For my social research design and methods classes, I have started collecting links to articles related to broad issues in social science research. Some of these are actual studies, while some are opinion pieces, discussions, explications, or long-winded rants. I add material as I come across it, somewhat haphazardly.
I welcome suggestions for additional material.
- Monkey’s Uncle – Jame Holland Jones’ blog, focused on epidemiology, population, and human ecology, with a dash of anthropology, and general commentary on social science research.
- Scatterplot – a sociology blog, with a variety of contributors
- Understanding Society – Daniel Little’s blog on social science, with an emphasis on social science methodology from a philosophy of science perspective.
- Family Inequality – Philip Cohen’s blog, with a focus on sociology, especially family and inequality.
- Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science – Andrew Gelman’s blog. The name pretty much says it all. Lots of interesting commentary on methodological controversies in social science.
- OrgTheory – a sociology blog, again with a variety of contributors.
Experimental designs in social science
- Deaton versus Banerjee on the usefulness of randomized controlled trials in development economics.
- Deaton’s critique of reliance on randomized control trials, and experimental designs in general. Video of Deaton giving a talk on this subject.
- New Yorker profile of Esther Duflo, advocate of randomized controlled trials. TED talk by Esther Duflo.
- Making field experiments more ethical
- Jamie Holland Jones on the role of genetics in evolutionary biology.
- An NPR piece on the decline in NIH funding
- A nice guide to writing the Specific Aims section of an NIH proposal. The tips here are relevant to the aims/objectives/goals section of any proposals.
- Some tips at the NIAID website on writing the Specific Aims portion of the proposal.
- Economist article on problems in research, in particular, whether research is self-correcting
- Profile in The Atlantic of John Ioannidis, and a discussion of problems with medical research.
- NPR article on effects of overselling weak results in medical research
- The invasion of various humanities and social science disciplines by people who ‘do theory’. This is not the same as being a theorist.
- How evidence that sugar was bad for us was ignored, and a consensus developed that dietary fats were to be avoided. A sad example of a field going astray.
- Paper by Xiao-li Meng at Harvard on trade-offs between the amount of data and its quality and representativeness. More data isn’t better if the quality is poor or the sample is unrepresentative.
Tenure, promotion and careers
- Economist article on how promotion criteria affect the behavior of academics in China.
- The strange world of fake journals and conferences.
- Heckman et al. on the tyranny of the top 5 economics journals.
- Philip Cohen suggests that sociology move to an open model of publication like that in other fields in which works in progress are widely shared, and uploaded to public archives to document precedence. This is especially something to consider for researchers working with public access data, where at present there are opportunities for someone who attends a talk or reviews a manuscript to replicate the analysis and rush it to submit it for publication before the original author does.
- At Scatterplot, discussion of issues related to misconduct by journal reviewers.
- A prospective study of publication bias in the social sciences published in Science that shows that strong results are more likely to be written up and published than null results.
- An analysis of publication bias in psychology published in PlosONE.
- Discussion by Dan Hirschman of the benefits of open access publishing.
I seek to provide links only to sites that do not require registration to view questionnaires. For the most part I have sought to provide examples of questionnaires for longitudinal studies.
- China Family Panel Survey (CFPS)
- The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS) 2008 Pilot Wave 1 Wave 2 Pilot
- China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS)
- China Health and Family Life Survey (CHFLS)
- Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS) in Taiwan
- Taiwan Educational Panel Survey (TEPS)
- Taiwan Longitudinal Study of Aging (TLSA)
- Taiwan Panel Study of Family Dynamics (PSFD)
- Taiwan Youth Project (TYP)
- Add Health The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health
- General Social Survey
- Health and Retirement Survey
- National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979
- National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997
- Replication in education research Discussion at Inside Higher Ed
- Article at Slate on the controversy on replication in psychology. The relevant issue in Social Psychology.
- An article in Vox about the replication crisis in psychology.
- An article in the NY Times about Amy Cuddy and the rise and fall of ‘power poses’.
- A paper in PLOS ONE unsuccessfully attempting to replicate psychology experiments related to ‘priming.’
- A summary of the controversy over Reinhart-Rogoff’s paper Growth in a Time of Debt, and some additional coverage in the Huffington Post and the New Yorker
- Washington Post article about replication in scientific studies, and efforts to make it easier
- Replication of the the Marshmallow Study.
- Why Most Published Research Findings are False – Essay by
- Replication in Economics – Bloomberg article by Noah Smith on why a lot of studies in economics don’t replicate
- The Wikipedia entry about Tearoom Trade, with a short summary of the criticisms of the study.
- The Stanford Prison Experiment
- Recent article about the Stanford Prison Experiment in Vox
- Expose claiming that the SPE was a lie
- The Tuskegee Study
- A reflection by Carolyn Ellis on her return to the site where she did the research for Fisher Folk.
- A long discussion of deception in qualitative research, with extended treatment of Fisher Folk and some other controversial studies in sociology.
- Controversy over Venkatesh’s Gang Leader for a Day, including a review by Tyler Cowen.
- A discussion between Venkatesh and a reviewer at Slate.
- Slate article about Alice Gofman, On the Run, and ethnography.
- NY Times article on the controversy over Alice Gofman and On the Run.
- Regnerus controversy study guide at Philip Cohen’s blog.
- Milgram’s famous psychology experiment
- A claim that it was essentially useless.
- An article about Michael LaCour and his “study” at The Cut.
Responsible Conduct of Research
- The American Psychological Association Responsible Conduct of Research guidelines
- American Sociological Association Code of Ethics
- American Economic Association Disclosure Policy for papers submitted to its journals. An article with some background at the Wall Street Journal, and an Economist piece with comments on the issue from major economists.
- A long discussion of confidentiality issues in qualitative research
Social research methodology
- Daniel Little’s post at his blog Understanding Society on the different types of social research
- Why walking around with a camcorder and editing the resulting footage may produce interesting results, but isn’t social science research.
- Cargo-cult statistics and scientific crisis About the problems for science in general, not just social science, created by the abuse of statistics, including but not limited to p-value mining etc.
- Robert Groves’ review of the historical development of survey research in the United States in Public Opinion Quarterly.