Social experiment

A social experiment is a type of psychological or sociological research for testing people’s reactions to certain situations or events. The experiment depends solely on a particular social approach where the main source of information is people with their knowledge and point of view. To carry out a social experiment, specialists normally divide participants into two groups — active participants (people who take action in some event) and respondents (people who react to the action). Throughout the experiment, participants are monitored by specialists to identify the effects and differences as a result of the experiment. Intentional communities can be seen as social experiments.[1]

Social psychology offers experiences into how individuals act in groups and how behavior is affected by social burdens and pressures.[2]

In most social experiments, the subjects are unaware that they are partaking in an experiment. Several "actors" or "plants" are used to study social behaviors.

Social experiments have also been used by companies to collect data about consumers and their opinions about a product or a particular topic.[3]


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