Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

About Follow

Donate

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. 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.

Pew Research CenterJanuary 19, 2018

Very liberal or conservative legislators most likely to share news on Facebook

The most ideological members of Congress shared news stories on their Facebook pages more than twice as often as moderate legislators between Jan. 2, 2015, and July 20, 2017, according to a new Pew Research Center study that examined all official Facebook posts created by members of Congress in this period. The analysis included links […]

U.S. PoliticsDecember 7, 2015

As more money flows into campaigns, Americans worry about its influence

There’s more money in the political system than at any time since the reforms of the 1970s, a trend that concerns most Americans regardless of party or ideology.