Discover ing the Dynamics of Terms ’ Semantic Relatedness through Twitter
- Nikola Milikic; Jelena Jovanovic; Milan Stankovic
Abstr act. Determining the semantic relatedness (SR) of two terms has been an appealing topic in information retrieval for many years as such information is useful for various tasks ranging from tag recommendation, over search query refinement to suggesting new web resources for the user to discover. Most approaches consider the SR of terms as static over time, and disregard the eventual temporal changes as imperfections. However, detecting and tracing changes in SR of terms over time may help in understanding the nature of changes in public opinion, as well as the change in the usage of terms in common...
Public Opinion Shocks and Government Termination∗
- Lanny W. Martin
Abstract. The ability of a government to remain in power depends partially upon its vulnerability to unexpected changes occurring in the outside political environment. In this paper, I examine the relationship between government termination and changes in the electoral expectations of political parties in the legislature, as reflected by shifts in popular support for the government. I find that the decision to terminate the government is related in complex ways to changes in public opinion. Governments are more likely to collapse as certain members of the incumbent coalition expect to gain more ministerial portfolios, and in cases of minority government,...
Learning probability through the use of a collaborative, inquiry-based simulation environment
- Phil Vahey; Noel Enyedy; Bernard Gifford
In this paper we report on the Probability Inquiry Environment (PIE), which facilitates the development of probabilistic reasoning by making available collaborative inquiry activities and student-controlled simulations. These activities guide middle school students toward a deeper understanding of probability, a domain that is becoming increasingly important in the K-12 mathematics curricula of the United States but which is notoriously difficult to learn. A study is described in which middle school students who participated in the PIE curriculum significantly outperformed students who participated in the school’s traditional probability curriculum. We posit that this difference is due to the PIE curriculum fostering...
Public Opinion and the Quality of Democracy in Mexico*
- James A. Mccann
Abstract: When citizens lack stable political attitudes, leaders cannot easily be held accountable for their record in office, party system consolidation becomes more difficult, and public opinion is unable to offer much substantive guidance about policy-making. Ultimately, democratic governance is likely to suffer. In this article, we analyze a recent four-wave panel survey to assess the stability of political attitudes in Mexico. We find that the degree of attitude stability in Mexico varies across different types of dispositions. Although citizens hold reasonably firm views about the country’s main political actors, preferences over issues are less consistent. These findings suggest both...
- Amy N. Spiegel; E. Margaret Evans; Wendy Gram; Judy Diamond
Abstract In spite of overwhelming scientific evidence supporting evolution, a large percentage of the American public does not understand or accept the fundamental principles of evolutionary theory. Museums have an important role in educating children and adults about evolution. This paper reviews recent museum visitor studies, which suggest that while visitors are interested in learn-ing about and less likely to reject evolution than the general public, they tend to have a limited understanding of evolutionary concepts. A new conceptual framework, based on developmental research, indicates that visitors reason about evolution differently depending on the type of organism they are consid-ering,...
ORIGINAL ARTICLE The Intricate Link Between Violence and Mental Disorder Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions
- Eric B. Elbogen; Phd Sally; C. Johnson
Context: The relationship between mental illness and violence has a significant effect on mental health policy, clinical practice, and public opinion about the danger-ousness of people with psychiatric disorders. Objective: To use a longitudinal data set representa-tive of the US population to clarify whether or how se-vere mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar dis-order, and major depression lead to violent behavior. Design:Data onmental disorder and violence were col-lected as part of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol andRelatedConditions (NESARC), a 2-wave face-to-face survey conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Participants: A total of34 653 subjects completed...
© Society for Human Ecology
This paper explores some issues that have been impor-tant in the climate change mitigation debate in Australia. Media coverage reflects the prominence and nature of the de-bate and has risen almost exponentially since 2003. Clearly it has become a political issue. Media coverage is the lens through which the public view the debate, and whilst public opinion is not the only factor affecting policy formulation, in Australia it can be critical as voting is mandatory. A pilot study was used to explore perceptions of the nature of policy, the climate change debate, and its portrayal in the media, through the...
Democracy as a latent variable
- Shawn Treier; Simon Jackman
Measurement is critical to the social scientific enterprise. Many key concepts in social-scientific theories are not observed directly, and researchers rely on assumptions (tacitly or explicitly, via formal measurement models) to operationalize these concepts in empirical work. In this paper we apply formal, statistical measurement models to the Polity IV data, a set of country-level indicators of democracy. In so doing, wemake explicit the hitherto implicit assumptions underlying scales built using the Polity indicators. We apply two models: one in which democracy is operationalized a latent continuous variable, and another in which democracy is operationalized a latent class. We show...
Alcohol Excise Taxes in Maryland: A Case for an Increase
Entering fiscal year 2005, Maryland faces an estimated revenue shortfall of $800 million.1 In response, the state government has steeply raised tuition for state public universities and has considered making further cuts to education and other state programs. The state faces continued decreases in revenues, and the deficit will likely grow. By law, since Maryland must maintain a balanced budget, it must cut services, increase revenues, or both. Raising alcohol excise taxes, last done in 1972 for beer and wine, and 1955 for liquor, provides one rational, politically popular means of providing needed new state revenues. Maryland currently ranks 9th...
Racial Frames and Potential Effects of Minority Candidates in the 2008 Presidential Election
- Charlton Mcilwain; Stephen Maynard Caliendo
We explore the degree to which media coverage of the 2008 Democratic presidential nominating contests contribute to perceptions of minority candidates in the mass public. We examine the attribute framing of candidates in news media coverage from January 1, 2007 through January 15, 2008. Specifically, we quantitatively content analyze newspaper coverage to identify the presence of racial attributes (such as the mention of race, the race of candidates, race of voters, and other racial language) and character attributes (such leadership, trust, and intelligence). These data are compared with public opinion data regarding the candidates over the same time period. Results...
Turner 27 “Is Public Sociology Such a Good Idea?”
- Jonathan H. Turner
Michael Burawoy’s call for a public sociology disciplined by professional and policy sociology, on the one side, and driven by critical sociology, on the other, exposes the ideological biases of sociology to publics. In so doing, public sociology will thwart non-ideological efforts for sociology to exert influence on broader publics and on political decision-makers. In order for sociology to be able to influence public opinion and the decisions of key players in the political and economic arenas, it will need to earn respect through a long evolutionary process of careful research and explanation without ideological fervor. To expose the ideological...
ONLINE GRASSROOTS JOURNALISM AND PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY IN SOUTH KOREA
- Ronda Hauben
This article explores how grassroots journalism and online participation em-body the ideals of participatory democracy in the South Korean context. Sin-ce 2000, online alternative media in Korea have played a pivotal role in many political events including the 2002 candlelight protests against the SOFA, the 2002 presidential election campaign, and the 2005-06 exposure of the stem cell research fraud of Hwang Woo-suk. A Korean news website OhmyNews (www.ohmynews.com), founded in 2000, has played an important role in spearheading a challenge to the domination of public opinion and the public agenda by the conservative mainstream press. Drawing on the idea of...
To be presented at the WAPOR 58th Annual Conference: Search for a New World Order – the Role of Public Opinion
- Dr. Colin Irwin
1 Expanding the boundaries of public debate on trade politics: the Hemispheric Social Alliance and the Free Trade Area of the Americas process
- Dr. Marcelo; I. Saguier
University of Warwick, UK. Currently under review at Third World Quarterly. Do not quote without permission. 2 The Hemispheric Social Alliance (HSA) is a transnational North-South coalition of trade union organisations, social movements and NGOs from all over the Americas. It emerged in 1997 in response to the prospects of a corporate agenda being institutionalised in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) project. Despite the commitment of the hemispheric governments to make the FTAA a democratic and transparent process, the experience of the HSA reveals that the opportunities for engagement in a constructive dialogue with the official FTAA...
Nonresponse in the American Time Use Survey: Who is Missing from the Data and How Much Does It Matter?” Public Opinion Quarterly 70(5
- Katharine G. Abraham; Aaron Maitl; Suzanne Bianchi
The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) represents a great advance in helping scholars and policymakers to understand how Americans spend their time. The ATUS collects a large number of time diaries each month from a sample designed to be broadly representative of the American population age 15 and older. The data from this ongoing
POLITICAL BELIEF NETWORKS: Socio-Cognitive Heterogeneity in American Public Opinion. ∗
- Delia Baldassarri; Amir Goldberg; Delia Baldassarri; Amir Goldberg
Most research on public opinion assumes that American political views are structured by a belief system with a clearly-defined liberal-conservative polar-ity; however, this is not true of all Americans. In this article we document systematic heterogeneity in the organization of political attitudes and explain its basis in the sociodemographic profile of the respondents. We use Relational Class Analysis (RCA), a network-based method for detecting heterogeneity in collective patterns of opinion, to identify distinctive belief networks, each shared by a different group of respondents. Analyzing ANES data between 1984 and 2004, we identify three groups of American citizens: Ideologues, whose political...
State Authority and the Public Sphere: Ideas on the Changing Role of the Museum as a Canadian Social Institution
- Susan Ashley
Museums are important public sites for the authentication and presentation of heritage in Western cultures. The authority of museums is derived from their long history as repositories of material culture and as agents of identity formation, nationalism, and most recently, social inclusion. But in a country such as Canada where global economics and popular culture combine with an unprecedented influx of immigrants, how society imagines itself and how the nation articulates its community and its heritage is changing radically. Issues of power, meaning, authenticity and citizenship have threatened the museum’s representational authority. How are Canadian museums responding to these changes,...
Telephone versus Face-toFace Interviewing of National Probability Samples with Long Questionnaires: Comparisons of Respondent Satisficing and Social Desirability.' Public Opinion Quarterly 67
- Allyson L. Holbrook; Melanie C. Green; Jon A. Krosnick
Abstract The last 50 years have seen a gradual replacement of face-to-face interviewing with telephone interviewing as the dominant mode of survey data collection in the United States. But some of the most expensive and large-scale nationally funded, long-term survey re-search projects involving national area-probability samples and long questionnaires retain face-to-face interviewing as their mode. In this article, we propose two ways in which shifting such surveys to random digit dialing (RDD) telephone interviewing might affect the quality of data acquired, and we test these hypotheses using data from three na-tional mode experiments. Random digit dialing telephone respondents were more...
Strategic News Frames, Learning and Political Cynicism
- Zoe M. Oxley
Abstract: Media coverage of public policy debates in the United States has become increasingly strategic. Strategic news focuses on the motivations and tactics used by political actors during policymaking or on the likelihood that a specific proposal will pass. This experimental research explores two effects of strategic news on public opinion: learning and political cynicism. The results indicate that, in comparison to issue-focused coverage, framing policy debates strategically does influence what people learn from the news but does not increase public cynicism.
Flood risk management in valleys with dams
- A. Betâmio De Almeida
New large dams projects are under the public fears and the critics from environmental groups; old dams and densely populated valleys are a growing threat. Environment, safety and public opinion about dams are now a major factor of decision and pressure all over the world: the open society and the media power have changed the decision-making methodologies. Benefits from technological progress are now less obvious and seems to be more risky for the common citizen. One of the concerns about dams is its safety and the possibility of serious accidents including the dam failure. This concern is particularly important for...