Measuring Ideological Proportions in Political Speeches

Yanchuan Sim, Brice Acree, Justin H. Gross, Noah A. Smith. In Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2013). Oct, 2013. Seattle, WA. [paper | supplementary]
Abstract: We seek to measure political candidates' ideological positioning from their speeches. To accomplish this, we infer ideological cues from a corpus of political writings annotated with known ideologies. We then represent the speeches of U.S. Presidential candidates as sequences of cues and lags (filler distinguished only by its length in words). We apply a domain-informed Bayesian HMM to infer the proportions of ideologies each candidate uses in each campaign. The results are validated against a set of preregistered, domain expert authored hypotheses.

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