This chapter focuses on the process of vignette treatments. Vignettes offer the possibility of easily executing complex, multi-dimensional factorial designs. Although the vignette approach can certainly be used for very simple studies as well, the trade-offs that they impose—namely, the introduction of what are essentially hypothetical people and situations—may be most beneficial when studying more complex theories. Vignettes could be considered a subspecies of direct treatment in that the interventions are essentially what they appear to be on the surface. The goal of vignette treatments is to evaluate what difference it makes when the actual object of study or judgment, or the context in which that object appears, is systematically changed in some way.
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