University of Malta

October 2014 - Masterclass
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Department of Marketing @FEMA

Masterclass in Experimentation for Research in Marketing and Economics 

Organised by the Economics Department and Marketing Department, FEMA


Date: Monday 27th October 2014

Time: 09.00 - 16.00hrs

Venue: University of Malta - Valletta Campus





Ms Marie Briguglio
Department of Economics
University of Malta

Dr David Comerford
Visiting Lecturer
Stirling University

Dr Tanya Sammut-Bonnici
Head, Marketing Department
University of Malta



The masterclass is intended to give students the tools to

  • design and interpret their own experiment
  • critically assess the validity of causal claims
  • assess whether an experimental result makes meaningful predictions for policy design or business strategy
  • recognize testable hypotheses
  • isolate the feature of a policy or business strategy that delivers most impact
  • assess the evidence base of academic literatures

It will cover the following topics:

  1. Why experiment?
  2. The design of an experiment
  3. Internal validity: How to recognize if the treatment is causing the outcome
  4. Mechanism testing: Through what pathway does your treatment cause the outcome
  5. External validity: How to recognize if your treatment is likely to work in the wider world
  6. P-hacking: How to avoid false positives, and how to spot false positives in the literature.



Dr David Comerford is a lecturer in the economics division and the Behavioural Science Centre at the University of Stirling. His research uncovers insights on how people make mistaken judgments and decisions - for instance, judgments of trends over time, judgments of expenditure, and judgments of how an experience will feel.

His research agenda is to develop tools to debias decision makers, which he has applied in a wide range of domains including health insurance choice, choice of medical treatments, commuting, job choice, and investment choices. Dr Comerford works with policy makers and businesses in the USA, the UK and Ireland applying his research findings to improve decision making.

He is currently collaborating with the Scottish Government on a project to improve economic forecasts.  Media outlets that have covered Dr Comerford's research include the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, NPR, the Economic Times, Forbes, the Harvard Business Review.   Prior to coming to Stirling Dr Comerford worked at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and at University College Dublin.

Dr Cromerford has won research awards from the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology, the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences Scholar, and the Fulbright Commission.  His teaching focuses on experimental techniques, which he teaches on Masters programmes at Stirling and at the Smurfit School of Business, UCD.



  • This Masterclass is reserved for current BCom (Hons) Marketing and BCom (Hons) Economics students.


For more information please contact:



Ms Brenda Vella
Department Administrator
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All students are to fill in these forms and hand in to their respective departmental Secretary. 
Last Updated: 17 February 2016

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