The Experimenting Society

  • Melinda F. Davis (University of Arizona)


Donald Campbell wrote eloquently about the need to evaluate social reforms and lamented the lack of solid evaluation research to guide these reforms (1973). He suggested that social reforms be thought of as experiments, and society’s focus be on important problems rather than single solutions to these problems. Campbell’s vision of an experimenting society, in which reforms are evaluated and new approaches to social problems are developed based on evaluation outcomes has yet to be realized.

Keywords: reforms as experiments, evaluation, deinstitutionalization

Published on
18 Feb 2014
Peer Reviewed