QTA Poster Presentation 2017

Day: Tuesday May 9th
Time: 12:00 – 2:00pm
Place: Holden Hall Room 119A






  1. Bander, George
    Showing Feelings: Sentiment Analysis of UN Security Council Resolutions, 2011-2016
    Show Abstract
    Does the United Nations (UN) Security Council have feelings? That is, do the resolutions passed by the Council convey some sort of message about the reason that the resolution is being passed? Previous research on the Security Council has mainly focused on the voting patterns of its members to some degree of success, however, by primarily focusing on the outcome of the votes scholars have missed an opportunity to look at what the content of the resolutions are to see if it has an effect on outcome. In this paper I seek to address this question by looking at all of the resolutions passed by the Security Council from 2011-2016 using sentiment analysis. This novel approach to studying the UN Security Council would permit us to evaluate the degree to which Security Council Resolutions carry with them positive or negative sentiment, whether it be approval or disapproval of some action. In short, the higher sentiment a resolution has, the more member States will be willing to vote “yes;” whereas with lower sentiment values, less member States will be likely to vote “yes.”

  3. Bassett, Jamie
    Presidential Radio Addresses, Polarization, and “Going Local”
    Show Abstract
    How does the president use the media to control the agenda? Scholarship has long held that presidents use their relative dominance of the media to control the media agenda, influence public opinion, and build a personal coalition in the mass public. Building on existing theories of presidential leadership, I explore the extent to which the president uses his ability to “go public” to appeal to narrow groups. Because of an increasingly fragmented media and highly polarized public, the president specifically aims to influence their party base, interest groups, and specific localities. In order to capture these efforts, I utilize a novel dataset of 1,594 presidential radio addresses to build a dictionary aiming to capture the president’s attempts to appeal to one of these groups in particular: the party base. Utilizing radio addresses from 1980-2016, I aim to show the relationship between polarization and narrowcasting to specific groups in the president’s weekly addresses.

  5. Bearden, Britt
    No Party for Old Men: The Tea Party Movement in the U.S. Senate
    Show Abstract
    The 2010 United States midterm election led to a Republican controlled House of Representatives and important GOP gains in the Senate. The Tea Party movement played a major role in this Republican surge by running a campaign strongly opposed to the Affordable Care Act and excessive taxes. This campaign was not aimed only at Democrats but at Republicans as well as many ran under the “Tea Party” label in opposition to established Republican candidates in both primary and general elections. While these candidates had a different message than many establishment Republicans in the campaign trail, how do we expect these candidates to act once they have taken office? While rollcall votes are often used to measure politicians’ ideology, this data only tells part of the story. To better analyze this question I have collected the daily Senate proceedings for the 112th Congress in the year of 2011. In order to examine the differences between establishment Republicans and their Tea Party colleagues new to Congress I use quantitative text analysis techniques (Wordfish) to map Senators in an ideological space. This paper finds evidence that the five freshman Senators affiliated with the Tea Party were significantly more conservative than their establishment colleagues in their debate and speeches on the Senate floor.

  7. Cole, Travis
    Institutions and Foreign Policy: The Differences Between Legislative and Executive Economic Sanctions
    Show Abstract
    How do presidentially and congressionally imposed sanctions differ? The President and Congress of the United States have different roles and information access, especially when it comes to foreign policy. According to the Threat and Imposition or Economic Sanction (TIES) dataset, the US Congress is responsible for 38% of US sanction imposition. Because of members of Congress’ electoral connection, I argue that congressionally imposed sanctions will be more focused on trade issues when compared to presidential sanctions, as members of Congress have a more direct electoral connection and must develop policy that meets their constituents’ needs. In order to test this, I have assembled a novel corpus of over 140 legislative and executive sanctions from 1980 to the present day. By using quantitative text analysis I scale on a financial to trade focus continuum. Using this scale we can determine the differing content of these sanctions.

  9. Fong, Ware
    A World’s Police or a Target? A Country in a State of Emergency
    Show Abstract
    Traditionally, the U.S. government views itself as a representation of freedom and justice, using political, economic, and even military sanctions against those freedom violators and human rights abusers.
    However, these sanctions may also have provoked terrorist attacks targeting at the U.S. and its people. Is there a causal relationship between the U.S. sanctions and terrorist attacks? By analyzing all the
    1817 presidential executive orders especially those of declaring national emergency issued from Jimmy Carter to Donald Trump, specifically by applying quantitative text analysis to these executive orders, this paper expects to find that the U.S government unconsciously plays a dual role of world’s police and world target, empirically showing that sanctions may have both positive and negative effects on counterterrorism.

  11. Hood, Madison
    What does the OAS say?
    Show Abstract
    Do different secretary generals assign priorities to the different missions of the OAS? Or are these dictated by developments in the region? Through a quantitative text analysis of a novel dataset of speeches of secretary generals dating back to the first summit with recorded speeches in 1994 I argue that these speeches are consequential of the time period and issues that are derived from them. These results will have significant implications for the areas of issue salience and how exogenous events affect the issue setting and priorities of elites.

  13. Kelly, Kathryn
    FUCK! Personality trait of low agreeableness a likely commonality amongst real world visual artists
    Show Abstract
    The personality trait of low agreeableness has been noted as a commonality amongst real world creative individuals’ having made significant paradigm modifying contributions. Yet studies heavily dependent on self-assessment surveys and population sampling of students enrolled in psychology courses have shown less tenable or no link between low agreeableness and creative achievement. To explore this discrepancy a sampling of 1,260 expressive essays on the topic of art written by sixty-three visual artists were harvested from the Houston based online art magazine Glasstire.com. Intersubject statistical patterns in word choice, frequency, language style and psycholinguistic markers were analyzed. Attention was given to linguistic emotional tone, causal thinking, and rates of sexual, death and swear words which have been linked to measures of trait agreeableness. Higher rates of swear words have been shown to be the most stable linguistic marker of low agreeableness in studies correlating linguistic practices with Big Five Factor Personality measures.

  15. Kmiecik, John
    Passion of the Aegis: Lexicon Inquiry of Arms Races
    Show Abstract
    The resolution of arms races through the negotiated process of arms control agreements represents a perplexing research question concerning the importance and role of costly signals. The negotiation process is important in identifying the joint benefits that can be gained through maintaining cooperation, which is required in resolving arms races. Diplomacy, or “cheap talk” as the literature is refers to it, is one of the common forms of communication that states can utilize to realize a common interest. This article assesses the role that speeches given in the United Nations General Assembly or Security Council concerning arms races serves as a form of costly signal that communicates a state’s sentiment towards the resolution of military buildups and arms races. The proposed research approach is to utilize a collection of speeches gathered from the United Nations archives that focus on arms races to employ sentiment analysis to establish the directionality of a state’s representative diplomatic efforts to communicate signals regarding a state’s position on arms races. The proposed association between a states’ signals regarding their sentiment score towards arms races and arms control agreements is that the lower their sentiment is directed at arms races is the higher probability that they are trying to communicate their willingness to sign an arms control treaty. To accomplish this objective, I will establish the independent variable of arms race sentiment score and utilize a logit regression to predict the likelihood that the state will join an international organization associated with arms control.

  17. Nazmus, Sakib
    Comparative Text Analysis of State Constitutions: What’s in the Name?
    Show Abstract
    Do the constitutions reflect the Birth Legacies such as national revolutionary wars, derelict decolonization, and independence by treaties; or ethnographic features such as ethnic factions, the number of languages spoken, the number of major religious groups etc.? Also, does the framing and wording of constitution texts impact subsequent state behavior regarding democracy and war mongering likelihood? State building and birth legacy literature have suggested that ‘good births’ that are hard earned have enabled countries being more successful in subsequent state-building and foreign policy exercises such as winning wars. Also, it can be safely expected that countries with multiple lingual and ethnic factions will be using a different level of unifying ‘positive’ languages than the ones with one dominant group. As constitution is the most fundamental document manifesting the law and an institution present in a country, this article investigates whether the text analysis informs anything about the country’s past and future? With the aide of quantitative text analysis, this article analyzes the 190 constitution texts available in Comparative Constitutions Project to see how birth legacies shape the sentiments expressed in the constitutions as well as how the constitutional framework impacts the subsequent state behavior.

  19. Seredina, Maria
    Administrators vs faculty members: the perception of the best educational practices.
    Show Abstract
    Most universities have adopted assessment mechanisms by which administrators and faculty members can evaluate the performance and progress of students. However, the purpose of these assessment mechanisms is often difficult to determine, and the importance and value of them may vary significantly. Sometimes, the understanding of “the best educational methods” by faculty members and administrators diverge considerably. Much of the literature surrounding the best practices for education begins with a discussion of the role of them for students. However, little empirical evidence exists to truly demonstrate how the understanding of this topic differs between the administrators that suggest these practices and the faculty that teach every day.
    This paper seeks to examine how the language of administrators and faculty members is different from one another. With the help of text analysis, the authors determine in what ways the phrasing of administrators and faculty members is diverse. Specifically, we use Vagueness Dictionary to see the level of vagueness in the language of both faculty members and administrators. Overall, we seek to contribute to an important conversation about the importance of the best educational practices as a part of the conversation on assessment more broadly. Our initial findings show that the wording of administrators and faculty members is different, thus saying that the focus on educational practices by administrators and not faculty members as the method of helping students to improve higher education might be misguided.