In this episode, we talk with Justin Picket of SUNY-Albany about using web-based surveys for public opinion polling and experiments. He provides guidance, tips, and tricks for using services like Amazon Mechanical Turk.

“A lot of people have great ideas, and they just don’t have the resources to go out and go a longitudinal study. Giving people the tools to initially test their idea and get it out there can really benefit science….it opens the theorizing and the research to broader set.”
– Justin Pickett – 


In this special edition of Give Methods a Chance, we talk with Chris Uggen to get context and insight to a recent retraction of a political science article in Science and the resulting public discourse around the study under question.

“Outright fraud, where people make up data, is likely to be exceedingly rare–in part because it is not sustainable over a long term. As academics, we rely on our professional reputation. So you might be able to get a paper published, which might even get you a job, but, long term, it just isn’t in anyone’s interest to falsify data.”
– Chris Uggen – 

In this episode, we talk with Devah Pager, Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Pager studies institutions affecting racial stratification, including education, labor markets, and the criminal justice system.  Pager’s recent research has involved a series of field experiments studying discrimination against minorities and ex-offenders in the low-wage labor market. Her book, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (University of Chicago, 2007), investigates the racial and economic consequences of large scale imprisonment for contemporary U.S. labor markets. You can read the study we discuss here.

“It’s a nice blend between experimental methods that are heavily controlled and that isolate a causal mechanism, but it’s an experiment that’s taking place in real world settings. The devil is in the details. Keep in mind that it sounds like a very simple approach, but there are a lot of complexities to carry it out effectively.”
– Devah Pager –