To explore what may be the future of how data are gathered to examine political and social phenomenon: Big Data.
BIG DATA: This one requires more of a “creative brain stretch” but may be more ‘fun’ because it’s a departure from the focus on gov’t program evaluation (though perhaps the real stretch is for me to think this is ‘fun’!). For this option, you will draw mostly from the short reading in The Guardian. As you will recall, this article discussed how researchers are using Google/search engines as a source for data, as well as social media forums (Facebook, Twitter, even public and quasi-private discussion board forums) in order to learn more about what people are curious about and what they want out of life. Apply this to how such data can be used to inform public policy and how researchers might acquire valuable, Think of at least one example, and The Guardian article talks about what we learn about people’s prejudices from their Internet searchers. Also, using the article “Scientists are just as confused about the ethics of big data research as you are” (Module 8), and what you learned from earning your IRB certificate, is such research ethical? Is it ethical for researchers to be gathering aggregate data on what our Google searches? To be “lurking” around social media sources (even if they are public), and discussion forums? Explain your position on this. Attach is the link to both articles. Also 2.5 pages minimum; double-spaced, 12 pt font, 1-inch top/bottom/side margins