Peter Levine

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life

Modeling Political Discussions as Networks

We can envision a person’s political opinions at a given moment as a network composed of specific ideas and any reasons that link these ideas together. When people discuss politics, we can envision that they disclose their own networks, a few ideas and reasons at a time. Participants may choose to adopt parts of another’s network by agreeing with it. Thus we can use network analysis to understand the dynamics of forming political opinions and influencing or learning from other people. We can also use these methods to assess discussions (and discussants) and provide feedback. I will share the results from several small experiments in which I have used such methods and discuss their value for educational research and practice.

Full Talk
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