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Experimental Research As Practical Action: Stooge Detection And Bias

James Alan Neff
Symbolic Interaction
Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 1978), pp. 61-73
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
DOI: 10.1525/si.1978.1.2.61
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/si.1978.1.2.61
Page Count: 13
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Experimental Research As Practical Action: Stooge Detection And Bias
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Abstract

A discussion of experimental research as practical action applies the ethnomethodological critique to research in experimental social psychology. While research on demand characteristics may meet some of the ethnomethodological criticisms, it may not provide a set of exemplars around which the practical activity of experimentation can be organized. “Stooge detection” is a practical problem often faced by experimenters. My data suggest that stooge detection may, in certain circumstances, be a member's strategy for dealing with a problematic experimental setting. This view has implications for notions of experimental “bias”.

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