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.
We encourage submissions on a variety of topics, including but not limited to:
- Lab-like field studies where experiments take place in the field to create a more natural setting and attract a more diverse population
- Field-like lab studies where lab experiments replicate or simulate a field setting, allowing for natural interactions and behaviors to be tested and observed
- Innovative tools and techniques for implementing these new methodologies
- Challenges to designing and running these types of studies
- Comments and provocations on the ethics of these studies, and the effects they may have on participants.
This workshop will be a space to brainstorm and collectively discuss these issues and topics. Participants will be asked to briefly share a method, tool, challenge or comment with the group to help guide these group discussions.