An introduction to factorial survey experiments

Presenter(s): Tamara Gutfleisch

This three-part course offers an introduction to factorial survey experiments (FSEs). FSEs combine survey and experimental research to study the impact of various attributes on an outcome of interest. In particular, this method makes use of experimentally manipulated descriptions of objects, persons, or situations (called vignettes) to understand how individuals weigh and act upon information when making normative judgments or forming decisions. This course is meant to be introductory and will provide participants with the first set of tools to develop their own research designs. The first part gives a general overview of what FSEs are and in which research contexts they may be applied. The second part discusses the different steps in designing and conducting a factorial survey experiment. The third part is more hands-on and will show practical examples for how to analyse the data obtained from FSEs.

An Introduction to Factorial Survey Experiments- Part 1: Introduction

In the first video, Dr Tamara Gutfleisch gives a general introduction to factorial surveys, what they are and what they can do, looking at examples of how factorial surveys are applied in the literature and explores the main features of this method.


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An Introduction to Factorial Survey Experiments- Part 2: Setting Up the Experiment and the Survey

In this second video, Dr Tamara Gutfleisch explores the most important steps in designing and conducting FSEs, including how to analyse the data obtained from FSEs.


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An Introduction to Factorial Survey Experiments- Part 3

In this final video, Dr Tamara Gutfleisch demonstrates some practical examples using Stata. Specifically, focuses on checking the data quality and how to analyse and interpret the data obtained from factorial surveys.


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About the author

Tamara Gutfleisch is a sociologist at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) at the University of Mannheim (Germany). Tamara gained her PhD in sociology from the University of Luxembourg in March 2021. In her dissertation, she studied the role of applicants’ gender, ethnicity, and unemployment in employers’ hiring intentions towards young people using cross-national factorial survey data.

Her main research interests include labour market and educational inequalities, work and employment, gender inequality, integration of immigrants, as well as survey experiments and quantitative methods.

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