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Vision Statement
Political science and cognitive science share a long history and interest in the empirical study of meaning. The field of cognitive science has seen a dramatic increase in the ability to computationally model meaning in memory and language over the last 15 years. Political scientists tend to focus on the denotative meanings of words, rather than their connotations given the contexts in which words are used. The efforts of the Center unites a group of researchers with backgrounds in political and cognitive science, computational modeling, psycholinguistics and social psychology to investigate meaning, politics, and psychological processes.

We use a combination of empirical approaches with human subjects, analysis of large and small text corpora, and high-dimensional computational modeling of language. Our goal is a coordinated effort to systematically investigate how cognitive and social factors interact with political variables and population differences to affect social and political behavior. Our theoretical approach to high-dimensional language modeling integrates political, cognitive, and social phenomena into a unifying framework.

This research will fundamentally change how meaning is investigated in political science, inform psychological models of complex social phenomena, greatly extend the relevance of psychology to more complex variables, and will make substantive contributions to how language and population differences are modeled. We envision that this research will form the basis for a new subfield of Political Psychology, Computational Cognitive Politics.