イェール大学の世論調査・実験手法の若手のホープの Coppock 氏をお招きして、東京大学駒場キャンパスおよび本郷キャンパスにて研究会を開催します。

第1回 駒場キャンパス

第2回 本郷キャンパス


The 15th Yamakawa Kenjiro Lecture – Alex Coppock on political persuasion and experimental research

We are delighted to announce the speaker and topic of the 15th Yamakawa Kenjiro Lecuture series.

Our guest speaker is Professor Alex Coppock of the Political Science Department who specializes in experimental research on political persuasion.
He will be holding two talks: One on May 28th (Tues) at Komaba campus, and the other at Hongo Campus on May 29th (Weds.). No registration is required

1. Tuesday, May 28 (Komaba Campus Lecture)
Title: Persuasion in Parallel
(This is a book project, so no paper is attached)

Time and Venue: Tuesday, May 28 17.00-18:30
Komaba Building 18, 4th Floor Collaboration Room 1

Abstract: Changing minds about politics is difficult but not impossible. One body of theory suggests that people are motivated to reason to conclusions that they prefer, so persuasive information to the contrary will be ineffective or may even backfire. I drawing on a large set of randomized experiments in which subjects were exposed to persuasive information to evaluation these theoretical predictions. Contrary to motivated reasoning theory, I find no of treatment effects in the “wrong” direction. Instead, I find evidence of persuasion in parallel: individuals who encounter persuasive information update their views in the direction of evidence. This effect holds for people from all backgrounds. Liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, men and women, old and young — everyone appears to update their political beliefs in the direction of information by about the same about. Importantly for communication in an age of polarized politics, the “other side” is not imp
ervious to evidence and can be persuaded, even if only by a small amount.

2. Wednesday, May 29 (Hongo Campus Seminar)

Title: When to Worry About Sensitivity Bias: Theory and Evidence from 30 Years of List Experiments (With Graeme Blair and Margaret Moor, paper attached)

Time and Venue: Wednesday, May 29 17.30-19:30
ISS Main Building, 3rd Floor Conference Room (Rm 307)

Abstract: Eliciting honest answers to sensitive questions may be frustrated if subjects withhold the truth for fear that someone — the researchers, the government, or family members, for example — will judge or punish them. The bias that results is commonly referred to as “social desirability bias,” a subset of what we label “sensitivity bias” that may result from social pressure but also other forces such as the risk of arrest or pressure from the respondent themselves. The size and scope of sensitivity bias is important not only for researchers investigating social phenomena but also for governments seeking to understand and respond to public opinion. We make three contributions in this paper. First, we propose a reference group theory of sensitivity bias that can structure expectations about survey responses on sensitive topics. Second, we describe the choice between measurement technologies — specifically, direct questions and list experiments — as a bias-variance tradeoff. Third, we collect and meta-analyze the set of published and unpublished list experiments conducted to date and compare the results with direct questions. Relative to list experimental estimates, we find that sensitivity biases are typically smaller than 10 percentage points, and in some domains, approximately zero, though some range up to 15 or even 20 percentage points. We find that list experiments appear to deliver on their promise of approximately unbiased prevalence estimates, but also that they are often unnecessary or conducted with samples that are too small to be useful.

Paper is available upon request: Please email to hiwatari[@]

About the Speaker: Alexander Coppock is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a resident fellow of the Institution for Social Policy Studies and Center for the Study of American Politics. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University (2016). His principal research interest lies in political persuasion and its implications for the malleability of public opinion in the context of elections. His interests extend beyond persuasion to the design and analysis of randomized experiments.