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Christopher Andrew Bail CV

Professor of Sociology
Sociology
CV

Selected Publications


Leveraging AI for democratic discourse: Chat interventions can improve online political conversations at scale.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · October 2023 Political discourse is the soul of democracy, but misunderstanding and conflict can fester in divisive conversations. The widespread shift to online discourse exacerbates many of these problems and corrodes the capacity of diverse societies to cooperate in ... Full text Cite

Reducing political polarization in the United States with a mobile chat platform.

Journal Article Nature human behaviour · September 2023 Do anonymous online conversations between people with different political views exacerbate or mitigate partisan polarization? We created a mobile chat platform to study the impact of such discussions. Our study recruited Republicans and Democrats in the Un ... Full text Cite

Perceived gender and political persuasion: a social media field experiment during the 2020 US Democratic presidential primary election.

Journal Article Scientific reports · August 2023 Women have less influence than men in a variety of settings. Does this result from stereotypes that depict women as less capable, or biased interpretations of gender differences in behavior? We present a field experiment that-unbeknownst to the participant ... Full text Cite

An Online experiment during the 2020 US-Iran crisis shows that exposure to common enemies can increase political polarization.

Journal Article Scientific reports · November 2022 A longstanding theory indicates that the threat of a common enemy can mitigate conflict between members of rival groups. We tested this hypothesis in a pre-registered experiment where 1670 Republicans and Democrats in the United States were asked to comple ... Full text Cite

Interventions to reduce partisan animosity.

Journal Article Nature human behaviour · September 2022 Rising partisan animosity is associated with a reduction in support for democracy and an increase in support for political violence. Here we provide a multi-level review of interventions designed to reduce partisan animosity, which we define as negative th ... Full text Cite

Social-media reform is flying blind.

Journal Article Nature · March 2022 Full text Cite

Political sectarianism in America.

Journal Article Science (New York, N.Y.) · October 2020 Full text Cite

Computational Social Science and Sociology.

Chapter · July 2020 The integration of social science with computer science and engineering fields has produced a new area of study: computational social science. This field applies computational methods to novel sources of digital data such as social media, administrative re ... Full text Cite

Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency's impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · January 2020 There is widespread concern that Russia and other countries have launched social-media campaigns designed to increase political divisions in the United States. Though a growing number of studies analyze the strategy of such campaigns, it is not yet known h ... Full text Cite

Prestige, proximity, and prejudice: how google search terms diffuse across the world

Journal Article American Journal of Sociology · March 1, 2019 A large literature examines the global diffusion of institutions and policies, yet there is much less systematic research on how cultural tastes, consumption preferences, and other individual interests spread across the globe. With a data set that tracks t ... Full text Cite

Exposure to opposing views on social media can increase political polarization.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · September 2018 There is mounting concern that social media sites contribute to political polarization by creating "echo chambers" that insulate people from opposing views about current events. We surveyed a large sample of Democrats and Republicans who visit Twitter at l ... Full text Open Access Cite

Using Internet search data to examine the relationship between anti-Muslim and pro-ISIS sentiment in U.S. counties.

Journal Article Science advances · June 2018 Recent terrorist attacks by first- and second-generation immigrants in the United States and Europe indicate that radicalization may result from the failure of ethnic integration-or the rise of intergroup prejudice in communities where "home-grown" extremi ... Full text Open Access Cite

Channeling Hearts and Minds: Advocacy Organizations, Cognitive-Emotional Currents, and Public Conversation

Journal Article American Sociological Review · December 1, 2017 Do advocacy organizations stimulate public conversation about social problems by engaging in rational debate, or by appealing to emotions? We argue that rational and emotional styles of communication ebb and flow within public discussions about social prob ... Full text Cite

Taming Big Data: Using App Technology to Study Organizational Behavior on Social Media

Journal Article Sociological Methods and Research · March 1, 2017 Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter provide an unprecedented amount of qualitative data about organizations and collective behavior. Yet these new data sources lack critical information about the broader social context of collective behavior ... Full text Cite

A Theory of Resonance

Journal Article Sociological Theory · March 1, 2017 The metaphor of resonance often describes the fit between a message and an audience's worldviews. Yet scholars have largely ignored the cognitive processes audiences use to interpret messages and interactions that determine why certain messages and other c ... Full text Cite

Combining natural language processing and network analysis to examine how advocacy organizations stimulate conversation on social media.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · October 2016 Social media sites are rapidly becoming one of the most important forums for public deliberation about advocacy issues. However, social scientists have not explained why some advocacy organizations produce social media messages that inspire far-ranging con ... Full text Cite

Cultural carrying capacity: Organ donation advocacy, discursive framing, and social media engagement.

Journal Article Social science & medicine (1982) · September 2016 Social media sites such as Facebook have become a powerful tool for public health outreach because they enable advocacy organizations to influence the rapidly increasing number of people who frequent these forums. Yet the very open-ness of social media sit ... Full text Cite

Leveraging AI for democratic discourse: Chat interventions can improve online political conversations at scale.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · October 2023 Political discourse is the soul of democracy, but misunderstanding and conflict can fester in divisive conversations. The widespread shift to online discourse exacerbates many of these problems and corrodes the capacity of diverse societies to cooperate in ... Full text Cite

Reducing political polarization in the United States with a mobile chat platform.

Journal Article Nature human behaviour · September 2023 Do anonymous online conversations between people with different political views exacerbate or mitigate partisan polarization? We created a mobile chat platform to study the impact of such discussions. Our study recruited Republicans and Democrats in the Un ... Full text Cite

Perceived gender and political persuasion: a social media field experiment during the 2020 US Democratic presidential primary election.

Journal Article Scientific reports · August 2023 Women have less influence than men in a variety of settings. Does this result from stereotypes that depict women as less capable, or biased interpretations of gender differences in behavior? We present a field experiment that-unbeknownst to the participant ... Full text Cite

An Online experiment during the 2020 US-Iran crisis shows that exposure to common enemies can increase political polarization.

Journal Article Scientific reports · November 2022 A longstanding theory indicates that the threat of a common enemy can mitigate conflict between members of rival groups. We tested this hypothesis in a pre-registered experiment where 1670 Republicans and Democrats in the United States were asked to comple ... Full text Cite

Interventions to reduce partisan animosity.

Journal Article Nature human behaviour · September 2022 Rising partisan animosity is associated with a reduction in support for democracy and an increase in support for political violence. Here we provide a multi-level review of interventions designed to reduce partisan animosity, which we define as negative th ... Full text Cite

Social-media reform is flying blind.

Journal Article Nature · March 2022 Full text Cite

Political sectarianism in America.

Journal Article Science (New York, N.Y.) · October 2020 Full text Cite

Computational Social Science and Sociology.

Chapter · July 2020 The integration of social science with computer science and engineering fields has produced a new area of study: computational social science. This field applies computational methods to novel sources of digital data such as social media, administrative re ... Full text Cite

Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency's impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · January 2020 There is widespread concern that Russia and other countries have launched social-media campaigns designed to increase political divisions in the United States. Though a growing number of studies analyze the strategy of such campaigns, it is not yet known h ... Full text Cite

Prestige, proximity, and prejudice: how google search terms diffuse across the world

Journal Article American Journal of Sociology · March 1, 2019 A large literature examines the global diffusion of institutions and policies, yet there is much less systematic research on how cultural tastes, consumption preferences, and other individual interests spread across the globe. With a data set that tracks t ... Full text Cite

Exposure to opposing views on social media can increase political polarization.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · September 2018 There is mounting concern that social media sites contribute to political polarization by creating "echo chambers" that insulate people from opposing views about current events. We surveyed a large sample of Democrats and Republicans who visit Twitter at l ... Full text Open Access Cite

Using Internet search data to examine the relationship between anti-Muslim and pro-ISIS sentiment in U.S. counties.

Journal Article Science advances · June 2018 Recent terrorist attacks by first- and second-generation immigrants in the United States and Europe indicate that radicalization may result from the failure of ethnic integration-or the rise of intergroup prejudice in communities where "home-grown" extremi ... Full text Open Access Cite

Channeling Hearts and Minds: Advocacy Organizations, Cognitive-Emotional Currents, and Public Conversation

Journal Article American Sociological Review · December 1, 2017 Do advocacy organizations stimulate public conversation about social problems by engaging in rational debate, or by appealing to emotions? We argue that rational and emotional styles of communication ebb and flow within public discussions about social prob ... Full text Cite

Taming Big Data: Using App Technology to Study Organizational Behavior on Social Media

Journal Article Sociological Methods and Research · March 1, 2017 Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter provide an unprecedented amount of qualitative data about organizations and collective behavior. Yet these new data sources lack critical information about the broader social context of collective behavior ... Full text Cite

A Theory of Resonance

Journal Article Sociological Theory · March 1, 2017 The metaphor of resonance often describes the fit between a message and an audience's worldviews. Yet scholars have largely ignored the cognitive processes audiences use to interpret messages and interactions that determine why certain messages and other c ... Full text Cite

Combining natural language processing and network analysis to examine how advocacy organizations stimulate conversation on social media.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · October 2016 Social media sites are rapidly becoming one of the most important forums for public deliberation about advocacy issues. However, social scientists have not explained why some advocacy organizations produce social media messages that inspire far-ranging con ... Full text Cite

Cultural carrying capacity: Organ donation advocacy, discursive framing, and social media engagement.

Journal Article Social science & medicine (1982) · September 2016 Social media sites such as Facebook have become a powerful tool for public health outreach because they enable advocacy organizations to influence the rapidly increasing number of people who frequent these forums. Yet the very open-ness of social media sit ... Full text Cite

Emotional Feedback and the Viral Spread of Social Media Messages About Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Journal Article American journal of public health · July 2016 Featured Publication ObjectiveTo determine whether exchanges of emotional language between health advocacy organizations and social media users predict the spread of posts about autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).MethodsI created a Facebook application that tra ... Full text Cite

Lost in a random forest: Using Big Data to study rare events

Journal Article Big Data and Society · December 27, 2015 Sudden, broad-scale shifts in public opinion about social problems are relatively rare. Until recently, social scientists were forced to conduct post-hoc case studies of such unusual events that ignore the broader universe of possible shifts in public opin ... Full text Cite

The public life of secrets: Deception, disclosure, and discursive framing in the policy process

Journal Article Sociological Theory · June 11, 2015 While secrecy enables policy makers to escape public scrutiny, leaks of classified information reveal the social construction of reality by the state. I develop a theory that explains how leaks shape the discursive frames states create to communicate the c ... Full text Cite

Terrified: How anti-Muslim fringe organizations became mainstream

Book · December 21, 2014 In July 2010, Terry Jones, the pastor of a small fundamentalist church in Florida, announced plans to burn two hundred Qur'ans on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Though he ended up canceling the stunt in the face of widespread public backlash, ... Cite

The cultural environment: Measuring culture with big data

Journal Article Theory and Society · January 1, 2014 The rise of the Internet, social media, and digitized historical archives has produced a colossal amount of text-based data in recent years. While computer scientists have produced powerful new tools for automated analyses of such “big data,” they lack the ... Full text Cite

The Fringe Effect: Civil Society Organizations and the Evolution of Media Discourse about Islam since the September 11th Attacks

Journal Article American Sociological Review · December 1, 2012 Featured Publication Numerous studies indicate that civil society organizations create cultural change by deploying mainstream messages that resonate with prevailing discursive themes. Yet these case studies of highly influential organizations obscure the much larger populatio ... Full text Cite

The configuration of symbolic boundaries against immigrants in Europe

Journal Article American Sociological Review · January 1, 2008 Featured Publication Recent studies report significant cross-national variation in the conceptual distinctions or "symbolic boundaries" used by majority groups to construct notions of "us" and "them." Because this literature compares only a handful of countries, the macro-leve ... Full text Cite