Type of Content: Research

Subtype: Book or Book Chapter

Resource Title: Conducting Experiments and Intervention Studies to Understand Age and Work

Publication Title: Chapter in Book: Age and Work: Advances in Theory, Methods, and Practice (Eds. H. Zacher & C. W. Rudolph) Publisher: SIOP Organizational Frontiers Series

Publish Date: June 2021

Experiments are essential for testing theories and thus proposed causal relationships.

Interventions, as a special type of experiments, apply theories to solve practical problems or increase desirable outcomes. Despite their obvious importance, experiments and interventions are relatively rare in age and work research. The main reasons for this scarcity probably lie in the impossibility of randomizing participants to different chronological age groups, and in the large amount of effort and risky return-on-investment of intervention research. To better address these challenges, this chapter outlines two strategies for designing experimental research and a four-step approach for intervention studies to understand age and work. As to experiments, we suggest the experimental manipulation of (a) participants’ internal context (i.e., their imagination or perceptions) and (b) participants’ external context (i.e., the outer context conditions). As to interventions, we suggest a sequence that involves (1) a systematic problem description, (2) a logic model of the problem, (3) the design of the intervention, and (4) monitoring and evaluation. By providing examples and practical recommendations, we hope to stimulate more experiments and interventions in the field of age and work.

Conducting Experiments and Intervention Studies to Understand Age and Work

Resource URL: https://bit.ly/3nkZQ8N