"When do Presidents Persuade with Facts vs Mobilize with Feelings?"
In October 2022, Benjamin Noble won the Dean's Award for Graduate Research Excellence for his project "When Do Presidents Persuade with Facts vs Mobilize with Feelings?" This award “recognizes outstanding achievements by graduate students in research and creative practice prior to graduation from the program.” To qualify, students were nominated by their department, and those selected gave a three-minute presentation of their project to Vice Dean Sophia Hayes and other members of the Office of Graduate Studies.
The committee selected six students from across Arts and Sciences to advance. The finalists presented their three-minute talk in front of the Arts & Sciences National Council, who voted Benjamin Noble the overall winner. In the project, Benjamin investigates how presidents use persuasive, fact-based and mobilizing, feeling-based language to build public support and enact their agendas. He creates a new measure of fact or feeling language in text, which he uses to analyze over 17,000 presidential speeches from 1981-2022.
Benjamin Noble is a PhD candidate in Political Science studying the U.S. presidency, Congress, and political communication. His dissertation investigates how presidents and legislators use language and rhetoric to achieve their goals. In his research, Benjamin uses cutting-edge data science methods, machine learning and natural language processing to develop new ways to measure and visualize big text data - including 17,000 presidential statements and over one million congressional floor speeches. Benjamin received a bachelor's degree in History from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013 and will graduate with a master's and doctorate in Political Science in 2024.
Benjamin shares a research office in the Weidenbaum Center with Wayde Marsh, a Weidenbaum Center Postdoctoral Research Fellow.