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Campbell's Law

Donald T. Campbell (1919–1996) was an eminent social scientist known for his work on research methodology, design, and statistics. Although he is known for many contributions in these areas, there are two that are perhaps the most notable. The first comes from his collaboration with Julian C. Stanley in producing what many graduate students and seasoned faculty might consider the premier text on social science design, Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research, published in 1963. The second is for his warning about evaluating complex systems using simplistic measures—often referred to as Campbell's law.

Campbell's Law Defined

In an essay on program evaluation published in 1975, Campbell issued an important warning, since dubbed “Campbell's law” by many for its broad applicability. Campbell warned that the more value placed ...

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