Recent Bulletins

Can weather affect elections?
Posted on: 11/07/2018

Yusaku Horiuchi, Mitsui Professor of Japanese Studies, Professor of Government, and Program in Quantitative Social Science steering committee member, has studied the effect of weather on elections.  Will people turn out if it is raining?  Can weather change voting behavior?  Professor Horiuchi's recent article on this subject, co-authored with Woo Chang Kang of The Australian National University, was published in American Politics Research. The article confirms what others have found about a Republican advantage when it rains on the Election Day.  Moreover, based on a compositional data analysis of candidate vote shares in 14 presidential elections since the 1960s, Horiuchi and his collaborator shows that the weather influences not just whether people vote but how they cast their ballots.   They argue that, when the weather is bad, individuals' moods are affected.  People tend to become more risk-averse in the face of bad weather and this brings out conservative, and hence pro-Republican, views.

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In light of the 2018 midterm elections, weather has been covered extensively in the American media.   Professor Horiuchi's contribution to this area has been cited in The New York Times, USA Today, the Atlantic and CNBC.

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The Kavanaugh confirmation polarized women and motivated them to vote
Posted on: 11/01/2018

Jin Woo Kim, a postdoctoral fellow in the Program in Quantitative Social Science at Dartmouth College, recently authored a Monkey Cage article on the effect of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh on political polarization in the United States.  Kim's findings are based on an experiment using over 4,000 United States residents that was carried out via Amazon Mechanical Turk. He first surveyed his subjects in early October 2018 when the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating allegations that Kavanaugh committed sexual assault as a teenager. Kim then contacted his respondents a second time several days later, randomizing the timing of survey invitation so that half of the his participants responded to a follow-up survey before the Senate floor vote and the other half responded after. Results from the study indicate that the Kavanaugh confirmation vote polarized opinions toward the parties among women.  Specifically, Republican-leaning women expressed greater interest in voting for Republicans and independent women expressed greater interest in voting for Democratic candidates after the confirmation vote (compared to before it took place).

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Brendan Nyhan, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, who has worked with Kim since he came to Dartmouth, also noted that Kim's findings provide important new evidence for how the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings helped to polarize opinion toward the Supreme Court. In his Monkey Cage article, Kim finds the gap in partisan approval of the Court increased by nine percentage points among men and 19 percentage points among women after the confirmation vote.

Kim received his doctorate in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017.  He has been at Dartmouth since 2017 and is currently working on several research projects examining whether factual information can change partisan minds and whether political rumor diffusion affects mass opinions.

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Has Trump Damaged the U.S. Image Abroad?
Posted on: 10/29/2018

With Alexander Agadjanian '18, Yusaku Horiuchi the Mitsui Professor of Japanese Studies and Program in Quantitative Social Science Steering Committee member, recently published an article, "Has Trump Damaged the U.S. Image Abroad? Decomposing the Effects of Policy Messages on Foreign Public Opinion," in Political Behavior.  The article considers the extent to which residents of Japan have reacted to United States President Donald Trump's foreign policy messages. 

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The abstract of their article reads as follows:

The U.S. President Donald Trump has frequently made foreign countries central to his political messages, often conveying animosity. But do foreign citizens react more to the speaker of these messages—Trump himself—or their content? More generally, when people are exposed to messages sent from foreign countries, are their attitudes influenced by information heuristics or information content in messages? Although related studies are abundant in the literature of American public opinion, these questions are not fully examined in the literature of foreign public opinion. To address them, we used Japan as a case and fielded a survey experiment exposing citizens to U.S. policy messages that varied by source, policy content, and issue salience. Results suggest that while the source cue (Trump attribution) causes negative perceptions of the U.S., the policy content (cooperative vs. uncooperative) has a larger effect in shaping opinion of the U.S. Furthermore, analysis of interaction effects shows that only when U.S. policy approach is uncooperative does the Trump attribution have significantly negative and large effects. We conclude that foreign citizens rely more on policy content in transnational opinion formation—an aspect that past research in this area has overlooked. Substantively, these findings may demonstrate that even under a presidency that has alienated foreign countries and seemingly undermined U.S. stature in the world, foreign opinion toward the U.S. does not hinge entirely on its political leader. In short, Trump has not irreparably damaged the U.S. image abroad.

During the 2018-19 academic year, Professor Horiuchi is on leave from Dartmouth and is currently Visiting Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently working on a book project with Professor Benjamin Goldsmith at the Australian National University. His research examines the causes and consequences of global public opinion about the United States under three recent presidents, Bush, Obama, and Trump. For other projects, see his website.

Since graduating in June 2018, Alexander has been working as a Senior Research Support Associate at the MIT Election and Data Science Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Alexander's responsibilities include helping with the lab’s effort to collect, manage, and disseminate current and historical election data, and Alexander is presently researching various topics in elections and political behavior.

 

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QSS Alumnus Published in the New Journal of Physics
Posted on: 09/14/2018

Herbert Chang '18 recently published his QSS honors thesis in the New Journal of Physics.  Herbert completed and defended his thesis in May 2018 and in the summer after developed it further with his advisor, Feng Fu of the Department of Mathematics at Dartmouth College.  Titled "Co-diffusion of social contagions," Herbert's thesis explores multiple contagion processes which interact on a multiplex network. His work shows that intricate interdependencies give rise to new and fascinating phenomena that are applicable to wider contexts such as technological and product diffusion. Of Herbert, Professor Fu writes, “Thanks to the generous support of the QSS Program, his QSS thesis work is an important and innovative contribution at a time when dynamical channels and technologies influence each other. Hence there is a great desire to quantify synergy and how their inherent qualities influence each other."

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Herbert is presently studying artificial intelligence in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.  He is focusing on agents and knowledge representation and hopes further to study the governance of artificial intelligence for human-machine cooperation.

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QSS Steering committee member named Director of DCAL
Posted on: 09/07/2018

Mathematics Professor and QSS steering committee member Scott Pauls has been Named Director of the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL).

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Read more about his appointment here.

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QSS Director of Undergraduate Research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
Posted on: 09/07/2018

QSS Director of Undergraduate Research Jeremy Ferwerda recently published an article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The article, titled, "Determinants of refugee naturalization in the United States," is a study of the naturalization rates of non-citizens in the United States.  PNAS describes the article as follows: "Despite the scale of the US refugee resettlement program, policymakers and the public lack systematic information on how refugees adapt to their new environment. We focus on naturalization as a key measure of integration and draw on administrative data to provide direct estimates of the naturalization rates among refugees. Our results show that, on average, refugees acquire citizenship faster than other lawful permanent residents. We also identify the set of factors that promote or constrain naturalization among refugees. These findings have implications for policymakers seeking to improve the integration of refugees within the United States."

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Professor Ferwerda, whose research focuses on immigration and related political issues, received his doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been at Dartmouth College since July 2016. Prior to his appointment in the Department of Government, Professor Ferwerda spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Watson Institute of Brown University. In the Department of Government, Professor Ferwerda teaches courses on statistics and course in comparative politics.

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QSS Postdoctoral fellow Jun Zhao presents at the 113th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
Posted on: 08/22/2018

On August 13, Jun Zhao, a postdoctoral fellow in the Program in Quantitative Social Science at Dartmouth College presented a paper at the 113th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, recently held in Philadelphia, PA. Jun’s paper was titled, "Showing Remorse in Mock Criminal Trials,” and it shows that defendants’ expressed remorse influences jurors’ sentencing decisions. Men, especially white men, enjoy greater benefits (in terms of sentence reduction) of displaying remorse than similarly remorseful white women, black men, and black women. Jun and her supervisor at Dartmouth, Kimberly Rogers of the Department of Sociology at Dartmouth, both spoke at a panel at the American Sociological Association meeting that honored the work of Neil McKinnon of the University of Guelph, winner of this year's Emotion Section Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASA. 

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Jun has been at Dartmouth since the summer of 2017, and she is currently working on the role of emotion, gender, and culture in perpetuating workplace inequality and criminal injustice. She and Professor Rogers have a joint project exploring the social and psychological mechanisms that motivate self-organized collaborations. In particular, this project examines factors that determine the likelihood of success or failure in online collaborative networks (e.g. GitHub). Jun will be also working on modeling cross-cultural interactions with data collected from university undergraduates and from GitHub programmers. 

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Congratulations to Postdoctural Fellow, Yuki Shiraito
Posted on: 06/15/2018

Yuki Shiraito, a QSS postdoctoral fellow during the 2017-18 academic year, formally received his doctorate in Politics from Princeton University.  Yuki’s dissertation, titled "Essays in Political Methodology,” consists of a collection of papers on Bayesian statistical models with applications to treatment effect heterogeneity, text reuse, and citation networks.  Yuki’s work at Princeton was supervised by Kosuke Imai (chair), Marc Ratkovic, Kristopher Ramsay, and Brandon Stewart.  As of September 1, 2018, Yuki will be Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan.  QSS congratulates Yuki on his accomplishments and looks forward to his next steps as a scholar.

The director of the Michigan Program in Survey Methodology on campus
Posted on: 03/22/2018

Survey Methodology is an interdisciplinary field applying insights from Statistics, Data Science, Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction and Sociology, among other fields, to the measurement of areas such as public opinion, voter preference, consumer satisfaction, consumer sentiment, public health, unemployment.The Michigan Program in Survey Methodology offers MS and PhD degrees that emphasize either the statistical, social, or data science aspects of the field. Program Director Fred Conrad will meet with students Tuesday March 27 in Silsby 119. Coffee and light refreshments provided. Please RSVP to the QSS Program administrator at [email protected].

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QSS steering committee member active in the fight against fake news
Posted on: 03/22/2018

QSS steering committee member and Professor of Government Brendan Nyhan has joined in a multidisciplinary call for a new field of study focused on fighting the proliferation and effect of misinformation online. In a recent interview with Dartmouth News, Professor Nyhan discussed this proposal, which came out in a March 9 article in the journal Science. 

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