chapter  3
22 Pages

Activism Research: Designing Transformative Lab and Field Studies

ByBrian Wansink

Transformational research is o" en identi! ed by its results. It transforms thinking and behavior, and it can happen without the researcher even intending for it to happen. Academia is ripe with examples of researchers who published a paper that they saw as “no big deal” but that went on to transform a ! eld. Milgram’s (1963) work on compliance to authority has in$ uenced the human subject regulations of every institutional review board. # e work of Evans, Gonnella, Marcynyszyn, Gentile, and Salpekar (2005) on childhood memories has changed the weight given to long-term recall testimonies in child abuse trials. Pechmann and Shih’s (1999) work on tobacco use in ! lms led to inoculation trailers on DVDs that depict smoking. Although research can transform regardless of the original intent of the researcher, most academics seldom have a direct in$ uence on nonacademics (Hill, 1995).