a model of text for experimentation in the social sciences

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Authors Margaret E. Roberts, Brandon M. Stewart, Edoardo M. Airoldi
Journal/Conference Name JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN STATISTICAL ASSOCIATION
Paper Category
Paper Abstract ABSTRACTStatistical models of text have become increasingly popular in statistics and computer science as a method of exploring large document collections. Social scientists often want to move beyond exploration, to measurement and experimentation, and make inference about social and political processes that drive discourse and content. In this article, we develop a model of text data that supports this type of substantive research. Our approach is to posit a hierarchical mixed membership model for analyzing topical content of documents, in which mixing weights are parameterized by observed covariates. In this model, topical prevalence and topical content are specified as a simple generalized linear model on an arbitrary number of document-level covariates, such as news source and time of release, enabling researchers to introduce elements of the experimental design that informed document collection into the model, within a generally applicable framework. We demonstrate the proposed methodology by analyzi...
Date of publication 2016
Code Programming Language R
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