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Archive of posts filed under the Political Science category.

19 things we learned from the 2016 election

So. A year ago I wrote a Slate article and a blog post (with follow-up here), “19 Things We Learned from the 2016 Election.” Then Julia Azari wrote “Women Also Know Stuff about the 2016 election,” pointing out that I’d missed a lot of work that was relevant to these questions. Azari wrote: I’m sure […]

The problem of media concentration/deregulation “is usually treated as a series of unrelated problems, much like a cocaine addict who complains about his drug problem, bankruptcy, divorce, and encounters with loan sharks, but who never makes a causal connection between the items on the list”

Palko writes: There’s a huge problem that people aren’t talking about nearly enough. . . . Think about all of the recent news stories that are about or are a result of concentration/deregulation of media power and the inevitable consequences. Obviously, net neutrality falls under this category. So does the role that Facebook, and, to […]

Yes, Virginia, it can be rational to vote!

Carl Shulman correctly thought I’d be interested in this news item, “A single vote leads to a rare tie for control of the Virginia legislature”: A Republican seat flipped Democratic in a wild recount Tuesday – with the Democrat winning by a single vote – creating a rare 50-50 tie between the parties in the […]

Red doc, blue doc, rich doc, rich doc

Monica Cuddy points us to a news article by Margot Sanger-Katz, “Your Surgeon Is Probably a Republican, Your Psychiatrist Probably a Democrat,” which reports a data analysis by political scientist Eitan Hersh and psychiatrist Matthew Goldenberg performed by mashing up “two large public data sets, one listing every doctor in the United States and another […]

Ready Money

Richard Reeves writes: Most of the people on the highest rung [which he elsewhere defines as the highest fifth of the income distribution] in America are in denial about their privilege. The American myth of meritocracy allows them to attribute their position to their brilliance and diligence, rather than to luck or a rigged system. […]

Loss of confidence

This fascinating post by David Weakliem documents declining confidence in political institutions: and the news media: and some other institutions: As Weakliem writes: So far, confidence in everything has declined. You could offer specific explanations for each one, but the fact that it’s so widespread suggests that the declines reflect a general mood of dissatisfaction. […]

How to improve this visualization of voting in the U.S. Congress?

Richie Lionell points us to this interactive visualization of votes of U.S. Senators. It’s attractive. My big problem is that nothing is conveyed by the positions of the points along the circles. Thus, that cute image of the points moving around is a bit misleading. Maybe someone has a suggestion of how to do this […]

We start by talking reproducible research, then we drift to a discussion of voter turnout

Emil Kirkegaard writes: Regarding data sharing, you recently commented that “In future perhaps journals will require all data to be posted as a condition of publication and then this sort of thing won’t happen anymore.” We went a step further. We require public data sharing at submission. This means that from the moment one submits, […]

Tips when conveying your research to policymakers and the news media

Following up on a conversation regarding publicizing scientific research, Jim Savage wrote: Here’s a report that we produced a few years ago on prioritising potential policy levers to address the structural budget deficit in Australia. In the report we hid all the statistical analysis, aiming at an audience that would feel comfortable reading a broadsheet […]

Fitting multilevel models when predictors and group effects correlate

Ryan Bain writes: I came across your ‘Fitting Multilevel Models When Predictors and Group Effects Correlate‘ paper that you co-authored with Dr. Bafumi and read it with great interest. I am a current postgraduate student at the University of Glasgow writing a dissertation examining explanations of Euroscepticism at the individual and country level since the […]

“A mixed economy is not an economic abomination or even a regrettably unavoidable political necessity but a natural absorbing state,” and other notes on “Whither Science?” by Danko Antolovic

So. I got this email one day, promoting a book that came with the following blurb: Whither Science?, by Danko Antolovic, is a series of essays that explore some of the questions facing modern science. A short read at only 41 pages, Whither Science? looks into the fundamental questions about the purposes, practices and future […]

Using D&D to reduce ethnic prejudice

OK, not quite D&D—I just wrote that to get Bob’s attention. It is a role-playing game, though! Here’s the paper, “Seeing the World Through the Other’s Eye: An Online Intervention Reducing Ethnic Prejudice,” by Gabor Simonovits, Gabor Kezdi, and Peter Kardos: We report the results of an intervention that targeted anti-Roma sentiment in Hungary using […]

The time reversal heuristic (priming and voting edition)

Ed Yong writes: Over the past decade, social psychologists have dazzled us with studies showing that huge social problems can seemingly be rectified through simple tricks. A small grammatical tweak in a survey delivered to people the day before an election greatly increases voter turnout. A 15-minute writing exercise narrows the achievement gap between black […]

Pseudoscience and the left/right whiplash

I came across this post by blogger Echidne slamming psychology professor Roy Baumeister. I’d first heard about the Baumeister in the context of his seeming inability to handle scientific criticism. I hadn’t realized that Baumeister had a sideline in pseudoscientific anti-political-correctness. One aspect of all this that interests me is the way that Baumeister, and […]

More thoughts on that “What percent of Americans would you say are gay or lesbian?” survey

We had some discussion yesterday about this Gallup poll that asked respondents to guess the percentage of Americans who are gay. The average response was 23%—and this stunningly high number was not just driven by outliers: more than half the respondents estimated the proportion gay as 20% or more. All this is in stark contrast […]

“Americans Greatly Overestimate Percent Gay, Lesbian in U.S.”

This sort of thing is not new but it’s still amusing. From a Gallup report by Frank Newport: The American public estimates on average that 23% of Americans are gay or lesbian, little changed from Americans’ 25% estimate in 2011, and only slightly higher than separate 2002 estimates of the gay and lesbian population. These […]

Using Mister P to get population estimates from respondent driven sampling

From one of our exams: A researcher at Columbia University’s School of Social Work wanted to estimate the prevalence of drug abuse problems among American Indians (Native Americans) living in New York City. From the Census, it was estimated that about 30,000 Indians live in the city, and the researcher had a budget to interview […]

Whipsaw

Kevin Lewis points to a research article by Lawton Swan, John Chambers, Martin Heesacker, and Sondre Nero, “How should we measure Americans’ perceptions of socio-economic mobility,” which reports effects of question wording on surveys on an important topic in economics. They replicated two studies: Each (independent) research team had prompted similar groups of respondents to […]

Science funding and political ideology

Mark Palko points to this news article by Jeffrey Mervis entitled, “Rand Paul takes a poke at U.S. peer-review panels”: Paul made his case for the bill yesterday as chairperson of a Senate panel with oversight over federal spending. The hearing, titled “Broken Beakers: Federal Support for Research,” was a platform for Paul’s claim that […]

Quick Money

I happened to come across this Los Angeles Times article from last year: Labor and business leaders declared victory Tuesday night over a bitterly contested ballot measure that would have imposed new restrictions on building apartment towers, shops and offices in Los Angeles. As of midnight, returns showed Measure S going down to defeat by […]