Morteza Dehghani, Jonathan Gratch, Sonya Sachdeva, Kenji Sagae: “Analyzing Conservative and Liberal Blogs Related to the Construction of the Ground Zero Mosque”

July 20, 2011 | Boston, MA

Speaker: Morteza Dehghani
Host: CogScience 2011

The issue of the „Ground Zero Mosque‟ has been one of the most controversial political issues in US politics in the last several years. Using two different statistical text-analysis techniques, we analyze conservative and liberal blog posts, related to the construction of this Muslim community center and the debates surrounding the issue. In the first experiment, we use a machine learning technique to automatically classify the blogs according to which group wrote them. We also examine the distinctive features that make these blogs liberal or conservative. In the second experiment, by examining posts in consecutive time blocks, we show that there was a significant increase over time in affective processing, and in anger, especially for conservatives. Overall, our results show that there are significant differences in the use of various linguistic features between liberals and conservatives, highlighting the differences between the ideologies and the moral frameworks of the two groups.