2015-2016 Fall

David Broockman

September 21, 2015

Reducing transphobia: Experimental evidence on a conversation campaign

ABSTRACT: Despite dramatic reductions in prejudice towards lesbian, gay, andbisexual individuals, prejudice towards transgender individuals (the T in LGBT) remains widespread. Reducing this prejudice is a public health priority, as transgender people experience a variety of poor life outcomes as a result of it: transgender people are more likely to commit suicide, have difficulty finding a job, and more. Here we report results from a randomized controlled trial of an intervention designed to reduce transphobia that draws on principles from cognitive behavioral therapy. The intervention consisted of a door-to-door conversation campaign with several goals: it sought 1) to draw out the content of the stereotypes and negative reactions that automatically come to individuals’ mind, 2) allow individuals to become aware of the dissonance between these negative judgments and their personally important experiences and values, and 3) anchor judgments of transgender people more firmly in the experiences and values that militate towards acceptance. The results are [redacted here, but extremely interesting].

David Broockman
Jason Disano and Alana Kolendreski

October 5, 2015

Enhancing Institutional Capacity through Research Infrastructure and Supports: Taking the Pulse of Saskatchewan

ABSTRACT: The University of Saskatchewan’s Social Sciences Research Laboratories(SSRL) unique cluster of seven research laboratories has enabled and facilitated a multitude of large-scale, high-impact research studies. Through its complementary research infrastructure and research supports, the SSRL has driven university-wide improvements in experiential learning and student engagement; community-engaged scholarship; and multidisciplinary research. Taking the Pulse of Saskatchewan (2012), a telephone survey of 1,750 Saskatchewan residents, exemplifies these traits through its involvement of 32 researchers across the social sciences, purposeful engagement of the media from the outset of the study, and numerous opportunities for student engagement and growth. Three years later, Taking the Pulse of Saskatchewan continues to have an impact; and serves as a model for collaborative, multidisciplinary research at the University of Saskatchewan and beyond.

Jason Disano

Alana Kolendreski

Mario Callegaro

October 12, 2015

Mario Callegaro Book talk: Callegaro, Lozar Manfreda & Vehovar. “Web Survey Methodology” London:Sage, June 2015

ABSTRACT: Mario Callegaro will present his latest book: “Web Survey Methodology”
This handbook guides the reader through the past fifteen years of research in web surveymethodology. It both provides practical guidance on the latest techniques for collecting valid and reliable data and offers a comprehensive overview of research issues. Core topics from preparation to questionnaire design, recruitment testing to analysis and survey software are all covered in a systematic and insightful way. The reader is exposed to key concepts and key findings in the literature, covering measurement, non-response,adjustments, paradata, and cost issues. The book also discusses new research topics in survey research today, such as internet panels, mobile surveys and the integration with passive measurements, e-social sciences, mixed modes and business intelligence. The book is intended for students, practitioners, and researchers in fields such as survey and market research, psychological research, official statistics and customer satisfaction research. A companion website is available athttp://websm.org

Mario Callegaro
Adina Abeles and Lauren Howe

October 19, 2015

Public misperception of American public opinion on global warming: its causes, impacts,and thoughts on solutions

ABSTRACT: The disconnect between public opinion on global warming and Congressional action in the United States has long been a puzzle. According to research over the past two decades, it is evident that Americans think global warming has been happening, think humans are the cause, think it is detrimental to the country and think government should do something about it. Americans have been willing to pay to address global warming and have shown support for several policies, such as the ones President Obama put forth in his Clean Power Plan (e.g., reduce emissions from powerplants). Yet rhetoric on global warming continues to frame global warming as a partisan issue despite the fact that a majority of Democrats and Republicans accept the scientific theory. The purpose of this research is to explore misperception of the American public’s opinion on global warming as an explanation for this disconnect.

In June 2012, a representative sample of American adults were asked what they thought other Americans thought about global warming: do other Americans think it has been getting warmer over the last 100 years? What about Republicans? What about Democrats? Do other Americans think Congress should act? In actuality, 73% of all Americans stated that they think global warming has been happening, 86% of Democrats and 57% or Republicans. However, only 56% of Americans thought that a majority (51%and greater) of Americans believe in global warming. That percentage becomes 44%when asked about Republicans, and 64% when asked about Democrats. Thus, we find that Americans broadly underestimate the degree to which Americans believe in global warming. In initial analyses, we consider factors impacting the extent of these misperceptions, for instance investigating the role that one’s own belief in global warming, attitude certainty, attitude importance, and party affiliation play in shaping these misperceptions. In addition, we consider the numerous implications of this misperception. Misperception of public opinion can lead to support for policies aimed at the perceived public opinion, rather than actual public opinion, impacting the way a democracy functions (Todorov & Mandisodza, 2004). In this way, policies are perceived as legitimate since they seem to reflect the will of the people. Further, it can lead to silence among the public for people that are not willing to discuss climate change for fear of dissenting from group norms (Noelle-Neumann, 1974), thus reinforcing the misperception.

Lauren Howe

Kody Manke

October 26, 2015

Stereotype Threat Perseverance

ABSTRACT: Social psychology has typically viewed and studied stereotype threat as something that occurs in single instances — something that may happen repeatedly in the same context or situation, but as a series of individual experiences. In this line of research, I’ve looked at how instances of stereotype threat may have more lasting and chronic effects, affecting the individual’s thoughts or beliefs in a way that persists rather than recurs. In a series of lab studies, longer-term follow-ups, and online studies(and hopefully upcoming correlational data from transcript data), I’ll discuss ways that single instantiations of stereotype threat appear to have effects that persist over time.

Kody Manke
Judson Boomhower

November 2, 2015

Peer Effects in Energy Efficiency Programs

ABSTRACT: Energy policy is increasingly focused on programs meant to increase investment in energy efficiency. In evaluating these policies, economists have typically assumed that the actions of one household do not influence the choices of others. This misses a potentially important set of peer effects. If takeup of energy-efficiency programs is constrained by information problems, social networks may be particularly important in determining participation. In addition, correctly assessing the cost effectiveness of these programs requires credible estimates of spillover benefits. Taking advantage of rich household-level data on one million appliance replacements in a large middle- income country, I use a regression discontinuity design to compare homes whose neighbors were barely eligible for an appliance replacement subsidy to homes whose neighbors were barely ineligible. I find evidence of substantial peer effects. The effect is concentrated within 1-2 months from the time of participation. The timing and size of the effect suggest that information problems may affect energy-efficiency program participation.

Judson Boomhower
Michael Dennis

November 16, 2015

Technical Information on NORC’s AmeriSpeak Panel: Sampling, Recruitment Methodology, and Data Quality

ABSTRACT: AmeriSpeak is a new household, multi-client panel to support NORC’s mission to serve the public interest and improve lives through objective social science research that supports informed decision making. The goal of the presentation is to provide attendees a technical understanding of the AmeriSpeak panel methodology.NORC’s AmeriSpeak Panel is now available to support public opinion studies funded by Federal agencies, foundations, policy-driven non-profit organizations, and the private sector. Mike Dennis, the Executive Director of AmeriSpeak, will present methodological information on the new AmeriSpeak Panel with respect to:

Sample Frame– The AmeriSpeak sample frame is based on NORC’s National Frame,an area probability sample frame that includes additional coverage of hard-to-survey population segments such as rural and low-income households that are underrepresented in surveys relying on address-based sampling.

AmeriSpeak Recruitment Methodology– The recruitment methodology is conducted in two stages, with the initial stage using email, US mail, and telephone outbound campaigns to recruit the randomly selected households. In the second stage, we subsample non-responders for Non-Response Follow-up (NRFU) using NORC field interviewers (face-to-face recruitment), enhanced non-contingent and contingent incentives, and Federal Express mailings.

Response Rate – The response rate calculation is documented, taking into account the subsampling of non-responders for the Non-Response Follow-up (face-to-face recruitment)

NORC Card Sample Quality Report – NORC Card provides a quantitative measurement of sample quality using commercial databases and U.S. government statistics, documents other measures of sample representativeness and the components of the weighted response rate calculation.

Data Collection Methodology–Processes and procedures for conducting client studies on AmeriSpeak, including within-panel sampling, the use of previously collected profile data for sample targeting, and use of online and telephone modes of data collection to enhance sample representativeness.

Impact of Face-to-Face Recruitment and Mixed-Mode Data Collection on Sample Representativeness – We isolate the sample quality impact of AmeriSpeak’s use of field interviewers for the final stage of panel recruitment, showing the sample representativeness gains in recruiting young adults, low income households, and other hard-to-reach demographic groups. In addition, we present information on improvements in sample representativeness that result from mixed-mode interviewing as AmeriSpeak supports both online and phone modes of data collection for client studies.