The State of the Union Study Page

Research Abstract:



Isolation of relevant claims allows for direct comparison to factual references. Thus, in order to effectively measure the overall validity of the messages conveyed within the text of State of the Union messages it is necessary to isolate the claims made with regard to the social and economic status of the country. For a sentence or phrase to be considered a relevant claim it needs to meet each of the following criteria:

1. The sentence or phrase is written in the form of a statement. (i.e. The budget rose 15% last year)

2. The sentence or phrase refers to, is derived from, or concludes information pertaining to the economic and/or social status of the country

3. The sentence or phrase must express certainty

4. The sentence of phrase must present information as fact rather than opinion

5. The sentence must refer to something the current administration has done, is claiming responsibility for, or has directly observed.

6. Statement must refer to incidents that have already occurred.

Upon isolation, relevant claims will be tested for validity by means of comparison to known factual references. Claims will then be assigned one of three values: True (the claim made accurately reflects what is known of the subject matter); False (the claim fails to accurately reflect what is known of the subject matter); Ambiguous (based on what is known the claim can neither be validated or falsified). The data collected from the analysis of relevant claims made within each individual State of the Union Address will be analyzed both individually and comparatively using a variety of methods. Special attention will be drawn towards identifying relationships between validity and the outside variables listed in the above abstract. In total, 20 State of the Union messages delivered between the years 1975-1996 will be analyzed for validity.

Data Sample:

Things to come:

Links to some of the resources used to compile data:

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This page was created by Fred Huber