Social Science Experiments

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How can they support the work of human rights advocates?

Human rights scholars are increasingly using experimental research methods to explore the impact and efficacy of human rights work. In this openGlobalRights series, authors explore when and how experiments can help support evidence-based human rights advocacy.

This openGlobalRights series was first developed by the late Will H. Moore, a noted, and much-loved, scholar of human rights. We are deeply grateful for his support and contributions, and dedicate this series to his memory, family, students, and colleagues.


Tailoring the message: How the political left and right think differently about human rights

August 10, 2017
By: Joe Braun & Stephen Arves

Effectively motivating people to care about human rights depends largely on where they fall on the political ...

International recognition and public opinion towards conflict and violence

May 16, 2017
By: Yael Zeira

Experiments show international recognition of statehood could change popular support for violence in ...

Discrimination in action: the value of experiments in human rights

May 5, 2017
By: Ana Bracic

A video game experiment in Slovenia reveals discriminatory practices against the Roma—what else might ...

Monetizing the human rights “brand”

May 4, 2017
By: David Crow & José Kaire & James Ron

Marketing research can help Mexican rights groups monetize their “brand” and boost public donations.

The human rights lab: using experiments to craft effective messaging

May 3, 2017
By: Michele Leiby & Matthew Krain

Framing issues in different ways can undermine or bolster support of human rights, and experiments can ...

Using experiments to improve women’s rights in Pakistan

May 3, 2017
By: Gulnaz Anjum & Adam Chilton

Experiments on support for women’s rights in Pakistan could improve the implementation and enforcement ...

Is public opinion an effective constraint on torture?

November 2, 2016
By: Will H. Moore
Español | العربية

Americans’ support for torture increases depending on who is involved and how it is framed.

Human rights data used the wrong way can be misleading

September 1, 2016
By: Meg Satterthwaite

While data is important for human rights advocacy, the risks of misleading people are also very real ...

Naming crimes: genocide and public opinion in the United States

June 30, 2016
By: Benjamin A. Valentino & Ethan Weinberg 

Debates about the label “genocide” distract from the substantive discussion about whether and how to ...

Discrimination, cooperation, and building communities

June 7, 2016
By: Ana Bracic

New research shows that people who experience discrimination are less likely to contribute to the common ...

To discredit victims, call them terrorists

November 11, 2015
By: Ana Bracic & Amanda Murdie

Repressive governments can damage the effectiveness of human rights action by attempting to discredit ...