Using Experimental Methods to Investigate Discriminatory Tendencies: A Lesson Report

  • Yu-Wen Chen University College Cork, Ireland
  • Lena Masch University of Trier, Germany
  • Kristin Finze University of Greifswald, Germany

Abstract

Using dictator games in experimental analysis, this lesson report demonstrates the process and results of a postgraduate class project in which university students were instructed to scientifically investigate and explore one of German society’s most hotly-contested issues: the level of discriminatory tendencies of non-Muslims towards Muslims. The results of this class project show little or no discriminatory tendencies toward Muslims. Instead, the university students under our investigation tended to act favorably, or at the very least, fairly toward Muslims. We expect that this lesson report can demonstrate how a postgraduate course can be conducted in an innovative way, empowering students to collect primary data and finishing a small scientific project during the span of a semester.

Dieser Bericht stellt die Prozesse und Ergebnisse einer experimentellen Studie eines Postgraduierten-Kurses der Universität Greifswald dar. Wir zeigen, wie Studierende das Thema Migration innovativ untersuchen können, indem sie neben theoretischen Lerninhalten an experimentelle Methoden sowie die Primärforschung herangeführt werden. Anhand eines Diktatorspiels wurden die teilnehmenden Studenten angeleitet, ein in der Öffentlichkeit kontrovers debattiertes Thema wissenschaftlich zu untersuchen: Diskriminierende Tendenzen von Nicht-Muslimen gegenüber Muslimen. Die Ergebnisse dieser Studie lassen jedoch nicht auf diskriminierende Tendenzen der Studenten schließen. Stattdessen deuten sie darauf hin, dass sich die Studierenden zumindest fair gegenüber Muslimen verhalten.

Author Biographies

Yu-Wen Chen, University College Cork, Ireland

Dr. Yu-Wen Chen is Lecturer of Government at the University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland. Email: yw.chen@ucc.ie. Address: Department of Government, O’Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.

URL of UCC: www.ucc.ie/en/government

URL of Personal homepage: www.yuwenjuliechen.com

 

Lena Masch, University of Trier, Germany

Lena Masch is a research assistant at the Department of Political Science at the University of Trier, Germany. She holds an MSc in Social Research Methods from City University, London, and an MA in Political Science from the University of Greifswald, Germany. Email: masch@uni-trier.de. Address: Universität Trier, Fachbereich III / Politikwissenschaft, 54286 Trier, Germany.

Kristin Finze, University of Greifswald, Germany

Kristin Finze holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Greifswald, Germany. Email: kristinfinze@web.de. Address: Eduard-Thiele-Weg 3, 06366 Koethen, Germany.

Published
2013-08-27
Section
Special Topic Articles