External validity of sentiment mining reports: Can current methods identify demographic biases, event biases, and manipulation of reviews?

Fons Wijnhoven, Oscar Bloemen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many publications in sentiment mining provide new techniques for improved accuracy in extracting features and corresponding sentiments in texts. For the external validity of these sentiment reports, i.e., the applicability of the results to target audiences, it is important to well analyze data of the context of user-generated content and their sample of authors. The literature lacks an analysis of external validity of sentiment mining reports and the sentiment mining field lacks an operationalization of external validity dimensions toward practically useful techniques. From a kernel theory, we identify multiple threats to sentiment mining external validity and study three of them empirically 1) a mismatch in demographics of the reviewers sample, 2) bias due to reviewers' incidental experiences, and 3) manipulation of reviews. The value of external validity threat identifying techniques is next examined in cases from Goodread.com. We conclude that demographic biases can be well detected by current techniques, although we have doubts regarding stylometric techniques for this purpose. We demonstrate the usefulness of event and manipulation bias detection techniques in our cases, but this result needs further replications in more complex and more competitive contexts. Finally, for increasing the decisional usefulness of sentiment mining reports, they should be accompanied by external validity reports and software and service providers in this field should incorporate these in their offerings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-273
JournalDecision support systems
Volume59
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2014

Keywords

  • Sentiment mining
  • Opinion mining
  • External validity
  • Demographic bias
  • Event bias
  • Product review manipulation
  • Design proposition validation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'External validity of sentiment mining reports: Can current methods identify demographic biases, event biases, and manipulation of reviews?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this