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Patrick van Kessel

Senior Data Scientist

Patrick van Kessel is a senior data scientist at Pew Research Center, specializing in computational social science research and methodology. He is the author of studies that have used natural language processing and machine learning to measure negative political discourse and news sharing behavior by members of Congress on social media, and is involved in the ongoing development of best practices for the application of data science methods across the Center. Van Kessel received his master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago, where he focused on open-ended survey research and text analytics. He holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Pew Research Center, he worked at NORC at the University of Chicago as a data scientist and technical advisor on a variety of research projects related to health, criminal justice and education.

Publications
U.S. PoliticsNovember 30, 2018

Members of both parties find meaning in family but differ when it comes to faith

Partisan differences are modest among Americans who mention family, career, money or friends as aspects that make their lives meaningful.

ReligionNovember 20, 2018

Americans who find meaning in these four areas have higher life satisfaction

Four topics are universally associated with higher levels of life satisfaction: a person’s good health, romantic partner, friends and career.

ReligionNovember 20, 2018

What keeps us going

We asked thousands of Americans where they find meaning in life. Their responses were rich, thoughtful and varied, and we have selected 100 to share with you in no particular order.

ReligionNovember 20, 2018

Where Americans Find Meaning in Life

Family is the most common source of meaning in America, but economic, religious and political divides shape where people find meaning in other aspects of life.

Internet & TechNovember 7, 2018

Many Turn to YouTube for Children’s Content, News, How-To Lessons

An analysis of videos suggested by the site’s recommendation engine finds that it directs users toward longer videos and more popular content.

U.S. PoliticsJuly 25, 2018

Moderates in Congress go local on Facebook more than the most ideological members

For the average moderate legislator, about 54% of a member’s Facebook posts discussed local issues between 2015 and 2017. But for the average very liberal or very conservative legislator, just 38% of posts dealt with local issues.

July 24, 2018

Strong Men, Caring Women: How Americans describe what society values (and doesn’t) in each gender

What traits does society value most in men and in women? What traits does society say men and women should not have? Scroll through this data essay to find out.

Pew Research CenterJuly 18, 2018

‘Anger’ topped ‘love’ when Facebook users reacted to lawmakers’ posts after 2016 election

The U.S. congressional Facebook audience used the “angry” button in response to lawmakers’ posts nearly 14 million times following the 2016 election.

U.S. PoliticsJuly 18, 2018

Taking Sides on Facebook: How Congressional Outreach Changed Under President Trump

Democratic legislators’ opposition to political adversaries on Facebook spiked after Trump’s election, while “angry” reactions to posts by members of Congress increased among followers.

Pew Research CenterFebruary 1, 2018

There’s a large gender gap in congressional Facebook posts about sexual misconduct

About seven-in-ten women in Congress mentioned sexual misconduct in their official Facebook posts between Oct. 1 and Dec. 30, 2017, compared with 37% of men in Congress.