Reading on integrating experimental and observational research design


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Because people stumble into the career of market research from so many other fields, many books on research and survey design need to be written at a basic level.

The books listed below, though, are different. Many leap to a level of mental gymnastics that some of us haven’t experienced since college. But the exercise can be good for you! Even if you initially only understand 10% of it, that 10% can set you free to rise above the mundane.

Unfortunately, since I haven’t reading these books myself, I can’t yet give you a full mapping yet of which fit together, which are too tough, and which might be skipped over.

  • Leslie Kish, Survey Sampling (1965) [Classic text for dealing with imperfect sampling (non-response, lack of coverage) and complex sampling (multi-stage and multi-level)]
  • Kerlinger and Lee, Foundations of Behavioral Research (1999) [Comprehensive text that reaches from the past almost into the present]
  • Shadish, Cook, and Campbell, Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Design for Generalized Causal Inference (2001) [The best book, and the one that new methods aspire to beat]
  • Paul R. Rosenbaum, Observational Studies (2002) [The new generation: propensity-scoring…]
  • Donald B. Rubin, Matched Sampling for Causal Effects (2006) [Key thinker of new generation]
  • Judea Pearl, Causality: Models, Reasoning and Interference (2000, 2009) [Coming out of the field of computer science, Pearl writes almost as a mathematical philosopher, challenging both the new generation and the old, and giving you a new understanding of structural equation modeling]
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