William R. Hobbs


Google Scholar

Office: T231 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University. I am also in the Department of Government and on the graduate field faculty in Information Science.

I study politics and health, focusing on the social spillover effects of government actions and how small groups of people adapt to sudden changes in their lives. My recent projects have studied the development of public attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act, how social networks heal after a death, and unintended consequences of online censorship in China.

My work has been published in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among other outlets. It has also been covered in popular media, including The Atlantic, Science Magazine, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Working Papers


Despair or Defiance? Assessing Turnout Effects of Election Misinformation

Jon Green, William Hobbs, Stefan McCabe, and David Lazer. 2022. (revise and resubmit)



Group Salience, Inflammatory Rhetoric, and the Persistence of Hate Against Religious Minorities

William Hobbs, Nazita Lajevardi, Xinyi Li, and Caleb Lucas.



Text Scaling for Open-Ended Survey Responses and Social Media Posts

William Hobbs. 2019.

R package: parrot (install from github).








Asymmetric Flooding as a Tool for Foreign Influence on Social Media

Alexandra Cirone and William Hobbs. 2022.
Political Science Research and Methods



COVID-19 increased censorship circumvention and access to sensitive topics in China

Keng-Chi Chang, William Hobbs, Margaret Roberts, and Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld. 2022.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 119 (4): e2102818119.




Offsetting Policy Feedback: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act

William Hobbs and Daniel Hopkins. 2021.
Journal of Politics. 83 (4): 1800-1817.



Using Administrative Records and Survey Data to Construct Samples of Tweeters and Tweets

Adam Hughes, Stefan McCabe, William Hobbs, Emma Remy, Sono Shah, and David Lazer. 2021.
Public Opinion Quarterly 85 (S1): 323-346.




Effects of Divisive Political Campaigns on the Day-to-Day Segregation of Arab and Muslim Americans

William Hobbs and Nazita Lajevardi. 2019.
American Political Science Review. 113 (1): 270-276.



Major Life Events and the Age - Partisan Stability Association

William Hobbs. 2019.
Political Behavior. 41 (3): 791-814.



How Sudden Censorship Can Increase Access to Information

William Hobbs and Margaret Roberts. 2018.
American Political Science Review. 112 (3): 621-636.



ConStance: Modeling Annotation Contexts to Improve Stance Classification

Kenneth Joseph, Lisa Friedland, Oren Tsur, William Hobbs, and David Lazer. 2017.
Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) '17.



Voters of the Year: 19 Voters Who Were Unintentional Election Poll Sensors on Twitter

William Hobbs, Lisa Friedland, Kenneth Joseph, Oren Tsur, Stefan Wojcik, and David Lazer. 2017.
AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM) '17. 544-547.



Connective Recovery in Social Networks After the Death of a Friend

William Hobbs and Moira Burke. 2017.
Nature: Human Behaviour. 1 (5).
-- Science
-- The Atlantic
-- UC San Diego press release



Online Social Integration is Associated with Reduced Mortality Risk

William Hobbs, Moira Burke, Nicholas Christakis, and James Fowler. 2016.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113 (46): 12980-12984.
-- New York Times
-- Los Angeles Times
-- UC San Diego press release
-- Altmetric 2016 Top 100



Presidential Effort and International Outcomes: evidence for an executive bottleneck

David Lindsey and William Hobbs. 2015.
Journal of Politics. 77(4): 1089-1102.
-- supporting information
-- replication materials



Widowhood Effects in Voter Participation

William Hobbs, Nicholas Christakis, and James Fowler. 2014.
American Journal of Political Science. 58(1): 1-16.
-- supporting information
-- replication code (email me for updated code in Python)
-- The Atlantic



Prediction of Mortality Using On-line, Self-Reported Health Data: empirical test of the RealAge score
William Hobbs and James Fowler. 2014.
PLOS ONE. 9(1): e86385.
-- supporting information



Embedded Interests and the Managerial Local State: the political economy of methanol fuel-switching in China
Genia Kostka and William Hobbs. 2013.
Journal of Contemporary China. 22(80): 204-218.



Local Energy Efficiency Policy Implementation in China: bridging the gap between national priorities and local interests
Genia Kostka and William Hobbs. 2012.
China Quarterly. 211: 765-785.



University of California, San Diego
PhD '16 in Political Science (2011-2016)
-  Institute for Network Science, Yale University (2013 - 2014)
-  Data Science team, Facebook, Inc. (2013)

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
BA '09 in Economics, Asian Studies