Research Project

Set up an experimental research design to test the microfoundations of a specific IR theory of choice.
To do so, you will first have to 1) precisely describe the theory, 2) explain explicitly what
is the mechanism at micro-level (in other words: what is the expected behavior of
individuals, according to theory/micro-foundation), 3) argue convincingly why it is
necessary to test these microfoundations. Let this discussion lead to a clearly stated
research question, followed by a clear theoretical expectation (hypothesis) that you will
test with the experiment. Make sure to support your argumentation on sufficient and
appropriate academic literature. Use, next to the literature of the course that you might
cite, at least 15 new academic sources.
Experimental design
1. Write a brief section in which you defend the use of an experiment to answer your
research question. Make sure to address internal and external validity.
2. Start then to describe the research instrument in detail, including the type of
experiment, possible pre- and/or post tests, the operationalization of all relevant
concepts and the operationalization of the mechanism. Make sure that all relevant
variables are discussed in terms of their measurement. Be as precise and specific
as possible. Also think of possible (treatment) checks and control variables.
Account for your choices based on previous studies.
3. Discuss carefully the samples you will use, and account for that choice based on
theory and the literature about previous studies.
4. Discuss the procedure, including randomization, the execution.
5. You do not need to get into the statistical model that you will use to analyze (it
will be either ANOVA/ANCOVA or regression, which is straightforward).
Wherever necessary, account for the choice you made for this particular design.
Design the instrument and make it ready for use. If you use vignettes or scenarios: write
these.. You do not have to create a separate document for every condition.
If you use other materials than written materials, make it evident how you will use these.
Include (if applicable links to) visual or audio materials. Make a storyboard, whatever is
needed to come as close as possible to the actual instrument.
Form requirements
– Total word count: 2000 for research design (plm 10%), + up to 1500 words for
instrument (plm 10%), excluding bibliography.
– Use correct Dutch or English and write in full sentences
– Abide by the APA-guidelines as presented in Poelmans & Severijnen (2014)
– Use Times New Roman font, size 12, line spacing 1.5
– Submit as a Word document (.docx) file
– Include a title page

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