Pew Dissertation

Pew Dissertation-11
In Pew Research Center’s case, we looked at American Google users’ search behavior around the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, with the goal of understanding what aggregated search behavior can tell us about how public interest shifts as a story unfolds.

In Pew Research Center’s case, we looked at American Google users’ search behavior around the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, with the goal of understanding what aggregated search behavior can tell us about how public interest shifts as a story unfolds.The geographic focus of the crisis, its unique keywords and its potential to relate to Americans’ daily lives made it a prime candidate for study.

It’s important to keep in mind that each of these searches was conducted for its own reason (exploring a topic, clarifying a term, seeking evidence to bolster an argument), and to answer a researcher’s questions.

Still, the aggregated data can be useful in shedding light on certain research questions.

Findings revealed that identity achievement students regarded their social media use as active and were more likely to use Facebook to research future goals.

These students felt Facebook deepened interests in aspects of their identity and often used Facebook to follow-up with classwork/homework.

The expanding landscape of social media offers users several platforms to introduce into their lifestyle choices.

Facebook continues to be one of the most ubiquitous social media platforms in the United States (Pew Research Center, 2015), and its use in educational contexts has become an area of inquiry.

What sort of research questions can Google data answer?

Google search data aggregates billions of instances each day in which someone types a query into a search box.

One possible solution to comparing more than five terms in the Google Trends interface would be to create a set of queries that all share one single overlapping term (or set of terms) and then compare all the results in relation to that overlapping term.

Often, researchers aren’t interested in comparing more than five terms because they are not conceptually distinct.

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