This page presents information about the course, including a calendar.
Course Meeting Times
Lectures: 1 session / week, 2.5 hours / session
Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session
What is 14.11?
14.11 is a new class on the topic of field (that is, 'in situ') and laboratory experiments in the social sciences - both what these experiments have taught and can teach us and how to conduct them.
The class has three major components:
- In lecture, we will discuss (and you will read research papers on) 12 major substantive topics addressed by experimental social science, including: race discrimination, gender differences in behavior, persuasion, corruption and voting.
- Each lecture will also cover methodological topics that will aid you in designing, conducting, analyzing and presenting a field or laboratory experiment.
- You, the student, will conduct an original experimental study (i.e. not only library or Google™ research) with human subjects. There will be a number of structured assignments and milestones leading to the planning, execution, write-up and presentation of this research.
Summary of Research Topics
- Racial Discrimination
- Public Health and Persuasion
- Gender Differences in Economic Environments
- Intrinsic Motivation and Fairness
- Educational Quality
- Learning and Social Effects
- Housing Experiments
- Voting Behavior and Political Economy
Summary of Methodological Topics
- Causal Inference
- Threats to Validity (Internal Threats)
- Sample Size, Power Calculations
- Human Subjects
- Threats to Validity (External Threats)
- Clustering and Standard Errors
- Randomization as an Instrumental Variable
- Statistical Inference with Multiple Outcomes
||Public Health and Persuasion
||Incentives, Reciprocity and Cooperation
||Read 5 of 13 assigned example papers and 2 paragraphs on each
||Gender Differences in Economic Environments: Leadership, Competition, Politics
||Memo describing research topic of interest, including brief literature review
||Intrinsic Motivation and Fairness
||Research proposal memo: Question, research design and further literature review as relevant. Complete MIT Human Subjects test
First version of Couhes application due 3 days after Lec #5
||Improving Educational Quality
||Final version of Couhes application due - This must be submitted to Couhes 2 days after Lec #6 or you will receive no credit for 14.11 (because you cannot perform an experiment).
||Monitoring, Deception and Corruption
||Learning and Social Effects
||Final research design due
||Commitment, Self-control and Savings
||Housing Experiments and Neighborhood Effects
||Memo summarizing and presenting initial analysis of your experimental results
||Juries, Advocacy and Bias
||Final project due 2 days after Lec #12