Monday, August 30, 2010

Random sampling and you

One of the potential applications I envisioned for this site was that you out there could answer questions from the point of view of a public figure. Something like, "How would Senator X answer these questions?" We could then look at the results and do fun stuff like see how people who identify as Republican perceive certain Democrats and vice versa.

One hitch with that idea is that people would likely balk at answering the full test from somebody else's point of view. I figured the solution could come with the aid of our good friend Random Sampling. By asking users to answer a subset of the full test, I'd expect a few more responses and a better sample set.

So I tried it out. I took my latest response, which was -7.38, -5.79 (even I was surprised), and took a couple random samples. By picking five random questions from the economic set, I got values of -9.02 and -3.48, for errors of 22% and 53%, respectively, which is pretty crummy. The social set fared a little better. A random sample of eleven questions got me values of -5.67 and -5.32, for errors of 2% and 8%, which is much better.

Long story short, if I ever start doing the "how would this person answer?" stuff, I could probably get away with fewer than ten or so of each type of question and call it a day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Applied Political Compass now supports partisan bickering!

As promised a while ago, you should now have the ability to pick a party affilition by clicking Edit Profile. Once you've done that, your test results will factor into the Party Affiliation graph on the Member Breakdown.

If your party isn't listed, please leave a comment here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Member Breakdown now live

You can now see how test responses have broken down so far by going to this URL:

It's not very interesting yet, because all the responses fall into the same categories so far. With more people, it should balance out a bit better. When I add the ability for members to select a party affiliation, I'll be able to show where members of each party tend to cluster.

But first, more traffic would be nice.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First version is up

Here, have some fun with this:

You can sign in, take the test, view your history, and view the mechanics behind the scoring. More to come.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What's Coming

This isn't much at the moment, and it'll probably stay that way for a couple weeks. This blog is going to be the community side of a site called "The Applied Political Compass." (The name might change, to distinguish the site from the original Political Compass site more clearly.)

The first feature I'm figuring out is how to keep a history of Political Compass test scores. I liked the idea of being able to see if my score changed over time as I grew older and my positions shifted. This'll be what you'll see in a few weeks.

I also liked the idea of seeing how people who identify with each party score on the test and how people from various parties perceive other public figures. I envision having a version of the test ask things like, "How would this person answer this question?" and being able to glean some interesting statistics from the responses.

That second part might just bust, though, so I want to get the first part nice and solid first. Stay tuned!