During our summer schools, participants and experts work together through the entire research process in projects on a specific research topic with methods of computational social science.

1. Ethnic and sexual minority representation in parliamentary speeches: A comparative analysis of the United States and Germany from 1945 to present

2. Effects of self-labeling on the democratic debate and group polarization

3. Cooperation and defection in the drafting of resolutions at the UN General Assembly

4. Editorial control? National newspaper characteristics, substantive news coverage, and the 1960s civil rights movement

Project leaders: Weijun Yuan & Neal Caren

Short title: Editorial control

Research questions: What factors shape how social movement issues and demands enter the public sphere? How do newspaper characteristics shape their coverage of social movement actors?

Data: Political Organizations in the News (PONs) dataset, which encompasses media coverage of U.S. social movement organizations in the four most prominent national newspapers: the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal. This will be supplemented with additional local and ethnic media articles.

Methods: content analysis, topic modeling, sentiment analysis, regression analysis, semantic networks, network clustering, large language models

Description: Do characteristics of professional newspapers, including their opinion pages, reporter assignments, or types of articles published, influence how social movement actors are treated in the news? News coverage plays a crucial role in shaping public opinion and can have a significant cultural impact on social movements. Previous research has shown that social movement organizations are often the subject of media attention, particularly in the case of recent movements such as Occupy, Tea Party, Black Lives Matter, and the alt-right/white supremacy movements. However, not all movements receive substantive coverage, including discussing their demands and issues. While recent scholarship has examined how the institutions of movement target mediate the treatment of social movements in the news, less attention has been paid to the influence of differences among mainstream, professional news organizations and their coverage of social movement actors. We argue that newspaper and article characteristics, such as editorial orientation, reporter characteristics, and article type, may play a crucial role in shaping the quality of coverage. In this study, we aim to identify potential newspaper and article features that influence the quality of coverage, and investigate their impact on news coverage. We have identified and manually coded more than 1,000 articles in extensive runs of coverage of five prominent African American rights organizations across four national newspapers in the 1960s and intend to use this training set to estimate broader patterns on all newspaper articles that mentioned African American rights organizations in terms of their coverage of movement demands and issues. Machine learning and regression analyses will allow us to investigate the impact of newspaper and article characteristics on substantive coverage. Furthermore, we will employ structural topic models to examine how different newspapers with varying characteristics prioritize various movement issues. We will also test the ability of large language models, such as ChatGPT, to augment or replace human coders or traditional machine learning methods for this type of analysis. We may also analyze the dynamic organization-issue network. Treating news and article characteristics as edge attributes, we will explore how these attributes contribute to the salience of certain issues.

5. Using attitude networks to explore polarization and its implications for cooperation

6. Predicting lock-in in social influence processes

7. Simulating conspiracy beliefs through large language models and evolutionary psychology