Experiments as a Research Method (Applied on Marketing), 14.-15.2., 26.4.2019

Note! Other than marketing students are warmly welcome! The method is universal, but the course material uses experiments in marketing as examples of applying the method. Nordic doctoral students are welcome to apply to this course. The course is free, but students must pay for travel, accommodation, and meals.

Time and place:

Preliminary dates 14.-15.2.2019 and 26.4. (for final presentations), Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki

Learning goals:

You will learn the basics of experimental research and its use in marketing research. You will learn when it is appropriate to perform an experiment, and how to plan and analyse such a study in order to get your article published in a high quality journal.

Why learning experimental method?

Basically, an experiment is about assessing the causal influence between variables, and causal influence is a typical component of scientific theories. From a research point of view, then, experiments represent an essential tool for examining if theories survive the encounter with reality. Experimental research is common in marketing, but used also in other business and management disciplines. As a researcher in marketing, or other subjects, you are likely to come across experiments in various ways. You may publish a study based on an experimental design, review studies performed by others for international conferences and journals, or you may need method knowledge to evaluate the quality of articles that you refer to in research. Understanding the basics of experimental method is an internationally expected basic research skill.

Course credits:

The course consists of two parts, that give separate credits, and when you are accepted to the course you can choose to pass one or both. The first part is a literature exam and the second part is a seminar course with a paper assignment. Both parts are evaluated pass/fail. The literature exam has no restrictions on participants.

Co-ordinator: Professor Veronica Liljander, Hanken School of Economics, Department of Marketing. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Course literature:

Introductory book

 Söderlund, M. (2018). Experiments in marketing. Lund: Studentlitteratur AB. ISBN 978-91-44-12385-1 (About 190 pages text.)

Methodological issues

Goodman, J. K., and Paolacci, G. (2017), Crowdsourcing consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 44(1), 196-210.

Kees, J, Berry, C., Burton S. and Sheehan K. (2017), An Analysis of Data Quality: Professional Panels, Student Subject Pools, and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Journal of Advertising, Vol. 46 (1), 141–155.

Pieters, R. (2017). Meaningful mediation analysis: Plausible causal inference and informative communication. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 44 (3), 692-716.

Spiller S.A., Fitzsimons G. J, Lynch Jr. J.G. and McClelland G.H. (2013), Spotlights, Floodlights, and the Magic Number Zero: Simple Effects Tests in Moderated Regression, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. L (April), 277–288.

Zhao, X., Lynch Jr, J.G. and Chen, Q. (2010), Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and truths about mediation analysis. Journal of Consumer Research, 37 (2), 197-206.

Zhou, H. and Fishbach, A. (2016), The Pitfall of Experimenting on the Web: How Unattended Selective Attrition Leads to Surprising (yet false) Research Conclusions, Journal of Personality and Social Pshychology, Vol. 111 (4), 493-504

Wilson, T.D., Ronson E.A. and Carlsmith K. (2010), The Art of Laboratory Experimentation. In: Handbook of Social Psychology, Volume One, Ch.2, Eds. Fiske, S. T., Gilbert, .T. and Lindzey, G., John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 51-81. (available by googling the title).

Applications in high-ranked journals

 Argo, J. J.; Dahl, D. W.; Morares, A. C. (2006), Consumer Contamination: How Consumers React to Products Touched by Others. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 70 (2), 81–94.

Jerger, C. and Wirtz, J. (2017), Service Employee Responses to Angry Customer Complaints: The Roles of Customer Status and Service Climate. Journal of Service Research, Vol 20 (4), 362 – 378.

Glikson, E, Cheshin, A, and. van Kleef, G.A. (2017), The Dark Side of a Smiley: Effects of Smiling Emoticons on Virtual First Impressions, Social Psychological and Personality Science, Vol 9 (5), 614 – 625.

Garbinsky, E. N., Klesse, A. K., & Aaker, J. (2014). Money in the bank: Feeling powerful increases saving. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(3), 610-623.

Henkel, A. P., Boegershausen, J., Hoegg, J., Aquino, K., & Lemmink, J. (2018). Discounting humanity: When consumers are price conscious, employees appear less human. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 28(2), 272-292.

Topolinski, S., Lindner, S. and Freudenberg, A. (2014), Popcorn in the Cinema. Oral Inferences Sabotage Advertising Effects, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Vol. 24 (2), 169-176.

 

Literature examination (3 ECTS)

Söderlund, M. (2018). Experiments in marketing. Lund: Studentlitteratur AB. ISBN 978-91-44-12385-1 (About 190 pages text.)

Regardless of whether you take the exam for 3 credits, or not, you need to read this book before coming to the Seminar Course. It gives you basic knowledge on experiments, on which the course builds. Hence, read the book before you read the other course literature. The other course literature is not included in the exam.

The exam consists of a random sample of pre-given questions, which are available in Moodle. The list covers the whole book and assures that students have a good grasp of the main concepts. The exam consist of a random sample of these questions plus one additional question that is not on the prepared list. The final exam question, which is not on the list of pre-given questions, tests your overall understanding of issues related to the method. Students receive 3 credits upon having passed the exam.

Students gets access to the questions after signing up for the course. Students get temporary Hanken IDs and the key to the Moodle course after signing up.

The exam can be taken digitally at Hanken in Helsinki or Vaasa at any time. A link to signing up and instructions can be found in Moodle. The examination room with computers is situated at Hanken (Helsinki and Vaasa). The exam can be taken only on Hanken premises. Exams can be taken on all days except Sundays, from morning to evening. You can, for example, reserve an examination slot for the day before or after the course days at Hanken.The examination time is a little under 3 hours.

Prepare for the exam by 1) reading the book thoroughly from the beginning to the end, to get an overall understanding of the method, 2) while reading the book, look up the pre-given exam questions, 3) prepare answers to the questions, and 4) later go through the questions and answers again, refreshing your memory, memorizing the answers.

Upon passing the course, it will be registered in Hanken’s electronic database (Course code 62353-1). You get a transcript of records from the study office.

Examiner: Professor Veronica Liljander, Hanken School of Economics

 

Doctoral Seminar on experiments (5 ECTS)

Course content

Learning is based on different elements which combined develop and deepen the students’ knowledge about experimental research. One cannot fully appreciate the importance of all criteria, until one has performed an experiment of one’s own.

To conduct a small experiment on two groups of consumers (may be students) with 30 subjects per group (treatment/control groups). Data can be collected by using convenience samples, or you can buy access to online panel data. Assignments can be performed individually, or in pairs. Students write a journal like report that is evaluated.

You plan an experimental study, based on the learnings from the book and articles. The assignment consists of three parts:

Part 1. Write a 4-page plan, which needs to be accepted before you continue to collect data. It includes the following parts:

  1. 1)A title page with your name and a title for your work.
  2. 2)A 1-2-page description with references of the theoretical problem that you intend to investigate in the experiment, and what research question the experiment will answer. Formulate at least one hypothesis to be tested in the study. It is up to you to come up with an idea for the experiment and to position it in theory. A few relevant references are needed. You can also replicate an existing study, perhaps adding some new measures.
  3. 3)A 2-3-page tightly written description of the experimental design, outlining the treatment, the dependent and independent variables to be tested, a detailed list of measures (can be put in an appendix) with sources (where are the measures taken from, references), including scales, and a data collection plan for collecting a small data set.
  4. 4)A list of references.

Part 2, Final Paper. In the second part of the assignment, you collect data to answer your research question and test the hypothesis (hypotheses). You should have a minimum of 30 participants per treatment level (or per treatment and control group). You need to report on two groups of participants for the assignment, but you may include more. Collect the data and perform the necessary tests to answer the research questions (test the hypothesis). The full report should be about 10 pages with an emphasis on the theoretical problem, experimental design, and results presentation, followed by a short concluding discussion.

Part 3. Prepare a 10-minute presentation of the study, which you present in class during the final seminar day. About half a day is reserved for the presentations and feedback.

Place: Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki

 

Examination

Continual assessment and successful completion of the assignments.

1) Presence and informed participation in all class meetings are compulsory. Students are assessed on their ability to contribute to the in-class discussions.

2) Journal like text, which reports on the own experiment. Quality of the individual research design, arguments supporting the hypotheses to be tested, description of the experiment itself (text and suggested measures) and data collection. In addition, the quality of the analyses, presentation and discussion of the results in Assignment 2.

Grading: Pass/Fail

Upon passing the course, it will be registered in Hanken’s electronic database (Course code 62353-2). You get a transcript of records from the study office.

Examiners 

Professor Magnus Söderlund, Stockholm School of Economics,

Assistant Professor Robert Ciuchita, Hanken School of Economics.

 

Preliminary schedule for the 5 credits Doctoral Seminar Course (coffee breaks and lunch are inserted when suitable)

Date

Time

Place

Topic

Preparation (preliminary: division between sessions subject to change)

14.2

9 am -5 pm

 

Course introduction, why to perform experiments.

Important concepts.

Discussion of example articles.

  • •Söderlund, M. (2018)
  • •Wilson, T.D., Ronson E.A. and Carlsmith K. (2010)
  • •Topolinski, S., Lindner, S. and Freudenberg, A. (2014)
  • •Argo, J. J.; Dahl, D. W.; Morares, A. C. (2006).

15.2

9 am -5 pm

 

Experimental designs and statistical tests.

Discussion of articles.

Introduction of the Assignment

  • •Goodman, J. K., and Paolacci, G. (2017), Crowdsourcing consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 44(1), 196-210.
  • •Kees, J, Berry, C., Burton S. and Sheehan K. (2017).
  • •Pieters, R. (2017)
  • •Zhao, X., Lynch Jr, J.G. and Chen (2010)
  • •Zhou, H. and Fishbach, A. (2016),
  • •Spiller S.A., Fitzsimons G. J, Lynch Jr. J.G. and McClelland G.H. (2013),

Assignment Part 1. Research design, 4-page proposal

Deadline for Moodle submission on March 10, 2019.

Assignment Part 2. Final paper (about 10 pages).

Deadline for Moodle submission on April 22, 2019.

26.4

9 a.m - 5 pm

 

Presentation of results from the experiment, discussion

Discussion of example articles.

Commentators: Magnus Söderlund and Robert Ciuchita

  • •Glikson, E. Cheshin, A. and van Kleef, G.A. (2017)
  • •Jerger, C. and Wirtz, J. (2017)
  • •Garbinsky, E. N., Klesse, A. K., & Aaker, J. (2014). Money in the bank: Feeling powerful increases saving. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(3), 610-623.
  • •Henkel, A. P., Boegershausen, J., Hoegg, J., Aquino, K., & Lemmink, J. (2018). Discounting humanity: When consumers are price conscious, employees appear less human. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 28(2), 272-292.

 

Signing up for the course

Please submit an electronic application by 15th January, 2019

Copy the below link into your browser to access the online sign-up form.

 https://forma.hanken.fi/lomakkeet/1073/lomake.html

You will be asked to provide:

Number of students accepted

The submission deadline for applications January 15, 2019.

Notification of acceptance: January 17, 2019.