A recent article suggests that Obama’s campaign has benefited from the work of a psychologist, Drew Western of Emory University. The full article is here.
Archive for October, 2008
Kevin Kelley’s post on doing science without theory is interesting. I disagree with it wholeheartedly, but is worth reading.
Full text is here.
In yesterday’s NY times, David Brooks has a nice piece on decision-making. It dovetails well with the Professional Vision paper that you read last week, along with our discussion during Emily’s talk. One of the comments he makes is this: “Perceiving a situation seems, at first glimpse, like a remarkably simple operation. You just look and see what’s around. But the operation that seems most simple is actually the most complex, it’s just that most of the action takes place below the level of awareness. Looking at and perceiving the world is an active process of meaning-making that shapes and biases the rest of the decision-making chain.”
Read the full text here.
The central problem in empirical research is distinguishing fact from fiction (unless you are a postmodernist, in which case the task is to distinguish fashionable, status-enhancing fiction from embarrassing fiction). The Snopes site tries to track and verify urban legends.
It’s interesting to search for events and names of current interest, such as “Obama”.
A long time ago, it was noticed that hemlines fluctuated with the economy: the higher the hemlines, the stronger the economy (I’m not hinting, just saying …). Now, a number of other correlations have been found, from the sale of laxatives to the tempo of hit songs. See the full article in today’s New York Times.
I realized after the last class (on factor analysis) that I was doing the class a disservice. The mathematical underpinnings of measures of association, regression, factor analysis etc are not what you guys need most. There are kind of three ways of teaching a course like this.
The 2009 Anthropology Methods Mall is online. This site has info about four, NSF-supported opportunities for methods training in cultural anthropology.
1. Now in its fifth year, the SCRM (Short Courses on Research Methods) program is for cultural anthropologists who already have the Ph.D. Three five-day are offered during summer 2009 at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina.
- Behavior Measurement (Raymond Hames and Michael Paolisso) July 13–17, 2009
- Network Analysis (Jeffrey Johnson and Christopher McCarty) July 20–24, 2009
- Systematic Techniques for Gathering and Analyzing Video Data (Elizabeth Cartwright and Jerome Crowder) July 27–31, 2009
2. Now in its 14th year, the SIRD (Summer Institute on Research Design) is an intensive, three-week course for graduate students in cultural anthropology who are preparing their doctoral research proposals. The 2009 course runs from July 13–31 at the Duke University Marine Laboratory. (Instructors: Jeffrey Johnson, Susan Weller, and H. Russell Bernard)
3. Now in its sixth year, the SFTM (Summer Field Training in Methods) program in Bolivia is open to graduate students in cultural anthropology. This course involves five weeks of fieldwork in the Bolivian Amazon from June 8-July 13. (Instructors: Ricardo Godoy, William Leonard, Victoria Reyes-Garcia, Thomas McDade, Clarence Gravlee, J. Richard Stepp, and Susan Tanner).
4. The WRMA (Workshops in Research Methods in Anthropology) program offers one-day workshops in conjunction with national meetings of anthropologists. Two workshop will be offered at the meetings of the American Anthropological Association in November.
- Introduction to social network analysis. (Instructors: Jeffrey C. Johnson and Christopher McCarty). November 20, 2009.
- Demystifying SPSS®: Anthropological Data Management and Analysis Made Easy . (Instructors: William Dressler and Kathryn Oths). November 22, 2008.
Full details on all these opportunities at the Methods Mall, http://www.qualquant.net/training/.
H. Russell Bernard
Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus
University of Florida
Editor, FIELD METHODS
A beautiful way of visualizing the words in a text. Word size is proportional to frequency. The text in this case was an interview by conducted by Ginny Kidwell and Travis Grosser for a project about the MBA job search process.