Research

Work in Progress

Behavioral Economics: Well-Being and Data Science

Crisis Informatics represents a multidisciplinary field combining Computing and Social Science knowledge of disasters; its fundamental tenet is people use personal information and communication technology to respond to a disaster in creative ways to cope with uncertainty [Leysia Palen \& Kenneth M. Anderson (2016)]. There are many thematic applications of big crisis data analytics including (1) data-driven digital epidemiology (in which public health research is conducted using CDRs and social media)[M. Salathe et al. (2012)]; (2) population surveillance and urban analytics [M. N. K. Boulos et.al. (2011)](in which big crisis data is used for tracking the movement of a crisis-affected population as the crisis unfolds); (3) crisis informatics and sociology [L. Palen, S., et al. (2007)] (in which data, along with participatory mapping and crowdsourcing technology, is used for analyzing the sociological behavior of the affected community through behavioral inference and “reality mining”).

The most important application of AI-based computational linguistics for big crisis data analytics is an automated analysis of social media using sentiment analysis and opinion mining [M. Imran, C et al. (2015)] While there have been many advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) applying it to Crisis Informatics is still non-trivial [Junaid Qadir et al. (2016)]. The effects of violence in communities with long-temporal waves of violence have showed behavior of resilience [ Drury, J et al.(2009), Collins,R et al.(2004)],social support [Lin, YR \& Margolin D (2014)] and some other mental health problems [Lemyre, L et al. (2005), Jenkin, C.M (2006)].

This Crisis Informatics project carries out Data Science, Machine Learning and NLP (natural language processing) models to study behavioral responses to crises (i.e violence produced by Urban Warfare, Terrorism), and complex social interactions; by exploring experimental measures of subjective well-being, risk perception and policy preferences. We look at the general research topics areas:


  • Choices, Values, and Frames in Risk Environments
  • Cognitive Bias, Social Identity and Preferences
  • Terrorism and Distress
  • Online Social Networking and Mental Health
  • Modeling Emotion-Based Decision-Making

Working Papers in Behavioral Economics

  • Stated Preferences and Well-Being in Risky Environments

This paper addresses the question of what choices people are likely to make in order to maximize their well-being in a risky environment. To obtain data necessary to address this question, I implemented an on-line survey based on a methodology employed recently by economists studying relationships between happiness and choice (Benjamin, Heffitz, Kimball, and Szembrot). The survey incorporated hypothetical scenarios related to stated preferences. The scenarios considered correspond to personal situations involving the effects of drug-related violence in Mexico and policy voting preferences. We found that the impact on the mental health of the civilian population by this phenomenon is one of the most significant. By pairwise comparison in 1,800 scenarios, we found suggestive evidence of negative well-being aspects such as anger, anxiety, and depression. In addition, we also found that the behavior of respondents has low uncertainty regarding other’s preferences and in this case, people state preferences with high intensity in policy.

Submitted to Journal for Publication, Coming Soon (Draft Available Upon Request)

  • Risk Perception, Policy Preferences, and Pro-Social Behavior: Experimental Evidence in Risky Environments

The study of risk perception and policy preferences in locations affected by violence reflects negative emotional expressions as violence increases and resilience in a steady wave of violence. Threat perceptions and emotions can jointly impact individuals’ attitudes towards risk. In this article, we implemented an online experiment to prove two main hypotheses. The first hypothesis lies in the appraisal-tendency theory to test the behavior of 111 respondents residents in violent and non-violent locations. We found that anger triggered in one situation evokes optimistic risk estimates and risk-seeking choices. Fear does the opposite, evoking pessimistic estimates and risk-averse choices. The second hypothesis lies in the perception of risk and risky decision making. In particular, risky decision making suggests that people are loss-averse—they dislike losses much more than they like equivalent valued gains (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979). By using an identifiable victim effect on an online modified dictator game, we provide evidence that suggests that people see saving a statistical life as a gain, but saving an identified victim was seen as avoiding a loss. Then this predicts that people put greater value on identified victims than on statistical ones.

Submitted to Journal for Publication, Coming soon (Draft Available Upon Request)

Working Papers in Social Networks

  • Risky Environments, Happiness, and Networks in Blau Space

How does experiencing mass urban warfare, violence, or other traumatic events affect individuals’ interaction? Social media has become central to the public’s response to violence, particularly social network support has an important role in helping to reduce negative emotional violence effects. Using a network instrument based on household data from the INEGI Subjective Well-Being 2012 Survey in Mexico. This paper analyzes homophily differences by using log-linear models based on a self-reported level of happiness of 10,400 respondents. The analysis is made within and between groups by fitting layer effect parameters. There are main differences between male and female non-kin ties residents in violent and nonviolent locations. The study compares the pattern of ties among dissimilar alters for both sexes. The results of how personal characteristics relate to differences in the strength of homophily related with people’s level of happiness or life satisfaction indicates that residents in violent places are almost equally homophilous to affiliate or having support from a specific social network, although involvement in community activities exerts a stronger influence in women than men and the resulting tendency to form ties is based on that particular locus.

Submitted to Journal for Publication, Coming soon (Draft Available Upon Request)

The fuzzy analysis is commonly used for handling various forms of uncertainty in a decision-making process and it is related to the design and control of complex systems which is the case of fuzzy clustering. This paper initially will aboard this issue by incorporating fuzzy theory into group decision making based on intuitionistic preference relations. The common cases of study are data that comes from subjective well-being decisions that are embedded in behavioral networks. By using fuzzy theory and optimization methods, this paper proposes to follow a two-step algorithm to analyze behavioral networks by (1) identify complete intuitionistic preferences and by (2) approximate a network feature matrix for a conventional fuzzy community detection which is an extension of a fuzzy k-means clustering procedure.

This paper introduces the concept of the “Citizen Commission” as a structure of social capital and shows methods for its mathematical analysis. The paper explains network formation and how information transmission feeds back into the evolution of social links. The social network is analyzed in cooperative games and its role in public goods. The concepts of the equilibrium point and it different solutions are introduced by mathematical definition. Later in the paper, the process of social learning is discussed. An illustration of the possibilities of this Citizen Commission for a real application in the economy is included.

Other Publications

  • Regional Encounters: Diagnostic Study and Proposals for the Southern Region of Jalisco.

Coauthor with Salvador Carrillo Regalado and Alejandro Lome Hurtado.

Commission of Federalism, Decentralization and Municipal Development,

Economic and Social Committee of the State of Jalisco (CESJAL)

Guadalajara, Jalisco, 2007.

  • Regional Encounters: Diagnostic Study and Proposals for the Western Mountain Region of Jalisco.

Coauthor with Salvador Carrillo Regalado and Alejandro Lome Hurtado

Commission of Federalism, Decentralization and Municipal Development,

Economic and Social Committee of the State of Jalisco (CESJAL)

Guadalajara, Jalisco, 2008.

  • Regional Encounters: Diagnostic Study and Proposals for the Valley Region of Jalisco.

Coauthor with Salvador Carrillo Regalado and Alejandro Lome Hurtado

Commission of Federalism, Decentralization and Municipal Development,

Economic and Social Committee of the State of Jalisco (CESJAL)

Guadalajara, Jalisco, 2009.

  • Regional Encounters: Diagnostic Study and Proposals for the North Coastal Region of Jalisco.

Coauthor with Salvador Carrillo Regalado and Alejandro Lome Hurtado.

Commission of Federalism, Decentralization and Municipal Development,

Economic and Social Committee of the State of Jalisco (CESJAL)

Guadalajara, Jalisco, 2009.

  • Regional Encounters: Diagnostic Study and Proposals for the Southern Mountain Region of Jalisco.

Coauthor with Salvador Carrillo Regalado and Alejandro Lome Hurtado

Commission of Federalism, Decentralization and Municipal Development,

Economic and Social Committee of the State of Jalisco (CESJAL)

Guadalajara, Jalisco, 2009.

  • Regional Encounters: Diagnostic Study and Proposals for the Cienega Region of Jalisco.

Coauthor with Salvador Carrillo Regalado and Alejandro Lome Hurtado

Commission of Federalism, Decentralization and Municipal Development,

Economic and Social Committee of the State of Jalisco (CESJAL)

Guadalajara, Jalisco, 2010.