Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-rq46b Total loading time: 0.205 Render date: 2022-12-05T14:48:57.393Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

A Robust Transformation Procedure for Interpreting Political Text

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2007

Lanny W. Martin
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Rice University, PO Box 1892, MS 24, Houston TX 77251-1892, e-mail: lmartin@rice.edu
Georg Vanberg*
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3265
*
e-mail: gvanberg@unc.edu (corresponding author)

Abstract

In a recent article in the American Political Science Review, Laver, Benoit, and Garry (2003, “Extracting policy positions from political texts using words as data,” 97:311—331) propose a new method for conducting content analysis. Their Wordscores approach, by automating text-coding procedures, represents an advance in content analysis that will potentially have a large long-term impact on research across the discipline. To allow substantive interpretation, the scores produced by the Wordscores procedure require transformation. In this note, we address several shortcomings in the transformation procedure introduced in the original program. We demonstrate that the original transformation distorts the metric on which content scores are placed—hindering the ability of scholars to make meaningful comparisons across texts—and that it is very sensitive to the texts that are scored—opening up the possibility that researchers may generate, inadvertently or not, results that depend on the texts they choose to include in their analyses. We propose a transformation procedure that solves these problems.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Political Methodology 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

Authors' note: We would like to thank Ken Benoit, Michael Laver, three anonymous referees, and the editor for comments on earlier versions of this article.

References

Budge, Ian, Klingemann, Hans-Dieter, Volkens, Andrea, Bara, Judith, and Tanenbaum, Eric. 2001. Mapping policy preferences: Estimates for parties, electors, and governments 1945-1998. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Laver, Michael, Benoit, Kenneth, and Garry, John. 2003. Extracting policy positions from political texts using words as data. American Political Science Review 97: 311–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Laver, Michael, and Ben Hunt, W. 1992. Policy and party competition. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Monroe, Burt L., and Maeda, Ko. 2004. Talk's cheap: Text-based estimation of rhetorical ideal-points. Working paper. Michigan State University.Google Scholar
56
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

A Robust Transformation Procedure for Interpreting Political Text
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

A Robust Transformation Procedure for Interpreting Political Text
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

A Robust Transformation Procedure for Interpreting Political Text
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *