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“You Can’t Always Test What You Want: But if you try…you test what you need”

Dr. Lynn Chin
Dr. Lynn Chin
Washington and Lee University
MLC 213
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Sponsor: Laboratory for the Study of Social Interaction

In research, you can’t always test what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you can test what you need to. What do you do when you are theory testing and aren’t yet able to directly test the mechanisms you want to test? This presentation explores a series of setbacks in figuring out how to test a new theoretical research program. This talk also discusses the transitions in a theoretical research project that originally set out to test a mechanism by which status hierarchies produced feelings of group cohesion, but ended up running a series of experiments to test whether people hold a “Status Coordination Schema”, or the expectation that status hierarchies foster smooth intragroup coordination.

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