Gadarian part of award-winning political methodology team
Assistant professor Shana Gadarian was named as a winner of the Society for Political Methodology's Harold F. Gosnell Prize, joining seven other colleagues, in recognition of the best political methodology presented at any political science conference during the preceding year. Their "Topic Models for Open-Ended Survey Responses with Applications to Experiments" was presented at a number of conferences over the past year including the NYU Experimental Methods conference, Visions in Methodology, and the New Directions in Text Analysis Conference in London.
The award committee chairmen said of the group's work: "Margaret E. Roberts, Brandon M. Stewart, Dustin Tingley, Christopher Lucas, Jetson Leder-Luis, Shana Gadarian, Bethany Albertson, and David Rand's "Topic models for open ended survey responses with applications to experiments" advances political methodology with a novel Bayesian measurement model for text analysis, by enhancing the utility of open-ended survey responses and by connecting text analysis and topic modeling to causal inference for survey experiments. What is the causal effect of a change in survey frame on the topics mentioned in open-ended responses to questions? The model and model evaluation and checking methods proposed here enable researchers to answer such questions within a fully Bayesian framework. They engage with the problem of naming topics by reporting exemplar documents for given topics and by proposing a measure of semantic interpretability --- both of which allow a scholar to double-check intuitions about what a given topic represents. They show that this approach closely approximates human coding and thus opens new opportunities for innovations in research design in political science. Finally, by simultaneously addressing the literatures on text analysis, causal inference, and survey research, this paper promotes communication between a diverse set of methodological communities." 06/09/14