Category Archives: research tools

The New Science of Culturomics

By Yunkyu Sohn

Using a corpus of digitalized texts of The Google Books Project (i.e. the offline version of Google Trends), Michel et al. (2011) propose a new approach for quantitative investigation of culture. Their method may have broad impacts on various disciplines such as “lexicography, the evolution of grammar, collective memory, the adoption of technology, the pursuit of fame, censorship, and historical epidemiology.”

Advertisements

Government and Social Media Wiki

by Lindsay Nielson

Here’s a heads up about a new database, just in time for the campaign season to kick into full swing: the Government and Social Media Wiki. It tracks which government officials and offices use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. The database includes members of the House and Senate, some congressional committees, federal agencies, governors, and even some candidates for House and Senate. So if your research requires you to keep tabs on Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck on Foursquare or stay up to date with Senator John Thune’s MySpace page, here’s an easy way to do it.

Better Know a Research Tool: The List Experiment

By Lindsay Nielson

My presentation at our meeting this week will be a primer on list experiments (the fightin’ list experiment!) and how we can use them in our research. They’re a clever way to get around directly asking survey respondents sensitive questions. The background readings are as follows:

Kuklinski, Sniderman, Knight, Piazza, Tetlock, Lawrence, and Mellers. 1997. “Racial Prejudice and Attitudes Toward Affirmative Action.” American Journal of Political Science 41: 402-419.

Kane, Craig, and Wald. 2002. “Religion and Presidential Politics in Florida: A List Experiment.” Social Science Quarterly 85: 281-293.

Corstange. 2009. “Sensitive Questions, Truthful Answers? Modeling the List Experiment with LISTIT.” Political Analysis 17: 45-63.

Our fourth reading is a press release from a Harris Interactive poll which unfortunately isn’t available online anymore, but which I have a hard copy of that I will email to the group. If you don’t mind looking at the cached version on Google, it’s here: Harris Poll/BYU Study Finds More People would be Angry or Upset if Mitt Romney was President than if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton was President Using Experimental Survey Design to Gauge Underlying Voter Sentiments.

We’ll focus more on the methods than on the findings of these papers, though we can talk about the findings too if that’s what people find interesting.

Finds More People would be Angry or Upset if Mitt Romney was President than if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton was President Using Experimental Survey Design to Gauge Underlying Voter Sentiments