Did you hear about the mathematician who was afraid of negative numbers?
He would stop at nothing to avoid them
- IRB Discussion
- Ask for help
- Rough draft for peer feedback on December 2?
DellaPosta, D., Shi, Y., & Macy, M. (2015). Why Do Liberals Drink Lattes? American Journal of Sociology, 120(5), 1473–1511.
Why isn’t politics just about policies?
- We all have stereotypes about what conservatives and liberals are like
- What do conservatives wear?
- What cars do liberals drive?
- In some cases, these are more correlated with party than policy issues!
Explaining correlations rely on a search for explanations
- E.g., liberals were more likely to believe in astrology
- Why? Maybe because it is seen as superstitious/sacrilegious?
- But a similar just-so story could be told if the correlation went the other way
- Conservatives have a more magical / less scientific worldview
What’s the answer? People are part of networks!
- “Alignment [is an] emergent property of a self-organizing cultural landscape”
- We want to be more like the people who we see as our group
- Social influence: we change our beliefs/opinions/behaviors
- Homophily: we change who we are connected to and connect to those more like us
- Result is networks that are autocorrelated
- Agents are given 25 random “opinions” of 1/0
- The (observed - expected) Euclidian distance is the weight between them
- Agents probabilisitically adopt beliefs of neighbors based on similarity
Agent-based modeling is neat
- Using computational agents
- Test theory
- Can agents acting according to theory produce what we see empirically?
- Tool for thinking
- How might we expect changes to relate to higher level dynamics?
Principles for code organization
Reproducible workflows and best practices
- The idea is to be able to fix any step in the workflow and have the rest run with minimal problems
- Data updates
- Changes to measures or questions
- Save raw data
- Run code in order
- Write comments! (or text in Jupyter)
- Wrong branch of the class cloned - oops!