Alexander Seymer teaches statistics and research methods at the University of Salzburg and the Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg. His research interests include the association of personal values and public opinion primarily but not exclusively in the context of welfare states, statistics with a focus on latent variable modelling and everything related to R. Besides his attention to quantitative comparative social science research, his genuine and general interest in statistics led to collaborations with scholars from other disciplines during the last years.
He received his Diploma in Sociology from the University of Leipzig and continued his studies in the International Master programme in Social Policy Analysis by Catholic University Leuven, Luxembourg and Associate Institutes. After studying seven years at universities and research institutes, he decided to apply his knowledge in the context of politics working three years in Brussels. Two of the three years, he dedicated his efforts as assistant to a Member of the European Parliament. Eager to integrate his work and academic experiences, he started his PhD at the Salzburg Centre for European Union Studies at the University of Salzburg. He is currently working at the Department of Political Science and Sociology.
Dr.phil. in Sociology, 2013
University of Salzburg
MSc in Social Policy Analysis, 2005
University of Leuven
Diploma in Sociology, 2004
University of Leipzig
Full edition for scientific use. The COVID-19 crisis is manifold and poses major health, economic and social challenges for current societies. Long-term monitoring of central values and attitudes of citizens in times of crises help to grasp current social and political tensions. Taking this ambition to the global scale and providing comparable data across nations is the main aim of the Values in Crisis Study (VIC). Christian Welzel, together with well-known researchers in Germany, UK and Sweden initiated the study and finally 18 countries collaborated in this project. Currently, the Values in Crisis (VIC) Survey is by our knowledge the only international longitudinal survey project on attitudes and values providing data on a global scale. The international dataset is available as a compact version including mainly the harmonized variables of education, income, and region, the key variables of the survey and scales referring to classical value concepts or personality factors. Additionally, there is a full version, where country-specific questions deviating from the standard questionnaire are available for further single country analysis. A method report is additionally published to provide more insights about the country-specific details of the surveys. This dataset represents the data of 18 countries of the first wave of this longitudinal study which is now made publicly available by the SSÖ-Team and AUSSDA. Further releases of the second wave of the survey “end at sight” which is conducted in 2021 and the third wave of the survey (“after the crisis”, probably in 2022) are planned in the future.
Potentiale und Grenzen der automatischen Klassifikation von Big Data – Eine Fallstudie«. This case study highlights the potentials and limits of big-data analyses of media sources compared to conventional, quantitative content analysis. In an FFG-funded multidisciplinary project in Austria (based on the KIRAS security research program), the software tool WebLyzard was used for an automated analysis of online news and social media sources (comments on articles, Facebook postings, and Twitter statements) in order to analyze the media representation of pressing societal issues and citizens’ perceptions of security. Frequency and sentiment analyses were carried out by two independent observers in parallel to the automated WebLyzard results. Specific articles on selected key topics like technology or Muslims in two major online newspapers in Austria (Der Standard and Kronen Zeitung) were counted, as were user comments, and both were evaluated according to different sentiment categories. The results indicate various weaknesses of the software leading to misinterpretations, and the automated analyses yield substantially different results compared to the sentiment analysis carried out by the two raters, especially for cynical or irrelevant statements. From a social-sciences methodological perspective, the results clearly show that methodology in our discipline should promote theory-based research, should counteract the attraction of superficial analyses of complex social issues, and should emphasize not only the potentials but also the dangers and risks associated with big data.
Teaching at University of Salzburg:
Teaching at the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg:
Responsible according to § 5 Abs. 1 ECG: Dr. Alexander Seymer
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