Explanation and Non-Experimental Methods in Behavioral Science
BDS 5400 675
Applied behavioral scientists must be able to explain what behavioral science is (or behavioral insights are) and how we can leverage them for a better world. What do we mean by "behavioral science and behavioral insights"? How do we use those insights? Whether working in public companies, global non-profits, research institutions, or other organizations, one must interpret, evaluate, and communicate interdisciplinary research with colleagues. Put another way, creating, assessing, and applying behavioral insights from research requires a strong understanding of and ability to communicate about disparate, sometimes competing, social theories, methods, and forms of explanation. This course will provide overviews of major trends in academic disciplines which study human behavior and link these research programs to contemporary B-sci practice. We will investigate the research methods each of these disciplines use which can inform us about human behavior. The two primary modalities of evidence-use in contemporary B-sci - experimental economics and experimental psychology - will be discussed in comparison with non-experimental methods, with a focus on non-experimental methods. Thus, a primary goal of this course is for students to be able to leverage the different kinds of insights gained from different methods in order to create coherent, well-reasoned, and understandable explanations for use in applied settings. Topics covered will include anthropological, sociological, economic, linguistic, and psychological perspectives; AI-use and authorship; and the meta-study of science, among others.
Subject Area Vocab