In this case study two independent observers performed a frequency and sentiment analysis in parallel to the automated Weblyzard results. Specific articles and user comments on selected key-topics in two major online newspapers in Austria (“Der Standard” and “Die Krone”) were counted and evaluated according to different sentiment categories. The results indicate various weaknesses of the software leading to misinterpretations, and the automated analysis yielded substantially different results compared to the sentiment analysis by the two raters, especially for cynical or irrelevant statements. Our case study highlights the potentials and limits of big data analyses of media sources compared to those of conventional, quantitative content analysis. The results clearly show that empirical research should always be accompanied by theory-based interpretation and should highlight not only the potentials but also, specifically, the risks and weaknesses of the big data hype to counteract the allure of automated text-based analyses.
Aschauer, W., Seymer, A., Weichbold, M., Herdin, T., & Röser, A. (2019). Lässt sich das Sicherheitsgefühl der Bevölkerung automatisiert erfassen? Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 44(1), 67–96.,
Using social exchange theory, the concept of social inequality is theoretically linked to the effect of incentives and is empirically tested using data from a recruitment experiment for an online survey in Austria. Since the participants of the Austrian micro-census were used as the selection framework, a detailed analysis of nonresponse is possible. Based on the four different incentives (a brochure, a €2 commemorative coin, a €5 commemorative coin and a €10 voucher), conclusions can be drawn about the different forms incentives take and the values they hold.
Seymer, A., & Weichbold, M. (2018). Social Inequalities and the Effects of Incentives on Survey Participation: A Recruitment Experiment. Austrian Journal of Political Science, 47(2), 5–20,
In this study, we investigate time trends in the relationship between deeper value orientations and political attitudes in the context of the economic crisis in Europe. Based on the literature, we make a series of hypotheses concerning shifts in the values-attitudes link in response to the crisis. We estimate a multi-group structural equation model (MGSEM) using the first five rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS), estimate time trends along a growth curve model (GCM) and link potential “crisis effects” to the key crisis indicators of GDP per capita and unemployment levels. The results support our expectations of a clear crisis effect and suggest two different mechanisms for redistribution and immigration attitudes.
Kulin, J., & Seymer, A. (2016). Economic crisis, human values and political attitudes. In M. Voicu, I. C. Mochmann, & H. Dülmer (Eds.), Values, Economic Crisis and Democracy (pp. 73–103). New York; Oxon: Routledge,
This paper reflects upon the empirical implementations of class concepts in cross-sectional research focusing on the aspect of basic and construct equivalence. The most prominent empirical applications and a selection of newer empirical operationalization attempts are assessed with regard to functional equivalence across countries. The conclusions indicate a rather good level of equivalence, but only if implemented in the strict occupation-based fashion of class analysis. It is argued to depart from the strict implementation towards a multidimensional understanding of class.
Seymer, A. (2015). Konstruktäquivalenz von sozialen Klassen im internationalen Vergleich. Österreichische Zeitschrift Für Soziologie, 40(3), 265–280,
This study addresses how political attitudes are shaped across national context by investigating the influence of nation-specific political articulation and framing on the relationship between human values and political attitudes. Individual-level data from the European Social Survey (ESS) from 2008 are analyzed using multi-group structural equation modeling (MGSEM) and the Comparative Manifesto Project data to investigate the moderating influence of political articulation. Results indicate substantial cross-national variation in the link between values and sociopolitical attitudes, and that this variation can be partly explained by the articulation of sociopolitical issues.
Kulin, J., & Seymer, A. (2014). What’s Driving the Public? A Cross-Country Analysis of Political Attitudes, Human Values and Political Articulation. Sociological Research Online, 19(1), 14,