Skip to content
Archive of posts filed under the Political Science category.

Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research

One of my favorites, from 1995. Don Rubin and I argue with Adrian Raftery. Here’s how we begin: Raftery’s paper addresses two important problems in the statistical analysis of social science data: (1) choosing an appropriate model when so much data are available that standard P-values reject all parsimonious models; and (2) making estimates and […]

Pre-election survey methodology: details from nine polling organizations, 1988 and 1992

This one from 1995 (with D. Stephen Voss and Gary King) was fun. For our “Why are American Presidential election campaign polls so variable when votes are so predictable?” project a few years earlier, Gary and I had analyzed individual-level survey responses from 60 pre-election polls that had been conducted by several different polling organizations. […]

Discussion of “A probabilistic model for the spatial distribution of party support in multiparty elections”

From 1994. I don’t have much to say about this one. The paper I was discussing (by Samuel Merrill) had already been accepted by the journal—I might even have been a referee, in which case the associate editor had decided to accept the paper over my objections—and the editor gave me the opportunity to publish […]

Review of “Forecasting Elections”

From 1993. The topic of election forecasting sure gets a lot more attention than it used to! Here are some quotes from my review of that book by Michael Lewis-Beck and Tom Rice: Political scientists are aware that most voters are consistent in their preferences, and one can make a good guess just looking at […]

Recently in the sister blog

Meritocracy won’t happen: the problem’s with the ‘ocracy’ Does the sex of your child affect your political attitudes? More hype about political attitudes and neuroscience Modern polling needs innovation, not traditionalism Who cares about copycat pollsters? The mythical swing voter Mythical swing voter update No, all Americans are not created equal when it comes to […]

“Psychohistory” and the hype paradox

Lee Wilkinson writes: I thought you might be interested in this post. I was asked about this by someone at Skytree and replied with this link to Tyler Vigen’s Spurious Correlations. What’s most interesting about Vigen’s site is not his video (he doesn’t go into the dangers of correlating time series, for example), but his […]

How do you interpret standard errors from a regression fit to the entire population?

James Keirstead writes: I’m working on some regressions for UK cities and have a question about how to interpret regression coefficients. . . . In a typical regression, one would be working with data from a sample and so the standard errors on the coefficients can be interpreted as reflecting the uncertainty in the choice […]

Cool new position available: Director of the Pew Research Center Labs

Peter Henne writes: I wanted to let you know about a new opportunity at Pew Research Center for a data scientist that might be relevant to some of your colleagues. I [Henne] am a researcher with the Pew Research Center, where I manage an international index on religious issues. I am also working with others […]

President of American Association of Buggy-Whip Manufacturers takes a strong stand against internal combustion engine, argues that the so-called “automobile” has “little grounding in theory” and that “results can vary widely based on the particular fuel that is used”

Some people pointed me to this official statement signed by Michael Link, president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). My colleague David Rothschild and I wrote a measured response to Link’s statement which I posted on the sister blog. But then I made the mistake of actually reading what Link wrote, and […]

Scientific communication by press release

Hector Cordero-Guzman writes: