See the calendar on the right for the full schedule.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Choosing an advisor

The faculty in the COPS group have fielded many questions recently about choosing an advisor. The following online documents can supplement those discussions:

Article #1
Article #2
Article #3

Going to MAPOR

For more photos of our trip, click here

Monday, November 21, 2005

OSU grad behind the scenes for Bush's visit to Korea

You probably didn't see his face on any of the news reports of President Bush's recent trip to Korea, but recent OSU grad Dave Smith (MA, June 2005) was the leader of the team that coordinated the press arrangements for the presidential visit. This included preparing for and working with more than 200 international journalists who were on hand. There were 175 reporters traveling with the president. Dave himself spent time with Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, as well as David Green of NPR, John Roberts of CBS and Kelly O'Donnel of NBC.

Dave, who was a captain in the Air Force during his time at OSU, is now Major Dave Smith. He completed his thesis in June and left the following week for his current assignment as Chief of Public Affairs for the 51st Fighter Wing/7th Air Force. He's now stationed at Osan Air Base about 50 miles from the North Korean border. The title of his thesis is, "The 'casualties hypothesis:' The influence of news media coverage of U.S. military deaths on public support for military operations."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

On the recent Ohio election

Once again the quality and honesty of Ohio’s elections are the stuff of national commentary. Here’s a recent sampling.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Balancing Theory and Methods with Reality?

Alan Wolfe contributes a provocative review essay in the Nov. 4 Chronicle of Higher Education (online subscription or available via Lexis Nexis).

Wolfe details the revolt in political science from scholars who view the major journals as increasingly irrelevant to understanding politics, and instead dominated by mathematically based scholarship that through hypothesis testing and model building tries to fit reality and events into a single over-arching explanatory concept. What is lost is the role of contingency, complexity and context in human affairs, and the ability to say things about contemporary society. Worth reading with many parallels to trends in communication research and other disciplines.

On the role of journalists in the CIA leak case

An insightful article about the practices of the press and federal officials appears in this week's New Yorker by Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia. You can read it online at

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Significant changes ahead for NES

NSF awards $7.6 million for a more multi-faceted, broadly collaborative, and interdisciplinary American National Election Studies

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $7.6 million to fund the American National Election Studies (ANES) to study the causes of voter participation and candidate choice in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
This award represents a dramatic increase in NSF's funding for the project, more than doubling the financial support it received during 2002-2005.

The substantial increase in funding for the project is the result of two years of advisory workshops held by NSF to evaluate the study's scientific value and innovative directions for its future. "This award allows us to conduct the project in much bigger and better ways than has ever been possible," said Arthur Lupia, one of two principal investigators of the project. "NSF's ringing endorsement of the project is a wonderful recognition of 50 years of important scholarship by hundreds of social scientists studying elections and will equip them superbly to continue this important work," said Jon Krosnick, also a principal investigator.

The centerpiece of the 2005-2009 study will be state-of-the-art hour-long interviews with thousands of Americans face-to-face in their homes both before and again after the November, 2008, election. The questionnaires will ask hundreds of questions of respondents, measuring their opinions on a wide array of political issues, their assessments of the health of the nation, their hopes for government action in the future, their perceptions of the candidates and their platforms, their behavioral participation in the campaign and in politics more generally, and much more. Many of these questions have been asked identically every two years since the 1950s, allowing scholars to track changes in the American electorate over time.

In addition, a nationally representative sample of American adults will be recruited during 2007 and will answer questions once a month for 21 consecutive months, continuing well after the presidential inauguration in 2009. This will allow researchers to study which citizens change their candidate preferences when and why during the primaries and general election campaigns and how citizens react to the election outcome after the nation's new leader begins to govern.

A third component of the new project will be collaboration with another long-term national survey project, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, run by the Ohio State University's Center for Human Resource Research. As a result, questions measuring political opinions and behavior will be asked of a representative sample of thousands of young adults every two years, illuminating patterns of long-term change of individuals across elections.

The November, 2008, pre-election and post-election face-to-face interviews will employ innovative new measurement techniques for the first time in the ANES, such as using laptop computers to display questions and answer choices confidentially to respondents and allowing them to answer secretly. In addition, for the first time, the computers will show respondents election-related photographs and videos to enhance measurement of what voters learn during the campaign.

The computers will also measure the speed with which respondents make judgments, using the latest techniques from social and cognitive psychology. This will entail the use of measurement tools that have been used extensively in laboratories around the world but have rarely been administered in surveys of representative national samples of adults.

Response speed measurement is one way to elucidate automatic processes that occur unconsciously in the brain and guide political thinking and action. "By combining self-reports that measure opinions and measurements of response speed, we can better understand the impact of sensitive attitudes, including prejudice and stereotyping." explained Lupia.

2006 will mark a substantial expansion of the number of academic disciplines that will influence and be served by the ANES. The Board of Overseers will double in size to include 20 world-renowned professors from political science, psychology, sociology, economics, and communication.

During the coming years, substantial efforts will be mounted to encourage scholars from all of these disciplines and others as well to submit proposals about how the study should be designed and what questions should be asked of the survey respondents.

The ANES has conducted gold-standard national surveys every two years since then to equip scholars around the world to study American voting behavior and election outcomes. Thousands of books, journal articles, book chapters, and conference presentations have been based upon ANES data during the last five decades. It was created by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR) in 1952 and is now administered jointly by ISR and Stanford University's Institute for Research in the Social Sciences.

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Related Links:
ANES Homepage:
Krosnick Homepage:
Lupia Homepage:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

$$$Money, Money, Money for Research$$$

If you are a graduate student looking for money to fund a research project, a good place to look might be the National Association of Broadcaster's Research Grants. For more information, click here:
You will have to find a way to make your political communication or public opinion project relevant to the goals of the NAB, but for many project ideas that shouldn't be a problem.

So much for media agenda-setting?

If you think agenda-setting works as its chief academic proponents say it does and media do set a kind of social or political agenda by focusing on some issues and not others, then consider this from last night's Daily Show [October 31, 2005].

Bob Corddry: [Discussing the apparent sudden loss of interest in the Scooter Libby indictment due to Bush’s nomination of a new Supreme Court justice, Sam Alito, on Oct. 31, 2005.] There’s been a change of topic.

Jon Stewart: But don’t the media have some power over what the story is?

Bob Corddry: No, Jon. No. We have no ability to decide what’s important. Look, I’m a reporter. I’d love to stay with the Libby case. We’re talking about corruption in the vice president’s office. Huge story! But something new happened. If the Alito nomination weren’t more important, it wouldn’t have happened more recently. Its newness trumps the less recent-tude of the … of the .. thing with Liddy.

Jon Stewart: Libby. Libby. G. Gordon Liddy. Liddy was the Watergate burglar.

Bob Corddry: Right. Right. Watergate? Is that where the guy broke in on the dinosaur, old man? Get with it Jon! We thrive on news! That’s how reporters work.