Experiments Versus Quasi-experiments

  • Jerald Greenberg
  • Robert Folger
Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)


Donald Campbell privately distributed a paper in 1953 entitled “Designs for Social Science Experiments. ” It became the basis for a subsequent article (D.T. Campbell, 1957) in which the distinction between internal and external validity was first introduced to the psychological literature. That article was especially noteworthy for presenting in detail the formal logic whereby random assignment to conditions (e.g., treatment vs. control) made implausible some specific classes of threats to internal validity. Later this aspect of assignment arrangements, randomization, was used to distinguish “true experiments” from “quasi-experiments” (D.T. Campbell & Stanley, 1963). Indeed, the special relationship of randomization to internal validity was given such prominence that the term experiment was taken to mean a randomized experiment unless otherwise noted—a convention we follow in this chapter.


Internal Validity Program Evaluation Causal Inference Random Assignment Social Program 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerald Greenberg
    • 1
  • Robert Folger
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Management and Human ResourcesThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.A.B Freeman School of BusinessTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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