About Experimental studies

Studies that use controlled methods to examine a phenomenon and afterwards test a predetermined hypothesis are known as experimental studies. For instance, in political science, a particular subject might be investigated by testing political trends and determining the causal links to human activity and behavior, so supporting or rejecting a particular theory. In political science, the main focus should be on validating human understandings and beliefs through an examination of their causes and effects. Many at times, the variables’ effects are minimised by the use of controls, more importantly those that are not independent which otherwise are referred to as dependent variables (Halperin and Oliver 15).

Reasons for use of experiments in political science

Experiments provide greater insights into the cause of certain issues and the effects on society. Fundamentally, in political science experiments provide an avenue for a better understanding of how, why and in which way, certain trends can be expected in society. As a matter of fact, political science is largely influenced by human behaviours; a fact that makes it difficult to understand if a proper methodology such as experimental studies is not applied. Specifically, experiments allow scientists to go beyond mare observation of events by deeply analysing the circumstances and conditions that must be met in order to achieve a certain outcome (Druckman 63).

Experiments lead to a deeper analysis and discovery of issues which might not have been considered or imagined before. More importantly, political scientists try to allow nature to interrogate with human thinking in order to establish the cause of their behaviours and the effects as well. Fundamentally, experiments in general can be said to produce better results compared to other methodologies that can be used in research. Above all, experiments in political science studies are a means of ensuring that there is proper and appropriate control on the variables under consideration. It therefore gives the researchers or political scientists opportunity to manipulate the variables that they intend to analyse and therefore arrive at better conclusions (Druckman 64).

Drawbacks of experiments in political science studies

One of the complex issues in the use of experiments is the study of human behaviours that is hard to predict with precision as it can change from time to time depending on the spur of the occasions that one can be subjected to. Additionally, experiments are tiresome and boring if done from time to time. Further, experiments can be affected by human errors and the participants can easily be affected by the environment. Another weakness is that experiments do construct artificial conditions in order to validate certain hypothesis in addition to possible variable manipulation. These drawbacks make political science experiments more subjective as opposed to being objective (Desposato 54).

Reliance on experiments by political scientists

Based on the magnitude and effect of the drawbacks, ideally political scientists should not heavily rely on experiments. In essence, the overall effect of the drawbacks is a possible violation of ethical considerations on research. On one hand, researchers can have pre-informed consent and prejudice of the outcomes and therefore tend to manipulate the variables in order to yield the outcomes expected. On the other hand, retaining the distribution of variables on the discretion of the researcher may potentially harm the results especially if the subjects are human beings. In conclusion, experiments in political science should be used to certain levels together with other methodologies (Desposato 55).

Works Cited

Desposato, Scott. Ethics and Experiments. City: Taylor and Francis, 2015. Print.

Druckman, James N. Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Political Science. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.

Halperin, Sandra, and Oliver Heath. Political research: methods and practical skills. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Print.

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