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Archive of posts filed under the Political Science category.

“Smaller Share of Women Ages 65 and Older Are Living Alone,” before and after age adjusment

After noticing this from a recent Pew Research report: Ben Hanowell wrote: This made me [Hanowell] think of your critique of Case and Deaton’s finding about non-Hispanic mortality. I wonder how much these results are driven by the fact that the population of adults aged 65 and older has gotten older with increasing lifespans, etc […]

They threatened to sue Mike Spagat but that’s not shutting him up

Mike Spagat, famous for blowing the whistle on that Iraq survey (the so-called Lancet study) ten years ago, writes: I’ve just put up the story about how a survey research company threatened to sue me to keep me quiet. I’ve also put up a lot of data that readers can analyse if they want to […]

No, I’m not convinced by this one either.

Alex Gamma sends along a recently published article by Carola Salvi, Irene Cristofori, Jordan Grafman, and Mark Beeman, along with the note: This might be of interest to you, since it’s political science and smells bad. From The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: Two groups of 22 college students each identified as conservatives or liberals […]

Racial classification sociology controversy update

The other day I posted on a controversy in sociology where Aliya Saperstein and Andrew Penner analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, coming to the conclusion that “that race is not a fixed characteristic of individuals but is flexible and continually negotiated in everyday interactions,” but then Lance Hannon and Robert DeFina […]

Donald Trump and Joe McCarthy

He built . . . a coalition of the aggrieved—of men and women not deranged but affronted by various tendencies over the previous two or three decades . . . That’s political reporter Richard Rovere in his 1958 classic, “Senator Joe McCarthy.” I hate to draw an analogy between McCarthy and Donald Trump because it […]

Social problems with a paper in Social Problems

Here’s the story. In 2010, sociologists Aliya Saperstein and Andrew Penner published in the journal Social Problems a paper, “The race of a criminal record: How incarceration colors racial perceptions,” reporting: This study extends the conversation by exploring whether being incarcerated affects how individuals perceive their own race as well as how they are perceived […]

Who falls for the education reform hype?

Phillip Middleton writes: My wife is a 5th grade teacher, in Texas, in a title I school (free lunch, other subsidies, poor and emotionally disturbed kids, CPS cases, you name it) on the west side of San Antonio. There are a number of things I’ve been exposed to as a result, the net of which […]

The way we social science now

This is a fun story. Jeff pointed me to a post on the sister blog by Christopher Hare and Robert Lupton, entitled “No, Sanders voters aren’t more conservative than Clinton voters. Here’s the data.” My reaction: “Who would ever think that Sanders supporters are more conservative than Clinton supporters? That’s counterintuitivism gone amok.” It turned […]

Should he major in political science and minor in statistics or the other way around?

Andrew Wheeler writes: I will be a freshman at the University of Florida this upcoming fall and I am interested in becoming a political pollster. My original question was whether I should major in political science and minor in statistics or the other way around, but any other general advice would be appreciated. My reply: […]

When doing causal inference, define your treatment decision and then consider the consequences that flow from it

Danielle Fumia writes: I am a research at the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, and I work on research estimating the effect of college attendance on earnings. Many studies that examine the effect of attending college on earnings control for college degree receipt and work experience. These models seem to violate the practice you […]

Splitsville for Thiel and Kasparov?

The tech zillionaire and the chess champion were always a bit of an odd couple, and I’ve felt for awhile that it was just as well that they never finished that book they were talking about. But given that each of them has taken a second career in political activism, I can’t imagine that they’re […]

“Stop the Polling Insanity”

Norman Ornstein and Alan Abramowitz warn against over-interpreting poll fluctuations: In this highly charged election, it’s no surprise that the news media see every poll like an addict sees a new fix. That is especially true of polls that show large and unexpected changes. Those polls get intense coverage and analysis, adding to their presumed […]

Nick and Nate and Mark on Leicester and Trump

Just following up on our post the other day on retrospective evaluations of probabilistic predictions: For more on Leicester City, see Nick Goff on Why did bookmakers lose on Leicester? and What price SHOULD Leicester have been? (forwarded to me by commenter Iggy). For more on Trump, see Nate Silver on How I Acted Like […]

Leicester City and Donald Trump: How to think about predictions and longshot victories?

Leicester City was a 5000-to-1 shot to win the championship—and they did it. Donald Trump wasn’t supposed to win the Republican nomination—last summer Nate gave him a 2% chance—and it looks like he will win. For that matter, Nate only gave Bernie Sanders a 7% chance, and he came pretty close. Soccer There’s been a […]

MAPKIA 2: Josh and Drew shred the CCP/APPC “Political Polarization Literacy” test!

Just like the original Jaws 2, this story features neither Richard Dreyfus nor Steven Spielberg. It all started when Dan Kahan sent me the following puzzle: Match the resonses of large nationally representative sample to supporting these policy items. I let this languish in my inbox for awhile until Kahan taunted me by letting me […]

The Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School: Job Openings!

Jim Greiner writes: The Access to Justice Lab is a startup effort, initially supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation with sufficient funds for three years, headed by Jim Greiner at Harvard Law School. The Lab will produce randomized control trials (“RCTs”) directly involving courts and lawyers, particularly in the areas of access to […]

Math on a plane!

Paul Alper pointed me to this news article about an economist who got BUSTED for doing algebra on the plane. This dude was profiled by the lady sitting next to him who got suspicious of his incomprehensible formulas. I feel that way about a lot of econ research too, so I can see where she […]

A short answer to a short question

Emir Efendic writes: What is your opinion and can you think of any critiques of the multiple mediation models by Preacher and Hayes (e.g. Preacher & Hayes, 2008)? What would be your method of choice if you were testing multiple possible mediators of an effect, but also if said mediators are connected in a model […]

Put your own questions on the General Social Survey!

Tom Smith of the National Opinion Research Center writes: The General Social Survey plans to include some items or short topical modules designed by users in its 2018 survey, and invites users to submit proposals recommending such items or modules. Proposals submitted in response to this call will be included based on assessments of their […]

GIGO

Lee Wilkinson writes: In the latest issue of Harvard Magazine (http://www.harvardmagazine.com/2015/12/cambridge-02138), a letter writer (David W. Pittelli) comments under the section “Social Progress Index”: We are informed by Harvard Magazine (November-December 2015, page 15) that the country with the best “Health and Wellness” (“Do people live long and healthy lives?”) is Peru, while the United […]