Issue Salience and Issue Ownership Online and Offline: Comparing Twitter and Survey Data

33 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2013

See all articles by Bengü Hosch-Dayican

Bengü Hosch-Dayican

University of Twente

Kees Aarts

University of Twente

Chintan Amrit

delete

Adrie Dassen

University of Twente

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Social media, in particular Twitter, become an increasingly attractive tool for political scientists for the study of political attitudes and behavior because of its potential for tracking public opinion with minimal costs. Yet extracting reliable, valid and precise measurements of politically relevant concepts from these data sources still forms a major challenge. The present research is part of the project “Transforming Social Media Contents to Political Data” (funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO), which aims at addressing this challenge by developing new tools and methods for harvesting, coding and analyzing messages from social media. Using data collected from Twitter during the last three weeks of the Dutch parliamentary election campaign 2012, we demonstrate in this paper how two prominent concepts of research on voting behavior – issue salience and issue ownership – can be measured online, and how these measures compare to traditional survey data. The preliminary results obtained by this study show that measures of issue salience and issue ownership using data collected from Twitter are comparable with the survey data to a considerable extent. However, we have also found some discrepancies between the two data sets on key issues, which suggest that our online measurements of the two concepts need to be further developed for a more sound validation.

Keywords: Twitter, Elections, Issue salience, Issue ownership, The Netherlands

Suggested Citation

Hosch-Dayican, Bengü and Aarts, Kees and Amrit, Chintan and Dassen, Adrie, Issue Salience and Issue Ownership Online and Offline: Comparing Twitter and Survey Data (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper, American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2302137

Bengü Hosch-Dayican (Contact Author)

University of Twente ( email )

No Address Available

Kees Aarts

University of Twente ( email )

Postbus 217
7500 AE Enschede
Netherlands

Chintan Amrit

delete

Adrie Dassen

University of Twente ( email )

No Address Available

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
87
Abstract Views
318
rank
299,241
PlumX Metrics