Quality & Quantity

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 1639–1655 | Cite as

Using laboratory experiments to study law and crime

  • Christine Horne
  • Heiko Rauhut


The 19th and 20th centuries produced breakthroughs in physics, chemistry, and the biological sciences. Laboratory research played an important role in the rapid advances made in these fields. Laboratory research can also contribute progress in the social sciences and, in particular, to law and criminology. To make this argument, we begin by discussing what laboratory experiments can and cannot do. We then provide three illustrations of lab experiments that have contributed to understanding of crime and law and discuss how these laboratory data complement those gained through other methods.


Laboratory experiments Experimental methods Law Crime 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA
  2. 2.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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