Archive for the 'Culture, Values and Attitudes' Category

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Racial Attitudes of White Millennials Are Not Much Different than their Parents’

Scott Clement of the Wonkblog examines five measures of racial prejudice from 3 waves of the General Social Survey conducted by NORC and finds that generally White attitudes towards Black people have not changed much since the Baby Boomers.

Changes in Global Religion

The Pew Research Center used demographic data from 198 countries to examine the ways the global religious landscape will change:

7 Key Changes in the Global Religious Landscape
– Full report: The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050
Interactive Global Religious Futures website

Visualizing U.S. Abortion Policies

Your Body, (Not) Your Choice is a collaboration between Katie Kowalsky, Dylan Moriarty, and Robin Tolochko for the Interactive Cartography & Geovisualization course at UW-Madison.

Due to complex laws, political jargon, and emotional fervor, abortion policy is a contentious topic. There is a wealth of information and misinformation. The combination of vague terminology and lack of uniformity among state laws makes it difficult to interpret the true national status of abortion rights.

The map shows various abortion policies, such as mandated counseling, waiting periods and mandatory ultrasounds by state and over time.

H/T Flowing Data

Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities

The Pew Research Center has released a new report (PDF) analyzing governmental and societal impingement on religious beliefs and practices.

This article looks at the overall trends. And this article examines the restrictions and hostilities in the most populous countries.

Lynchings in America


[click here for link to NYT graphic]

The Equal Justice Initiative has documented 4,000 lynchings in the South between 1870 and 1950. This resource is potentially useful for examining out-migration of blacks, particularly men, from the South during this era. It could also be useful for explaining current race-based inequalities, including incarceration.

Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror
Summary Report | Equal Justice Initiative
February 2015

Supplement: Lynchings by County [pdf only]

Note that the graphic by the New York Times has a time-dimension in it. I am awaiting the full report from the Equal Justice Initiative to see what additional detail is available in it.

Press Coverage [scroll down]

The Gap in Public and Scientist’s Views on Science and Society

The Pew Research Center explores the differences between the ways scientists and the public view science and society.

Read the full article
Complete report (PDF)
Topline Questionnaire (PDF)
Interactive graphs

More fun with names

Who knew that the name Violet was such a good example of a bi-modal distribution?


This was drawn from a very fun post:

How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know is Her Name
Nate Silver and Allison McCann | FiveThirtyEight blog
May 29, 2014

We had a previous post on fun with the Social Security names database.

This age of names example is a great applied demography exercise – calculating the median age of names. For that you’ll need a link to the full names database and cohort life tables:

Beyond the Top 1000 Names
Cohort Life Tables for the Social Security Areas by Calendar Year

Here’s also a nice link to some Big Data exercises via Python. There is a lot of code sharing in this GitHub repository.

Alcohol’s Hold on Campus: Report from the Chronicle of Higher Education

Alcohol is an entrenched reality of campus life. Read and share this collection of articles on college drinking to inform colleagues and campus discussions, beginning with “A River of Booze: Inside one college town’s uneasy embrace of drinking” by Karin Fischer and Eric Hoover.

Political Science: A self-inflicted wound?

Stanford University and Dartmouth have sent an open apology letter to the state of Montana for a voting experiment conducted by political scientists at their respective institutions. The study had IRB approval, at least from Dartmouth. It uses a database of ideological scores based on donors to identify the political affiliation of judges. See this Upshot article on the start-up company, Crowdpac, that developed this database. Montana is quite irritated with the use of the state of Montana seal on the mailer. Did that get through the IRB?

The letters:

Senator John Tester’s letter to Stanford & Dartmouth | The apology letter

Messing with Montana: Get-out-the -Vote Experiment Raises Ethics Questions
Melissa R. Michelson | The New West (blog of the Western Political Science Association)
October 25, 2014

Today, the Internet exploded with news about and reactions to a get-out-the-vote field experiment fielded by three political science professors that may have broken Montana state law and, at a minimum, called into question the ethics of conducting experiments that might impact election results.

Professors’ Research Project Stirs Political Outrage in Montana
Derek Willis | NY Times
October 28, 2014

Universities say they regret sending Montana voters election mailers criticized for being misleading
Hunter Schwarz | The Washington Post
October 29, 2014

Mapping Twitter

Source: Pew Research Internet Project
By: Marc A. Smith, Lee Rainie, Ben Shneiderman, and Itai Himelboim

Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters

Conversations on Twitter create networks with identifiable contours as people reply to and mention one another in their tweets. These conversational structures differ, depending on the subject and the people driving the conversation. Six structures are regularly observed: divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, and inward and outward hub and spoke structures. These are created as individuals choose whom to reply to or mention in their Twitter messages and the structures tell a story about the nature of the conversation.

Complete Report (PDF)
Infographic: The six types of Twitter conversations