Experimental Design


The course of Experimental Design (XD) aims to develop on students an improved understanding and practice in key topics related to experimental design and causal research. It also provides a hands-on approach using a diversity of challenges and paths in which students can craft their own learning journey.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Diego Costa Pinto


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language

Portuguese. If there are Erasmus students, classes will be taught in English


There are no enrollment requirements. However, students should be familiar with statistical analysis (ANOVA, T-test, Regression, etc)


-Campbell, D.T. (2002) Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Influence, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
-Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. Guilford Press.

* Several papers from top journals will be suggested in the first class as additional readings.

Teaching method

The curricular unit is based on theoretical-practical classes. Several teaching strategies are applied, including
workshops, project-based learning and the development of papers.

Evaluation method

1st call:
Exam (individual): 50%
Final Project* (group): 50%

2nd call:
Exam (individual): 80%
Final Project* (group): 20%

Minimum grade of 8.0 (in 20) for the Exam
Minimum grade of 10.0 (in 20) for the Project


* Final Project includes the development and collection of at least 1 experimental study in a group.

The experimental study is reported in an extended abstract (ACR Format).

Subject matter

The curricular unit is organized in the following Learning Units:
1. Introduction: Experiments and behavioral research
2. Theoretical Assumptions of Experimental Design (validity, causality)
3. How to develop a contribution and hypotheses using Experimental Design
4. Randomization and Design of Experiments (between and within subjects)
5. Types of Studies: Field, Laboratory, and Survey settings
6. Power and Sample Size
7. Measuring, Priming, and Manipulating Variables
8. Manipulation Checks, control variables, covariates, and confounds
9. Internal and External Validity
10. Developing an Experimental Plan
11. Working with Series of Experiments
12. Types of Analysis: Main Effects and Interaction Effects
13. Contrasts and Multiple Comparisons
14. Advanced Experimental Design: Moderation and Mediation
15. Writing and publishing an experimental paper