C&D - Social or Field Experiments

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  • Some sociologists such as Rosenhan have used social or field experiments as an alternative to laboratory experiments.
  • These involve the sociologists conducting the experiment in the real world under normal conditions, eg. Rosenhan used a mental hospital.

Advantages of field experiments:

  • (1) Interpretivists like using these because they can uncover the meanings or interpretations that underpin social behaviour, eg. why doctors and nurses treat mental patients in the way that they do and how people react to labels or stereotyping.
  • (2) Because they are carried out in the real…


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