2011-2012 Spring

Mario Callegaro, Survey Research Scientist at Google, Inc

April 2, 2012

Paradata in web surveys

ABSTRACT: Paradata are becoming more and more of interest in web surveys. At the same time, there are numerous kind of paradata that can be captured in an online survey. Researchers can be confused on what can be collected and how to use it. In this book chapter I provide a taxonomy of paradata types specific of web surveys. Foreach type of paradata one of more example of actual studies is presented and discussed. The goal is to give thereader a broad spectrum overview of paradata for online surveys, introduce actual usages, and inspire thereaders to collect, analyze and use paradata as another tool to improve survey quality.

Mario Callegaro
Amber Boydstun, Professor of Political Science, and Alison Ledgerwood, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis

April 9, 2012

The Asymmetric Sequential Effects of Gain and Loss Media Frames on Economic Attitudes

ABSTRACT: Research has demonstrated the substantial impact that framing information in terms of loss or gain can have on attitudes and behavior across economic, political, psychological, and health domains.  However, little work has examined the important possibility that these framing effects might carry over beyond the specific context in which they are first encountered. This project explores the idea that such carry-over effects exist and that they may be asymmetrical: loss frames may be fundamentally “stickier” than gain frames in their ability to shape people’s thinking. While citizens can shift with relative ease from thinking of a policy issue in terms of gain to thinking of it in terms of loss, it may be much more difficult to shift from loss to gain. This idea holds theoretical implications across the social sciences, expanding our understanding of framing effects beyond a single-shot, context-dependent phenomenon to elucidate the asymmetric effects of sequentially encountered frames and the basic mechanisms that produce this pattern. Our findings will also shed light on consequential policy issues, including how the order in which citizens are exposed to gain and loss economic signals may affect public confidence and, thus, the economy itself.  Building on past work at the intersection of psychology and political science, this project investigates the relative “stickiness” of loss and gain frames. The project is designed to (a) illuminate basic principles regarding sequential framing effects and (b) shed light on the implications of this perspective for understanding the effects of sequential media framing on economic attitudes. We test our hypotheses using both controlled laboratory experiments (Study Set 1) and a large-scale empirical analysis of the effect of media framing of the economy on the public’s confidence in the economy (Study Set 2) in an interdisciplinary approach that marks theoretical and methodological contributions to multiple fields.

Amber Boydstun

Alison Ledgerwood

Stefaan Walgrave, Professor of Political Science, University of Antwerp in Belgium

April 16, 2012

The concept, measurement, origin and effects of issue ownership

ABSTRACT: Issue ownership is the link in citizens’ mind between a party and an issue. In this talk I claim that extant work on issue ownership has not come up with a clear definition, that the classic measurement of issue ownership does not reflect its multidimensionality, that the origins of issue ownership are elusive, and that studies on the effect of issue ownership on voting are plagued by endogeneity problems. I suggest tentative solutions to these problems by offering a definition distinguishing between competence and associative issue ownership, by showing that associative issue ownership can be measured, that issue ownership is dynamic and changes after exposure to party messages, and that associative issue ownership affects voting.

Ana Villar, Research Fellow, Centre for Comparative Social Surveys, City University, London

April 23, 2012

Face-to-Face Recruited Internet Survey Platform (FFRISP)

ABSTRACT: The Face-to-Face Recruited Internet Survey Platform (FFRISP) is an internet survey panel that attempted to collect information that is representative of the general American population, while drawing on the advantages of working with such a panel, namely, obtaining data more quickly, more accurately, and less costly than using interviewer administered survey modes. The goal of the research described in this presentation is to examine the accuracy of the FFRISP by comparing survey estimates generated from it to those of the National Health and Nutrition examination supplement (NHANES) and from supplement surveys of the Current Population Survey (CPS). Survey data from the CPS and the NHANES have been used as benchmarks for behavioral data. Both surveys are conducted through interviewer-administered surveys on very large samples of individuals, with high response rate outcomes. The paper starts by comparing distributions of questions about health, physical activities, and mood disorders—-such as general self-perceived health, biking to work, or depression feelings—-across the NHANES and FFRISP surveys. It then compares distributions of identically worded items about shopping behavior across the CPS Food Security supplement and FFRISP surveys. The paper will then compare whether associations between variables are similar across these surveys. Similarities and differences between the findings generated with FFRISP data and those generated with CPS and NHANES data will be discussed.

Peter Van Aelst, Professor of Political Science, University of Antwerp, Belgium

April 30, 2012

Why election debates matter for campaign learning: Party positions and issue learning in the Dutch election campaign of 2010

ABSTRACT: Do campaigns matter? A growing body of literature is moving away from the minimal effects viewpoint and answers this question positively (Iyengar and Simon, 2000; Schmitt-Beck and Farrell, 2002; Claassen, 2011). This paper contributes to this tradition by focusing on what voters have learned about the positions of parties on concrete political issues. This is not only important because (issue) learning might indirect influence election outcomes (Lenz, 2009), but also from a broader democratic perspective (Delli Carpini and Keeter, 1996;Graber, 2004).

Peter Van Aelst