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Joel H. Steckel

Often litigation outcomes hinge on very specific questions of consumer behavior (e.g., how consumers interpret a specific advertisement). Randomized experiments are instrumental in these contexts. Courts use the same criteria as academics to judge these experiments: construct, internal, and external validity. However, they place different emphases on them. For example, external validity is much more crucial in a courtroom than in an academic setting. This article discusses the similarities and differences between experiments conducted in academic social science and litigation. Furthermore, it points to a potential of the courtroom to inform academic social science that has heretofore gone unexplored.