Workshop in Methods (WIM)

The Workshop in Methods (WIM) provides introductory education and training in sophisticated research methods to graduate students and faculty in the social sciences at Indiana University. Our goal is to supplement statistics and methods courses across the Bloomington campus with topical workshops led by leading methodological scholars from IU and across the United States.

WIM is currently directed by Patricia McManus, working with the WIM advisory committee and the Social Science Research Commons. The initial idea for WIM began with Scott Long, who discussed his vision with Dr. William Alex Pridemore. Pridemore created WIM in 2009 and directed the series until 2013.

Next workshop

Friday, January 25, 2019 thematic

Dr. Daniela Puzzello, "Why and How to Experiment in Economics"

Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
2-4pm

Experimental economics uses human subjects to answer research and policy questions. This talk provides a brief discussion of the methodological guidelines adopted in economics experiments. It will also illustrate how experiments can be used to test the validity of economic theories or guide the design of market mechanisms and economic policies.

Professor Puzzello's research and teaching interests are in economic theory, monetary economics and experimental economics. Her work focuses on the efficiency of allocations in environments with decentralized trade. Some of her research integrates theory and experiments to study social norms of exchange and welfare improving trading institutions. Puzzello's research has been published in American Economic Review, Econometrica, Economic Theory, European Economic Review, Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Mathematical Economics, and Journal of Monetary Economics. She is an associate editor of Economic Theory, an advisory board member of the SAET Bulletin and an editor of The B. E. Journal of Theoretical Economics.

Event flyer Add to calendar: Outlook; Google

Upcoming workshops

Friday, February 1, 2019 toolkit

Helge Marahrens, "Introduction to APIs for Social Scientists"

Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
2-4pm

In recent years, social scientists have increased their efforts to access new datasets from the web or from large databases. An easy way to access such data are Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This workshop introduces techniques for working with APIs in Python to retrieve data from sources such as Wikipedia or The New York Times. It is intended for researchers who are new to working with APIs, but are familiar with Python or have completed the Introduction to Python workshop.

This workshop is the second in a three-part series, followed by “Introduction to Text Mining for Social Scientists” (February 15, 2019). Materials from the first workshop, “Introduction to Python for Social Scientists” (November 9, 2018), are available through IUScholarWorks and Media Collections Online.

Helge-Johannes Marahrens is a third-year doctoral student in the department of Sociology at Indiana University, working toward a PhD in Sociology and an MS in Applied Statistics. His research interests include cultural consumption, stratification, and computational social science with a particular focus on Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Event flyer  Add to calendar: Outlook; Google

 
Friday, February 8, 2019 timely

Dr. Alex Hollingsworth & Dr. Coady Wing, "Synthetic Control Groups: An introduction to key concepts, recent extensions, and a hands-on application"

Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
2-4pm

 

Friday, February 15, 2019 toolkit

Helge Marahrens, "Introduction to Text Mining for Social Scientists"

Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
2-4pm

 

Friday, February 22, 2019 timely

Dr. Cassidy Sugimoto & Dr. Beth Gazley

Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
2-4pm

 

Friday, March 1, 2019 thematic

Dr. Long Doan, "Lab Experiments in Social Science Research"

Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
2-4pm

Despite the growing popularity of experimental designs in sociological research, lab experiments remain relatively rare. Nevertheless, lab experiments are the gold standard for testing theory and assessing causal arguments, especially those that difficult to test using questionnaire measures. This workshop focuses on the logic of experiments, types of questions that are ideal for answering with lab experiments, issues of internal and external validity, and contrasting lab experiments to other experimental and observational methods. Using exemplars from sociology, I will walk through the design of lab experiments, common pitfalls that may surprise unaccustomed researchers, and ways to deal with these issues. The workshop is a mixture of lecture and hands-on exercises and is designed for those interested in designing their first few experiments or those on the fence about using lab experiments in their own research.

Long Doan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland. He is broadly interested in how various social psychological processes motivate behavior and explain patterns of inequality. In particular, Doan is interested in the intersections of sexuality, gender, and race. His work examines how seemingly subtle differences in evaluations of individuals based on their social characteristics lead to larger, more concrete implications, such as the acceptance or denial of legal rights or decisions related to hiring.

Event flyer Add to calendar: Outlook; Google

 

Friday, March 29, 2019 timely
Workshop in Methods + Graduate Mentoring Center

Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya

Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
2-4pm

 

Friday, April 5, 2019 thematic

Dr. Jorge Mejia & Dr. Chris Parker

Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
2-4pm

Past workshops

Friday, January 18, 2019 thematic

Dr. Trenton Mize, "Survey Experiments: Testing Causality in Diverse Samples"

Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
2-5pm

Experimental designs remain the gold standard for assessing causality; perhaps because of this, the use of experiments has grown rapidly in most social science fields such as economics, political science, sociology, and others. While laboratory studies remain popular in some fields, there is increasing interest in bringing the power of experimental designs to more diverse samples. Survey experiments offer the capability to assess causality in a broad range of samples, including targeted samples of specific populations or in large-scale nationally representative samples. The rise of online workplaces and the TESS program offer the ability to bring these samples to applied researchers at a minimal cost, greatly expanding the possibilities for research. This workshop will focus on how to design quality survey experiments, giving researchers the tools to implement best practices. I will also advocate for survey experiments as a tool for tests of intersectionality and other theoretical questions requiring diverse samples.

Trent Mize is an assistant professor of sociology at Purdue University and core faculty for the cluster in advanced methodologies for the social, behavioral, and health sciences at Purdue (AMAP). His research covers three core areas: (1) how gender and sexuality shape workplace interaction and labor market outcomes; (2) experimental methodology and statistical approaches for causal inference, cross-model comparisons, and for modeling categorical dependent variables; and (3) how social roles and relationships shape health behavior and health inequalities. Recent work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, Social Psychology Quarterly, and Social Science & Medicine.

Materials on IUScholarWorks (event flyer, presentation slides)

Video coming soon


Friday, November 9, 2018

Helge-Johannes Marahrens, "Introduction to Python for Social Scientists"

Social Science Research Commons Grand Hall
2-4pm

Python has become the lead instrument for data scientists to collect, clean, and analyze data. As a general purpose programming language, Python is flexible and well-suited to handle large datasets. This workshop is designed for social scientists, who are interested in using Python, but have no idea where to start. Our goal is to "de-mystify" Python and to teach social scientists how to manipulate and examine data that deviate from the clean, rectangular survey format. Computers with Python pre-loaded are available in the SSRC on a first-come, first-served basis. This workshop is intended for social scientists who are new to programming. No experience required.

Helge-Johannes Marahrens is a third-year doctoral student in the department of Sociology at Indiana University, working toward a PhD in Sociology and an MS in Applied Statistics. His research interests include cultural consumption, stratification, and computational social science with a particular focus on Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Materials on IUScholarWorks (event flyer, presentation slides, hands-on exercise files)

Video (Media Collections Online)

 


Friday, November 2, 2018

Dr. John Poe, "Fixed, Random, and Mixed Effects: Modern Approaches to Dealing with Nested, Clustered, Panel, and Longitudinal Data"

Social Science Research Commons Grand Hall
2-4pm

Dr. Poe will be also be offering a hands-on session, 4:30-5:30pm, sponsored by the Indiana Intensive Didactic Seminar. Participants should bring a laptop with R and RStudio installed to participate in the hands-on session. 

Researchers often get contradictory advice from professors, colleagues, reviewers, and textbooks on how to deal with clustering across time and space. Economists argue strongly for “fixed effects” models. Psychologists and statisticians more typically push for “mixed effects” models. Most applied researchers in the social sciences are told to use a Hausman test to decide between fixed and random effects. This is complicated by the fact that different disciplines, articles, and books use very different terminology and notation to describe models. This lecture will walk participants through the basic problems of clustered data and translate the solutions from economics, psychology, and statistics into a common language. We will focus on how to make practical decisions on model choices for linear and nonlinear models, what problems can crop up, and how to describe/justify your methods to different audiences.

Dr. John Poe is currently a research methodologist working as a postdoctoral scholar for the Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research at the University of Kentucky. He received his PhD in the Department of Political Science at UK in 2017. He teaches the advanced course on multilevel modeling for the ICPSR summer program at the University of Michigan and the GSERM program in Europe. His methodological training comes mostly from econometrics, psychometrics, statistics, and biostatistics.

Dr. Poe's current substantive work is focused on understanding community health systems using network science. In particular, he's focused on understanding how health system structures and interactions affect health disparities in different segments of the population. His past (and future) work was split between research about the determinants of the policy process and understanding how different mechanisms in policy making operate and how people react to the their political and social environments. Methodologically, he is focused on problems of endogneity and model misspecification with clustered, multilevel, longitudinal, and network data structures.

Materials on IUScholarWorks (event flyer, presentation slides)

Video (Media Collections Online)

 


Friday, October 26, 2018
Workshop in Methods + CEWiT

Dr. Olga Scrivner, "Improving your Writing Project Workflow with a Collaborative Online Platform: Overleaf and ShareLaTeX"

Social Science Research Commons Grand Hall
2-4pm

Overleaf (recently merged with ShareLaTex) provides a collaborative interactive platform for writing, editing, and publishing articles. Overleaf also offers a variety of templates to create assignments, syllabi, reports, presentations, and newsletters.

In this workshop you will learn about Overleaf and LaTeX, a markup language, which enables you to separate your context from formatting (e.g., font, size, margins), thus allowing you to concentrate solely on your ideas. Particularly, using LaTeX is beneficial if your writing incorporates formulae, equations, glosses or your journal requires a specific article format and bibliographic style.

Dr. Olga Scrivner is a research scientist with the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center; corporate faculty in Data Analytics at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology; and CEWiT Faculty Fellow.

Materials on IUScholarWorks (event flyer)

Video (Media Collections Online)

 


Friday, October 19, 2018

Dr. Coady Wing, "Using Instrumental Variables to Interpret Experiments, Choice Experiments, and Survey Nonresponse"

Social Science Research Commons Grand Hall
2-3:30pm

Classical applications of instrumental variables analysis are justified by structural models of behavior, and assumptions about the relationship between measured and unmeasured variables. Experimental and quasi-Experimental research designs present a partial alternative to structural modeling that is useful for answering certain types of research questions. It turns out that instrumental variables analysis can also help us make sense of several different research designs.

This workshop will introduce the key assumptions involved in instrumental variables analysis from the perspective of research design. It will examine the way instrumental variables can play a role in the analysis of data from (i) classical randomized experiments, (ii) experiments that mix randomization and participant choice, and (iii) surveys that suffer from nonresponse. In each case, research designs justify some instrumental variable assumptions and not others. Examples and best practices for applied research will be discussed throughout.

Coady Wing is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Materials on IU Box (event flyer, presentation slides)

Video (Media Collections Online)

 


Friday, October 12, 2018

Kristin Otto and Dr. Emily Meanwell, "Exploring Qualitative Data Analysis Software"

Social Science Research Commons Grand Hall
2-4pm

This workshop will provide an overview for participants of the three main qualitative data analysis (QDA) software packages: NVivo, MAXQDA, and ATLAS.ti. It will highlight the capabilities of each program, their specific strengths and weaknesses, and the types of research best suited to each by using a set of sample data that allows direct comparison across platforms. Rather than a tutorial of how to use specific QDA software, this workshop will provide participants with an understanding of how different QDA platforms may be used to facilitate analysis, and which program may be best suited to researchers’ needs.

The workshop is ideal for graduate students or faculty who are new to the idea of using QDA software and are curious about its utility for their research, or for those who have been exposed to QDA software before but would like to compare programs and learn more about their capabilities.

Kristin Otto is a PhD candidate in the anthropology department, Qualitative Data Analysis Lab assistant, and Mathers Museum of World Cultures Research Associate. Emily Meanwell is the director of the Social Science Research Commons and the study director for the Sociological Research Practicum.

Materials on IU Box (event flyer)

 


Friday, September 28, 2018 (and Saturday, September 29, 2018)

Grant Application Workshop for Early-Career Social Scientists with Dr. Regina Werum

Social Science Research Commons Grand Hall

Currently at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Dr. Regina E. Werum earned her M.A. and a combined Ph.D. in Sociology and American Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington. From 2010-2012, she served as a Program Director for Sociology at the National Science Foundation.

Friday, September 28, 2018

2:00-3:30pmIntroduction to Proposal Writing, Best Practices, and Q&A
3:30-3:45pmBreak
3:45-4:30pmQ&A with recent awardees
4:30-6:00pmFunding opportunities for social science and social science methodology
6:00pmReception

Saturday, September 29, 2018

8:00-10:00amHands-on session with Dr. Werum for prospective applicants.
Space is limited and registration required by September 14th with a one-page draft project summary. Register at https://go.iu.edu/24Rx.

Materials on IUScholarWorks (event flyer, presentation slides)

Video (Media Collections Online)

 


Friday, September 14, 2018
Workshop in Methods + Russian Studies Workshop

Dr. Kate Graber, "Media and Discourse Analysis"

Social Science Research Commons Grand Hall
2-3:45pm

This workshop is part of the Russian Studies Workshop 2018 Graduate Methods Training Workshop, and is open to all IU graduate students in collaboration between the Russian Studies Workshop and WIM.

For both theoretical and logistical reasons, many social scientists turn to media texts—archival newspapers, radio and television broadcasts, podcasts, Twitter feeds, etc.—to understand the society that produced them. It may seem easy, because as a regular consumer and producer of media, you are already constantly analyzing the mediated discourse around you: parsing sentences, assessing the veracity of a claim, and making judgments as to the authority, intelligence, and background of a writer or speaker. But how might you denaturalize your “native” media literacy and go about this in a more systematic and rigorous way? In this hands-on workshop, we will sample some of the key methods for analyzing mediated discourse: transcription, critical discourse analysis, building and working with a corpus, capturing digital circulation, and multimodal analysis. Some examples will come from Russian media, but this workshop is open to all IU graduate students.



Materials on IUScholarWorks (event flyer, presentation slides)

 Video (Media Collections Online)

 


Friday, September 7, 2018

Dr. S. Michael Gaddis, "Correspondence Audits: Design Issues and Practical Examples"

Social Science Research Commons Grand Hall
2-4pm

During the past decade, field experiments in the social and behavioral sciences have gained in popularity as the internet has made implementing experiments easier, cheaper, and faster. However, although researchers may have a conceptual knowledge of how experiments work, the actual experience of implementing a field experiment for the first time is often frustrating and time consuming. Researchers without prior experience often struggle with a number of issues such as navigating IRB, obtaining true random sampling and assignment, understanding blocking, and interpreting different types of treatment effects. The initial learning curve may be steep but the rewards are plentiful as experiments produce highly valued original data, lend themselves to causal analysis in ways that traditional survey data cannot, and become easier to implement as a researcher’s experience level increases. This talk will introduce social scientists to the basics of a particular type of field experiment -- the correspondence audit -- and walk through a number of design issues that first time users often struggle with. Dr. Gaddis will provide practical examples from his own and others' work to illuminate some of the pitfalls of this method and help the audience gain confidence in embarking on their own field experiments.

Dr. S. Michael Gaddis is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UCLA whose research focuses on racial discrimination, educational inequality, and mental health. He often uses experiments to examine levels of discrimination in employment and housing as well as the conditions under which racial discrimination occurs. He is editor and contributor to a recent book titled Audit Studies: Behind the Scenes with Theory, Method, and Nuance. His research has been published in top journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Social Forces, Social Science & Medicine, and Sociological Science and has been funded by the National Academy of Education, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.



Materials on IUScholarWorks (event flyer, presentation slides

Video (Media Collections Online)

 


Friday, August 24, 2018

Dr. J. Scott Long, "Reproducible Results and the Workflow of Data Analysis"

Social Science Research Commons Grand Hall
2-3:30pm

Many disciplines are paying increasing attention to reproducible results. The fundamental idea is that other scientists should have access to your data and be able to obtain the same results—this is reproducibility. More generally, your results should be robust so that other scientists can confirm your findings using other data. Increasingly journals require authors to provide their data and analysis file before a paper is accepted to verify that that results. Producing reproducible results is highly dependent on your workflow for data analysis. This workflow encompasses the entire process of scientific research: Planning, documenting, and organizing your work; creating, labeling, naming, and verifying variables; performing and presenting statistical analyses; preserving your work; and ending with reproducible results. Most of the work in statistics classes focuses on estimating and interpreting models. In “real world” research projects, these activities may involve less than 10% of the total work. Professor Long’s talk is about the other 90% of the work. An efficient workflow saves time, introduces greater reliability into the steps of the analysis, and generates reproducible results.

Dr. Long is Distinguished Professor and Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Statistics at Indiana University.

Materials on IU ScholarWorks (event flyer, presentation slides)

 

View more past workshops in the WIM archives. Browse by year, browse all videos in the WIM collection on Media Collections Online, and/or browse the WIM collection of materials on IUScholarWorks