In December 2018 DCR visiting researcher Farid Tarrahi attended a course in Experimental Methods for Behavioral Science at the 2018 GSERM Summer School in Empirical Research Methods in Medellín (Colombia). The course is organized by Global Schools in Empirical Research Methods (GSERM), which is launched by the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), and hosted by EAFIT University Medellín (Colombia).
The course Farid took is specially designed for PhD students, postdocs, and professionals to gain more insights in experiments. With a small international group of mostly postdocs the participants mastered to design the perfect experiment. During the one week course, they have covered topics in the implementation of experiments in lab, field, and online, classic games, nudges, individual preference experiments (risk, time, and social), etc. The researchers used studies in specific topic areas (e.g., environmental and natural resource applications, and social policy, especially in interventions targeted to the poor) to demonstrate central concepts in social science experimentation. They have also advanced their knowledge through experience, that is, a fully designed experiment in team throughout the course with a presentation on the last day.
Farid took this course because designing experiments is a crucial part in nowadays Marketing research while he had little knowledge in designing an experiment. During his university studies the focus was rather on analyzing data than on harvesting data. After the course he developed a deeper understanding of experiments. Farid now feels more comfortable in how to cleanly test research questions by designing a good experiment.
During his stay in Medellín, Farid also expanded his network by making friends with student colleagues. Some are working in the same field and keep in touch for future collaborations.