Information meets Confidence

Contact: Javier Sajuria


Department: School of Politics and International Relations

Institution: Queen Mary University of London

Project timeline:  The work needs to be done between January and March

Project duration:  The duration should not be longer than 6 weeks, with regular meetings with the PI.

Closing date: 30 November 2023

Expertise required: The student needs to be proficient with quantitative methods and data analysis using R. It is possible to work with other software (e.g. Python), but R is preferred. It is desirable to have experience analysing experimental data, but not essential. In the case of the latter, the student should be willing to engage in learning these techniques. Language proficiency in Spanish is also desirable.

Project description: Despite the wide use of survey measurements of political knowledge to study political preferences and behaviours, we have limited comparative knowledge of (i) whether the current instruments are suitable to measure misinformation, (ii) what are the most useful survey instruments to uncover both levels of political information and misinformation, (iii) how to account for the levels of internal confidence of respondents, and (iv) how are these differences reflected in terms of gender. This lack of knowledge relates mostly to the preference for established and comparable measures, rather than assessing their validity. This project examines different measurements of (mis)information through the use of survey experiments. The project (i) tests currently used measurements of political knowledge using split samples, (ii) tests new measurements using experiments and popular choices approach, (iii) produces survey instruments that can inform public opinion research, and (iv) produces academic outputs outlining our results.

Description of work involved: The project is at the stage of producing outputs. We have run a number of survey experiments with polling companies in two countries (Chile and UK). We now need assistance with data management, analysis, and visualisation. The student will be expected to take support with:

  • Management of survey data from polling companies
  • Work with the PI in analysing the data using statistical
  • Assist in the production of data visualisation and
    discussion of results.
  • Contribute to academic paper(s) summarising the findings
  • Present results at internal seminar at QMUL

Student benefits:

  • Gain hands-on experience on survey data management
    and analysis
  • Receive feedback and advice on good practices for data
    manipulation and academic outputs
  • Possibility of presenting results and analysis to academic
  • Co-authorship of academic article(s) to be submitted to a
    top journal in political science.
  • Exposure to a larger community of researchers across
    comparative politics and Latin American politics.