Causal effects are a prime concern in media policy research, and experimental research designs are widely regarded as the most effective way to identify and gauge causality. Nevertheless, explicit applications of experimental methods are rare in media policy research. This chapter discusses experimental research designs in the context of this research area. It covers essential aspects of experimental research and identifies two types of experiments that are particularly suitable for media policy research: quasi-experiments and choice experiments. For each of these experiment types, we present a successful application. We discuss the benefits of experimental empirical work and some do’s and don’ts. Overall, we argue that an experimental mind-set can help to improve a broad range of empirical work on media policy, including qualitative research.

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Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Handke, C., & Herzog, C. (2017). Experimental Methods in Media Research. In Van den Bulck, H, Puppis, M., Donders, K. & Van Audenhove, L. (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Methods for Media Policy Research. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from