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Nature's experiments and natural experiments in the social sciences

Morgan, Mary S. (2013) Nature's experiments and natural experiments in the social sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 43 (3). pp. 341-357. ISSN 0048-3931

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0048393113489100

Abstract

This article explores the characteristics of research sites that scientists have called “natural experiments” to understand and develop usable distinctions for the social sciences between “Nature’s or Society’s experiments” and “natural experiments.” In this analysis, natural experiments emerge as the retro-fitting by social scientists of events that have happened in the social world into the traditional forms of field or randomized trial experiments. By contrast, “Society’s experiments” figure as events in the world that happen in circumstances that are already sufficiently “controlled” to be open for direct analysis without reconstruction work.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://pos.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 14:21
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2014 15:32
Funders: Wolfson Foundation via the British Academy
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/52535

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