Designed Data for Bridging the Lab and the Field: Tools, Methods, and Challenges in Social Media Experiments
This workshop will explore the methodological middle ground between the field and the lab. Research using repurposed observational data from online platforms has transformed the study of online behavior and have high external validity, but present challenges for establishing causality and replication. On the other hand, experimental studies offer high internal validity, discovery of causal relationships, and ease of replication, but the rigid control over the settings and interactions of an experiment can limit generalizability. New methods work toward bridging these two research contexts, bringing the lab to the field to recruit more diverse participants in a natural setting, or by simulating natural settings and interactions of the field in the lab. This workshop will showcase more naturalistic experimental paradigms, innovative tools and methods, and challenges in conducting research to optimize both internal and ecological validity.