Qualitative Analysis

Exploratory Data Analysis in Social Science Research

November 14, 2023
by Kamya Yadav. Causal inference has become the dominant endeavor for many political scientists, often at the expense of good research questions and theory building. Returning to descriptive inference – the process of describing the world as it exists – can help formulate research questions worth asking and theory that is grounded in reality. Exploratory data analysis is one method of conducting descriptive inference. It can help social science researchers find empirical patterns and puzzles that motivate their research questions, test correlations between variables, and engage with the existing literature on a topic. In this blog post, I walk through results from exploratory data analysis I conducted for my dissertation project on political ambition of women.

Introduction to Item Response Theory

October 24, 2023
by Mingfeng Xue. Measurements (e.g., tests, surveys, questionnaires) are inevitably involved with various sources of errors. Among many psychometric theories, item response theory stands out for its capability of detailed analyses at the item level and its potential to reduce some of the measurement errors. This post first discussed the limitations of conventional summation and average, which give rise to the IRT models, and then introduced a basic form of the Rasch model, including expressions of the model, the assumptions underlying it, some of its advantages, and software packages. Some codes are also provided.

Americanist Linguistics: on Ethics and Intent

October 17, 2023
by Anna Björklund. In this post, Anna Björklund investigates the origin of the linguistic study of indigenous American languages, its inextricable ties to settler-colonialism, and how linguistics can move forward as a field.

Scarlet Bliss, MS

Domain Consultant, Research IT
School of Public Health

Scarlet Bliss is an MS/PhD student in Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. Her work focuses on mixed methods approaches to characterizing and preventing spread of antimicrobial resistance and other enteric pathogens via the environment. She has experience in statistical analysis and public health bioinformatics. She is interested in ethical use of big data as it relates to epidemiologic research.

QDA Campus License Focus Group

October 12, 2023, 12:00pm
Calling All Qualitative & Mixed-Methods Researchers at UC Berkeley! Join the conversation on Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) Campus Software License Options! Are you a researcher (undergraduate, graduate, or faculty/staff) at UC Berkeley who employs qualitative data, text analysis, or mixed-methods research approaches? If you rely on specialized software like Atlas.ti, NVivo, MaxQDA, Dedoose, or Otter.ai in your work, Research IT & D-Lab want your input to inform the future of qualitative research supports at UC Berkeley.

Introduction to Field Experiments and Randomized Controlled Trials

July 24, 2023
by Leena Bhai. This blog post provides an introduction to field experimentation and its significance in understanding cause and effect. It explains how randomized experiments represent an unbiased method for determining what works. It delves into essential features of experiments such as intervention, excludability, and non-interference. It then works through a fictional example of a randomized controlled trial of the efficacy of an experimental drug Covi-Mapp.

D-Lab & Graduate Division create inclusive data science summer program

August 9, 2023
by Vanessa Navarro Rodriguez. UC Berkeley's Social Sciences D-Lab and Graduate Division created the Data Science for Social Justice Program to address underrepresentation in data science. The program teaches diverse students critical data analysis and its applications in addressing societal injustices. The 8-week free summer course for admitted University of California students focuses on Python programming, Natural Language Processing, and value-informed data practices. It aims to empower students from underrepresented backgrounds and to bridge STEM with social justice. This blog post elaborates on the program's creation and features one of the DSSJ students, Robin López, and his reasons for participating.

Unlock the Joy and Power of Reading in Language Learning

August 21, 2023
by Bowen Wang-Kildegaard. I share my story of how reading for pleasure transformed my English speaking and writing skills. This experience inspired my passion to promote the joy and power of reading to all language learners. Using natural language processing techniques, I dive into the Language Learning subreddit, revealing a trend: Learners are often highly anxious about output practices, but are generally positive about input methods like reading and listening. I then distill complex language learning theories into actionable language learning tips, emphasizing the value of extensive reading for pleasure, pointing to potential methods like using ChatGPT for customization of reading materials, and advocating for joy in the learning journey.

My Summer Exploring Data Science for Social Justice: Learnings, Tensions & Recommendations

September 5, 2023
by Genevieve Smith. This summer I joined the D-Lab hosted Data Science for Social Justice workshop at UC Berkeley diving into Python – including TF-IDF, sentiment analysis, word embeddings, and more – with a lens towards leveraging data science for social justice. My team explored a Reddit channel on abortion and used computational analysis to answer key questions related to abortion access from before versus after Roe vs. Wade was overturned. Computational social science is incredibly powerful, but I continue to grapple with tensions particularly as it relates to employing machine learning and large language in international research, and end with key recommendations for CSS practitioners.

Claudia von Vacano, Ph.D.

Consulting Drop-In Hours: By appointment only

Consulting Areas: Python, R,Digital Humanities, Mixed Methods, Natural Language Processing, Qualitative methods, Social Network Analysis, Surveys, Sampling & Interviews, Text Analysis,MaxQDA, Qualtrics

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