Immense public resources are expended to collect large stores of social data, but often these data are under-examined thereby missing potential opportunities to shed light on some of society's pressing problems. This chapter proposes and demonstrates data mining in general and an iterative attribute-elimination process in particular as important analytical tools to exploit more fully these important data from the social sciences. We use an iterative domain-expert and data mining process to identify attributes that are useful for addressing distinct and nontrivial research issues in social science-presidential vote choice and living arrangement outcomes for maltreated children-using the American National Election Studies (ANES) from political science and the National Survey on Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) from social work. We conclude that data mining is useful for more fully exploiting important but under-evaluated data collections for the purpose of addressing some important questions in the social sciences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)