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?
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
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
Here is a link to Christine Bachrach’s 2013 PAA Presidential Address:
Culture and Demography: From Reluctant Bedfellows to Committed Partners
Christine Bachrach | Demography
html | pdf
And, here is a link to a neuroscience/population science article co-authored by several PSC researchers:
What is a representative brain? Neuroscience meets population science
Emily Falk, et.al. | PNAS
html | pdf
What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions?
Joshua Lang | New York Times
June 12, 2013
This reports on the Turnaway Study [described below], but as is typical with a piece in the popular press it personifies the data. Here’s the gist of the article:
Most studies on the effects of abortion compare women who have abortions with those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term. It is like comparing people who are divorced with people who stay married, instead of people who get the divorce they want with the people who don’t. Foster saw this as a fundamental flaw. By choosing the right comparison groups — women who obtain abortions just before the gestational deadline versus women who miss that deadline and are turned away — Foster hoped to paint a more accurate picture. Do the physical, psychological and socioeconomic outcomes for these two groups of women differ? Which is safer for them, abortion or childbirth? Which causes more depression and anxiety? “I tried to measure all the ways in which I thought having a baby might make you worse off,” Foster says, “and the ways in which having a baby might make you better off, and the same with having an abortion.
The Turnaway Study
ANSRH | University of California, San Francisco
The Turnaway Study is ANSIRH’s prospective longitudinal study examining the effects of unintended pregnancy on women’s lives. The major aim of the study is to describe the mental health, physical health, and socioeconomic consequences of receiving an abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. From 2008 to 2010, we collaborated with 30 abortion facilities around the country—from Maine to Washington, Texas to Minnesota—to recruit over 1,000 women who sought abortions, some who received abortions because they presented for care under the gestational limit of the clinic and some who were “turned away” and carried to term because they were past the gestational limit.
The first paper is by former PSC post-doc, Trevon Logan, which shows that blacks had distinctive names in the early 20th Century – that this is not new. He and his co-authors used historical census data as well as data from death certificates. The second paper explores whether searches involving ‘black’ names results in different ads being displayed via a Google search. Interestingly, one of the black names is ‘Trevon.’ Likewise, one of the female black names is ‘Latanya’ which is the author’s first name. The final paper is probably a familiar paper to most – does having a black name make a difference in interview call backs.
Distinctively Black Names in the American Past
Lisa Cook, Trevon Logan, and John Parman | NBER (Working paper 18802)
Discrimination in Online Ad Delivery
Latanya Sweeney | Harvard University [working paper posted on arcxiv.org]
Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination
Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan | NBER (working paper 9873)
Why Don’t Parents Name Their Daughters Mary Anymore?
Philip Cohen | the Atlantic
December 12, 2012
This article is by Philip Cohen, a professor at the University of Maryland. The Atlantic has picked up his blog, Family Inequality, where he posts short, but scholarly snippets.
This piece illustrates the decline in the name Mary via the Social Security Administration’s names database. He posits that this is due to a rise in the cultural value of individuality. Accordingly, people value names that are not common, perhaps even unique. A repercussion of this is that there were only 21,695 baby girls named Sophia (most popular name in 2011) whereas back in 1961, there were 47,655 girls name Mary.
By: Daphne Lofquist, Terry Ligaila, Martin O’Connell, and Sarah Feliz
Source: United States Census Bureau
From the news release:
The U.S. Census Bureau today released a 2010 Census brief, Households and Families: 2010, that showed interracial or interethnic opposite-sex married couple households grew by 28 percent over the decade from 7 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2010. States with higher percentages of couples of a different race or Hispanic origin in 2010 were primarily located in the western and southwestern parts of the United States, along with Hawaii and Alaska.
A higher percentage of unmarried partners were interracial or interethnic than married couples. Nationally, 10 percent of opposite-sex married couples had partners of a different race or Hispanic origin, compared with 18 percent of opposite-sex unmarried partners and 21 percent of same-sex unmarried partners.
Full text (PDF)
From publication website:
With over 120 maps, charts and tables, the UNESCO World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education enables readers to visualize the educational pathways of girls and boys in terms of access, participation and progression from pre-primary to tertiary education.
The Atlas features a wide range of sex-disaggregated data and gender indicators from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. It also illustrates the extent to which gender disparities in education have changed since 1970 and are shaped by factors such as national wealth, geographic location, investment in education and fields of study.
Also planned for mid-2012 is an online data mapping tool for tracking trends over time, adapting the maps and exporting the data.
Full publication (PDF)
Report Number 1 from the US Mosque Study 2011
By: Ihsan Bagby
Source: Faith Communities Today
From Press Release:
A comprehensive study of mosques and the attitudes of mosque leaders in the United States released today indicates that the number of American mosques increased 74 percent since 2000 and that Islamic houses of worship are ethnically-diverse institutions led by officials who advocate positive civic engagement.
A coalition of major American Muslim and academic organizations released the report, titled “The American Mosque 2011: Basic Characteristics of the American Mosque, Attitudes of Mosque Leaders,” at a news conference this morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The report is the first part of the larger U.S. Mosque Survey 2011 to be published. To conduct the survey, researchers counted all mosques in America and then conducted telephone interviews with a sample of mosque leaders. (The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.)
Full text (PDF)
An Analysis of Available Datasets and How to Use Them
Source: Pew Center on the States
From the publication website:
This is the first-ever report to analyze the completeness, strengths, weaknesses, and usefulness of data from sources such as state election divisions, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and its Election Administration and Voting Survey, public opinion surveys, and expert assessments.
This report finds that:
- Extensive data are available from the sources analyzed here.
- More effective use can be made of existing data.
- Election officials, legislators, academic researchers, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders should collaborate to improve the collection and use of data about elections nationally and in the states.
- The accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data, and even basic definitions of terms, vary considerably across states and localities. Although significant information is available now, better data and consistent definitions will help states continue to improve the effectiveness of election administration.
Full report (PDF)
Introduction & Section 1: Datasets for Democracy
Section 2: The National Picture
Section 3: Measuring the Workflow of Elections
Appendices & Methodology, References, and Endnotes