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Natural Language Processing for Computational Social Science

Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil · Lillian Lee

Area 3


More and more of life is now manifested online, and many of the digital traces that are left by human activity are increasingly recorded in natural-language format. This tutorial will examine the opportunities for natural language processing (NLP) to contribute to computational social science, facilitating our understanding of how humans interact with others at both grand and intimate scales.

Learning Objectives:

  • Influence and persuasion: Can language choices affect whether a political ad is successful, a social-media post gets more re-shares, or a get-out-the-vote campaign will work?

  • Language as a reflection of social processes: can we detect status differences, or more broadly, the roles people take in online communities? How does language define collective identity, or signal imminent departure from a community?

  • Group success: can language cues help us predict whether a group will cohere or fracture? Or whether a betrayal is forthcoming? Or whether a team will succeed at its task?

Target Audience:


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