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Archive of posts filed under the Political Science category.

Huge partisan differences in who wants to get vaccinated

Jonathan Falk writes: This piece by Noah Rothman argues (appropriately hedged “It’s just one poll, and the breakdown of subsamples to the narrowest possible margins forces us to be cautious when citing the findings” which is always something good to see) that vaccine hesitancy, which shows a pronounced Republican/Democratic split may not be a Republican/Democratic […]

Answers to your questions about polling and elections.

1. David Callaway writes: I read elsewhere (Kevin Drum) that the response rate to telephone polling is around 5%. It seems to me that means you are no longer dealing with a random sample, what you have instead is a self selected pool. I understand that to an extent you can correct a model for […]

Postdoctoral opportunity with Sarah Cowan and Jennifer Hill: causal inference for Universal Basic Income (UBI)

See below from Sarah Cowan: I write to announce the launch of the Cash Transfer Lab. Our mission is to build an evidence base regarding cash transfer policies like a Universal Basic Income. We answer the fundamental questions of how a Universal Basic Income policy would transform American families, communities and economies. The first major […]

How much granularity do you need in your Mister P?

Matt Kosko writes: I had a question for you about the appropriate number of groups in an MRP model. I’m currently working on streamlining some of the code we use to estimate state-level political opinions from our surveys. I have state-level predictors and Census data for poststratification (i.e., population totals in each age-sex-state-education cell), but […]

A Bayesian state-space model for the German federal election 2021 with Stan

I didn’t do anything on this, just stood still and listened while others talked. I’ll share the whole thread with you, just to give you a sense of how these research conversations go. This post is for you if: – You’re interested in MRP, or – You’re interested in German elections, or – You want […]

The social sciences are useless. So why do we study them? Here’s a good reason:

Back when I taught at Berkeley, you could always get a reaction from the students by invoking Stanford. The funny thing is, though, if you’re at Stanford and mention Berkeley, nobody cares. You have to bring up Harvard to get a reaction. Similarly, MIT students have a chip on their shoulder about Harvard, but Harvard […]

“From Socrates to Darwin and beyond: What children can teach us about the human mind”

This talk is really interesting. I like how she starts off with the connections between psychological essentialism and political polarization, as an example of the importance of these ideas in so many areas of life.

Statistical fallacies as they arise in political science (from Bob Jervis)

Bob Jervis sends along this fun document he gives to the students in his classes. Enjoy. Theories of International Relations Assume that all the facts and assertions in these paragraphs are correct. Why do the conclusions not follow? (This does not mean that the conclusions are actually false.) What are the alternative explanations for the […]

“I looked for questions on the polio vaccine and saw one in 1954 that asked if you wanted to get it—60% said yes and 31% no.”

Apparently there are surveys all over the world saying that large minorities of people don’t want to take the coronavirus vaccine. If it was just the U.S. we could explain this as partisanship, but it’s happening in other countries too. This seems like a new thing, no? When there was talk of the anti-vax movement […]

Meg Wolitzer and George V. Higgins

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a Meg Wolitzer fan (see here and here). During the past year or so I’ve been working my way through her earlier books, and I just finished Surrender, Dorothy, which was a quick and fun and thought-provoking read, maybe not quite as polished as some of […]

Multivariate missing data software update

Ranjit Lall writes: In 2018 you posted about some machine learning-based multiple imputation software I was developing that works particularly well with large and complex datasets. The software is now available as a package in both Python (MIDASpy) and R (rMIDAS), and a paper describing the underlying method was just published online in Political Analysis […]

“Men Appear Twice as Often as Women in News Photos on Facebook”

Onyi Lam, Stefan Wojcik, Adam Hughes, and Brian Broderick write: A new study of the images accompanying news stories posted publicly on Facebook by prominent American news media outlets finds that men appear twice as often as women do in news images, with a majority of photos showing exclusively men. . . . Researchers chose […]

Should we judge pundits based on their demonstrated willingness to learn from their mistakes?

Palko writes: Track records matter. Like it or not, unless you’re actually working with the numbers, you have to rely to some degree on the credibility of the analysts you’re reading. Three of the best ways to build credibility are: 1. Be right a lot. 2. When you’re wrong, admit it and seriously examine where […]

Come work with me and David Shor !

Open positions on our progressive data team: Machine Learning engineer – Software Engineer – Devops – We are a diverse team of engineers, data scientists, statisticians, and political insiders who are closely connected to some of the most important decision makers in the progressive ecosystem. We worked with central players to develop strategy and direct […]

Nudgelords: Given their past track record, why should I trust them this time? (Don’t call me Stasi)

An economist who wants to remain nameless sent me an email with subject line Hilarious and with the following text: The link is to a listing for a forthcoming book, Averting Catastrophe: Decision Theory for COVID-19, Climate Change, and Potential Disasters of All Kinds, by Cass R. Sunstein. The book “explores how governments ought […]

Justin Grimmer vs. the Hoover Institution commenters

I was curious what was up with the Hoover Institution so I went to their webpage and was pleased to come across a post, No Evidence For Voter Fraud: A Guide To Statistical Claims About The 2020 Election, by political scientist Justin Grimmer, with this clear summary: We focus on fraud allegations with the appearance […]

One more cartoon like this, and this blog will be obsolete.

This post is by Phil. This SMBC cartoon seems to wrap up about half of the content of this blog.  Of course I’m exaggerating. There will still be room for book reviews and cat photos.

Social penumbras predict political attitudes

More crap from PPNAS: The political influence of a group is typically explained in terms of its size, geographic concentration, or the wealth and power of the group’s members. This article introduces another dimension, the penumbra, defined as the set of individuals in the population who are personally familiar with someone in that group. Distinct […]

Scott Atlas, Team Stanford, and their friends

A recent comment thread revealed the existence of an organization called Panda: “Pandemics ~ Data & Analytics.” Its scientific advisory board includes Scott Atlas, the former U.S. government advisor described on the website as a “world renowned physician.” He’s now at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Atlas most recently appeared on Fox News to say, “It is […]

Hierarchical stacking, part II: Voting and model averaging

(This post is by Yuling) Yesterday I have advertised our new preprint on hierarchical stacking. Apart from the methodology development, perhaps I could draw some of your attention to the analogy between model averaging/selection and voting systems, which is likely to be more entertaining. Model selection = we have multiple models to fit the data and […]

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