting Us Presidential Elections
- Economics, Elections, and Voting Behavior
- Latinos and Political Behavior: Defining Community to Examine Critical Complexities
- Organizing American Politics, Organizing Gender
- Gauging the God Gap: Religion and Voting in US Presidential Elections
- Local and National Forces in Congressional Elections
- The Study of Local Elections in American Politics
- Studying State Judicial Races in a Transformed Electoral Environment
- Primary Elections
- Direct Democracy in the United States
- Voters in Context: The Politics of Citizen Behavior
- Getting up off the Canvass: Rethinking the Study of Mobilization
- Parties, Elections, and Democratic Politics
- Organized Interests: Evolution and Influence
- Money and American Elections
- American Electoral Practices in Comparative Perspective
- On Participation: Individuals, Dynamic Categories, and the Context of Power
- Studying American Elections*
- In Search of Representation Theory
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article presents an overview of field experiments and their contribution to the study of political behavior. First, it briefly outlines the history of field experimentation in political science and neighboring disciplines. It then summarizes a series of important and interrelated research literatures, exploring the influences of political campaigns, political communication, and political socialization. The review shows that the advent of field experimentation represents a significant departure from what had been a field dominated by survey and lab research. Furthermore, the ways in which field experimental studies shaped the research in political behavior are addressed. Field experimental studies have brought a new level of precision to the study of campaign communication. The principal argument for observational research is that it enables scholars to study a broad class of causal questions, not just those that are amenable to experimental manipulation.
Tiffany C. Davenport is a doctoral student in Political Science at Yale University.
Alan S. Gerber is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Study of American Politics, Yale University.
Donald P. Green (Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley) is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. The author of four books and more than one hundred essays, Green's research interests span a wide array of topics: voting behavior, partisanship, campaign finance, hate crime, and research methods. Much of his current work uses field experimentation to study the ways in which political campaigns mobilize and persuade voters, but he has also conducted experimental research on the effects of the mass media, civic education classes, and criminal sentencing. With Alan Gerber, he recently co-authored a textbook on this research method titled Field Experiments: Design, Analysis, and Interpretation (W.W. Norton, 2012).
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