Decades of social science research has taught us that social discourse is governed by narratives, stories about how actors’ intentions and actions relate to outcomes. The narratives one buys into reflect one’s affiliations and how one makes sense of the social world.

Together with Steven Sloman (CLPS), Björn Sandstede (DSI), and Ellie Pavlick (CS), Carsten received an OVPR Seed Award to use modern machine learning technology to discover the narratives that guide social discourse using big data from online sources. In the process, we hope to develop a general theory of narrative that can be computationally realized for topics showing significant polarization in the US (e.g., immigration); topics with less polarization, reflecting emerging consensus (e.g., gay marriage); and non-political topics such as video game strategies.