Haohan Chen

I am a political scientist and data scientist.

I study why and how people lie in the social media era.

In my dissertation Lies to Friends, Truths to Strangers: Anonymity, Preference Falsification, and Opinion Polarization in Authoritarian China, I develop a new theory to explain why people lie about their political preferences online and offline in the social media era. I also study its implications for dictatorships. Using natural language processing, machine learning, and causal inference methods, I show the behavioral pattern and its implications with an original dataset of online political discourse and networks among over 1 million Chinese social media users.

Broadly defined, my interests lie at the intersection of political behaviorpolitical economy, and big data methods. I apply interpretable machine learning models, primarily on text and network data, to discover and explain political phenomena.

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