Nuova ricerca

Andrea SCIANDRA

Ricercatore t.d. art. 24 c. 3 lett. A
Dipartimento di Comunicazione ed Economia


Home | Didattica |


Pubblicazioni

2022 - The social representation of nanotechnologies and its relationships with those of science and technology: Making familiar the unfamiliar between enthusiasm and caution [Articolo su rivista]
Brondi, Sonia; Neresini, Federico; Sciandra, Andrea
abstract

This study examined the social representation (SR) of nanotechnologies and its relationships with those of science and technology. It aimed to understand the role of pre-existing and neighbouring forms of shared knowledge in orienting the way laypeople autonomously develop ideas about an unfamiliar issue, and related implications for its perceived risks and public acceptance or rejection. The study involved 489 Italian participants, stratified according to gender, age and education level. They completed an ad-hoc questionnaire with multiple free association tasks to the word-stimuli nanotechnologies, science and technology, and close-ended questions to gauge ‘familiarity’ levels with nanotechnologies and ‘engagement’ in nanotechnologies through media. The results suggested the presence of a rather shared and organised SR of nanotechnologies whose content is cautiously enthusiastic. The biomedical domain seems to be the most easily accepted field of application for nanotechnologies, indicating a ‘preferential channel’ through which they could be more welcome and trusted. Concerning inter-representation relationships, comparisons among SRs identified a strong connection among these three objects, indicating the existence of a coherent representation system where the SR of nanotechnologies is nested in those of science and technology, which, in turn, are in a reciprocal relationship. Fine-grained comparisons allowed for grasping further insights. The results showed that the SR of nanotechnologies is the least enthusiastic, highlighting critical voices among laypeople, although peripherally. Specifically, it presents elements of perceived risks and rejection on one hand, and elements indicating a detached approach in which individuals struggle to detect potentialities and advantages on the other, contrary to what has been found for science and technology at large.


2021 - Does the attention-grabbing mechanism work on Sundays? Influence of social and religious factors on investors' attention [Articolo su rivista]
Ferretti, R.; Sciandra, A.
abstract

Purpose: This paper focuses on the influence of social, cultural and religious factors on investors' attention. In particular, the authors examined if the attention-grabbing mechanism works on Sundays, that is, if the Italians' Sunday activities and habits lead to a lower attention to second-hand financial news, compared to Saturdays. Design/methodology/approach: The authors analyzed the market reaction to equivalent stale events published on the Saturday and Sunday editions of an Italian financial newspaper and conducted a standard event study on abnormal returns and abnormal volumes for Saturday and Sunday columns and a multivariate analysis on abnormal returns for columns reporting positive recommendations. As a robustness check, the authors performed a sentiment analysis of the columns and included this variable in the regression analysis, but sentiment proved to be not significant in the final model. Findings: The study’s results confirmed that the attention-grabbing mechanism directed buying decisions, while had no influence on selling decisions. Furthermore, event study and multivariate analysis showed a significant lower market reaction to Sunday columns, supporting the study hypothesis of a Sunday investors' inattention which can be traced to cultural and/or religious factors since Sunday in Italy is a day devoted to family, entertainment and religious rituals. Practical implications: The lower investors' attention on Sundays and the related influence of social, cultural and religious factors have implications for the timing of both corporate communications and financial advertising. Originality/value: The authors’ paper provides an original contribution, on the empirical ground, to the attention-grabbing theory and to the growing theoretical literature in microeconomics that models attention.


2021 - L’utilizzo della ricerca scientifica nella professione dell’assistente sociale [Articolo su rivista]
Dal Ben, A.; Rinaldo, G.; Sciandra, A.; Segatto, B.
abstract

The low propensity of social workers operating in community service to use the results of scientific studies in their daily work, as well as actively participating in social research, is a criticism of the profession detected in different realities European and international. To respond to this issue, fruitful collaborations between professionals and researchers have been implemented in many contexts, promoting an exchange of knowledge and the implementation of expertise in social work. In Italy, although the discipline has entered the universities for over 20 years, these collaborations have been activated only recently and still appear limited. This study investigated through a questionnaire the opinion of 100 social workers regarding the use of the results of scientific research in professional practice. The results show the first signs of an initial change which needs to be further supported by the development of sector research and the commitment of universities in its promotion.


2021 - Media and Investors’ Attention. Estimating analysts’ ratings and sentiment of a financial column to predict abnormal returns. [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Ferretti, Riccardo; Sciandra, Andrea
abstract

In line with the attention grabbing theory, the publication of articles dealing with the profile of single listed companies along with financial analysts' recommendations is followed by significant increases when the recommendation is positive. In this paper, we tried to understand what happens when analysts' recommendations are missing. We estimated analysts’ recommendations with a classification based on the terms in the articles and through a sentiment analysis of the same texts. Results showed that investors transform the articles’ content into implicit recommendations that guide their buying decisions when the sentiment is highly positive.


2021 - Politics overwhelms science in the Covid-19 pandemic: Evidence from the whole coverage of the Italian quality newspapers [Articolo su rivista]
Crabu, Stefano; Giardullo, Paolo; Sciandra, Andrea; Neresini, Federico
abstract

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has emerged as one of the most dramatic health crises of recent decades. This paper treats mainstream news about the current pandemic as a valuable entry point for analyzing the relationship between science and politics in the public sphere, where the outbreak must be both understood and confronted through appropriate public-health policy decisions. In doing so, the paper aims to examine which actors, institutions, and experts dominate the SARS-CoV-2 media narratives, with particular attention to the roles of political, medical, and scientific actors and institutions within the pandemic crisis. The study relies on a large dataset consisting of all SARS-CoV-2 articles published by eight major Italian national newspapers between January 1, 2020 and June 15, 2020. These articles underwent a quantitative analysis based on a topic modeling technique. The topic modeling outputs were further analyzed by innovatively combining ad-hoc metrics and a classifier based on the stacking ensemble method (combining regularized logistic regression and linear stochastic gradient descent) for quantifying scientific salience. This enabled the identification of relevant topics and the analysis of the roles that different actors and institutions engaged in making sense of the pandemic. The results show how the health emergency has been addressed primarily in terms of political regulation and concerns and only marginally as a scientific matter. Hence, science has been overwhelmed by politics, which, in media narratives, exerts a moral as well as regulatory authority. Media narratives exclude neither scientific issues nor scientific experts; rather, they configure them as a subsidiary body of knowledge and expertise to be mobilized as an ancillary, impersonal institution useful for legitimizing the expansion of political jurisdiction over the governance of the emergency.


2021 - Sulle tracce dell’espressione dell’interiorità: analisi diacronica di un corpus di narrativa italiana del XIX-XX secolo [Articolo su rivista]
Sciandra, Andrea; Trevisani, Matilde; Tuzzi, Arjuna
abstract

This article concerns an example of statistical analysis of a large diachronic corpus, including 100 works of Italian fiction, with the aim of recognizing prototypical trends in words frequencies and identifying clusters of words that share similar temporal patterns. Starting from the insights of literary scholars, this study tries to test the hypothesis (often brought forward in literary history) that the inner life of the authors and/or their characters gained more importance during the Nineteenth century and represents one of the cornerstones of modernism. Although this hypothesis cannot be rejected, the adopted statistical methods do not highlight clear-cut temporal patterns: some slight trends emerge but a large share of words individually show an undifferentiated behaviour over time. The idea of studying the occurrence in the texts of the inner expression of the writers from a diachronic perspective is certainly very ambitious. This first experiment shows some strengths of the statistical tools but also some limits of the criteria adopted for both the constitution of the corpus and the selection of linguistic features to be observed.


2021 - Supervised Machine Learning Methods to Disclose Action and Information in “U.N. 2030 Agenda” Social Media Data [Articolo su rivista]
Sciandra, Andrea; Surian, Alessio; Finos, Livio
abstract

In 2015, the United Nation General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals aiming at ending all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities, and tackling climate change. We collected Twitter data about the 2030 Agenda from May 9th to November 9th, 2018. The aim of this work is to obtain a classification of each tweet in the corpus according to the “Information”—“Action” categories, in order to detect whether a tweet refers to an event or it has only an informative-disclosure purpose. It seems particularly interesting to understand how and to what extent people and organizations are playing a more active role in shaping the process of responding locally and internationally to climate change. Explicit intention to act or inform had been captured by hand coding of a randomly selected sample of tweets and then the classification had been extended to the whole corpus through a supervised machine learning method. Overall, our classification supervised model has produced satisfactory results.


2021 - WordUp! at VaxxStance 2021: Combining Contextual Information with Textual and Dependency-Based Syntactic Features for Stance Detection. [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Lai, Mirko; Teresa Cignarella, Alessandra; Finos, Livio; Sciandra, Andrea
abstract

In this paper we describe the participation of the WordUp! team in the VaxxStance shared task at IberLEF 2021. The goal of the competition is to determine the author's stance from tweets written both in Spanish and Basque on the topic of the Antivaxxers movement. Our approach, in the four different tracks proposed, combines the Logistic Regression classifier with diverse groups of features: stylistic, tweet-based, user-based, lexicon-based, dependency-based, and network-based. The outcomes of our experiments are in line with state-of-the-art results on other languages, proving the efficacy of combining methods derived from NLP and Network Science for detecting stance in Spanish and Basque.


2020 - COVID-19 Outbreak through Tweeters’ Words: Monitoring Italian Social Media Communication about COVID-19 with Text Mining and Word Embeddings [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Sciandra, A.
abstract

In this paper we aim to analyze the Italian social media communication about COVID-19 through a Twitter dataset collected in two months. The text corpus had been studied in terms of sensitivity to the social changes that are affecting people's lives in this crisis. In addition, the results of a sentiment analysis performed by two lexicons were compared and word embedding vectors were created from the available plain texts. Following we tested the informative effectiveness of word embeddings and compared them to a bag-of-words approach in terms of text classification accuracy. First results showed a certain potential of these textual data in the description of the different phases of the outbreak. However, a different strategy is needed for a more reliable sentiment labeling, as the results proposed by the two lexicons were discordant. Finally, although presenting interesting results in terms of semantic similarity, word embeddings did not show a predictive ability higher than the frequency vectors of the terms.


2020 - TextWiller @ SardiStance, HaSpeede2: Text or Con-text? A Smart Use of Social Network Data in Predicting Polarization [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Ferraccioli, Federico; Sciandra, Andrea; Da Pont, Mattia; Girardi, Paolo; Solari and Livio Finos, Dario
abstract

In this contribution we describe the system(i.e. a statistical model) used to participatein Evalita conference 2020, SardiStance(Tasks A and B) and Haspeede2 (TasksA and B). We first developed a classifierby extracting features from the texts andthe social network of users. Then, wefit the data through an extreme gradientboosting, with cross-validation tuning ofthe hyper-parameters. A key factor for agood performance in SardiStance Task Bwas the features extraction by using Mul-tidimensional Scaling of the distance ma-trix (minimum path, undirected graph) ap-plied on each network. The second sys-tem exploits the same features above, butit trains and performs predictions in two-steps.The performances proved to belower than those of the single-step model.


2020 - The weight of words: textual data versus sentiment analysis in stock returns prediction [Capitolo/Saggio]
Ferretti, R.; Sciandra, A.
abstract

The focus of this paper is to understand whether the words contained in a text corpus improves the explained variance of stock returns better than the use of the polarity of the same texts, obtained through a sentiment analysis using a generic ontological dictionary. The empirical analysis is based on the content of a weekly column in the most important Italian financial newspaper, which published past information and analysts’ recommendations on listed companies. The use of textual data clearly increases the explained variance of stock returns but, through comparisons between data mining techniques, we observed minor differences in terms of MSE, by adding a selection of specific terms as features. In this context, the text mining approach proved to be very useful to improve the explanatory power of forecasting models, while it emerged the limited explanatory power of an automatic sentiment analysis based on a generic lexicon.


2019 - City Prosperity Index: a comparative analysis of Latin American and Mediterranean cities based on well-being and social inclusion features [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Surian, A.; Sciandra, Andrea
abstract

The paper analyses recent data provided by the City Prosperity Index (CPI). CPI (UN Habitat, 2016) made available baseline data to monitor Sustainable Development Goal 11 aiming at making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. It is an instrument based on UN-Habitat concept of urban prosperity as being composed by six dimensions: productivity; infrastructure; quality of life; equity and social inclusion; environmental sustainability, and governance and legislation. The City Prosperity Index is computed using city level data deriving from a set of commonly available indicators that exist among all cities. The global CPI is a weighted mean of standardized indices from each of the six dimensions. The study focuses on Quality of Life (QOL) and Equity & Social Inclusion (ESII) indicators as key data in order to monitor well-being and urban inclusion. Based on CPI’s units of analysis, this study performs a comparative analysis of cities from different countries belonging to two areas: Latin America and Mediterranean (including both European and Northern African cities). This allowed us to explore the different stages of modernization (Inglehart & Welzel, 2005) in relation to the dimensions of social inclusion and well-being. Cluster analysis grouping data by QOL and ESII indicators shows that Mexican and Brazilian cities have very similar performances, while Moroccan cities show a gap in QOL indicators compared to Southern European cities, even though Moroccan cities accomplish better results in relation to poverty rate and youth unemployment. An interesting result occurred using t-tests with 1000 bootstrap samples to compare the Latin American cities with the Mediterranean ones. The analysis does not show statistically significant differences concerning indicators relating to Education (Literacy Rate and Mean Years of Schooling), Social Inclusion (Slum Households) and Gender Inclusion (Equitable Secondary School Enrolment). Instead, youth employment rate turned out to be significantly higher in Brazilian and Mexican cities when compared to the cities belonging to the Mediterranean area. These analyses may suggest an incomplete but visible improvement of well-being and social inclusion features in the two most populous Latin American countries or, in other words, a shift towards a post-materialist perspective.


2019 - Classifying the Willingness to Act in Social Media Data: Supervised Machine Learning for U.N. 2030 Agenda [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Sciandra, A.; Surian, A.; Finos, L.
abstract

In 2015, the United Nation General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals aiming at ending all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change. We collected data about the 2030 Agenda from May 9th to November 9th, 2018. The aim of this work is to obtain a classification of each tweet in the corpus according to the “Information” - “Action” categories, in order to detect whether a tweet refers to an event or it has only an informative-disclosure purpose. Explicit intention to act or inform had been captured by hand coding of a randomly selected sample of tweets and then the classification had been extended to the whole corpus through a supervised machine learning method.


2019 - Digital divide: addressing Internet skills. Educational implications in the validation of a scale [Articolo su rivista]
Surian, Alessio; Sciandra, Andrea
abstract

Recent studies indicate that Internet skills have a positive impact on academic achievement. This article presents a national study that seeks to validate an Internet skills scale that was already tested in other EU countries (the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) to understand the competence level of the population as a whole as well as across population sectors. The scale questionnaire was completed by a sample of the Italian population stratified by gender, age and geographical area. The result is globally consistent at the empirical level as well as at the cross-national level. All the five scales showed excellent internal consistency.


2019 - TextWiller: Collection of functions for text mining, specially devoted to the Italian language [Articolo su rivista]
Solari, Dario; Sciandra, Andrea; Finos, Livio
abstract

TextWilleris the development version of a R package that collects some text mining utilities intended for the Italian language. It’s available at https://github.com/livioivil/TextWiller. The aim of TextWiller is to help to deal with the pre-processing of a corpus and it also provides some functions about word classification and polarity.


2019 - The Mediating Role of Romantic Attachment in the Relationship Between Attachment to Parents and Aggression [Articolo su rivista]
Santona, Alessandra; De Cesare, Paola; Tognasso, Giacomo; De Franceschi, Massimo; Sciandra, Andrea
abstract

Background: A secure attachment style could promote more intimacy in romantic relationships, while an insecure attachment style could be correlated with less positive romantic relationships in adulthood. Numerous studies have noted that a secure attachment to parents was correlated with lower levels of aggression, whereas insecure attachments were associated with higher levels of aggression. We aimed to investigate the role of the attachment system as a mediator of the expression of aggressiveness during adolescence. Specifically, we considered that the attachment to parents and peers could influence one's attachment to a romantic partner.Methods: We empirically tested whether there were relationships of parent and peer attachment on aggressiveness mediated by romantic attachment style. Participants of the study included 411 students.Results: Results indicated that for males an insecure father-child attachment style seems to be associated with higher levels of anxiety and avoidance in romantic attachments and then with aggressiveness. For females, an insecure mother-child attachment style seems to be associated with higher levels of aggressiveness.Conclusion: The attachment to parents and to peers plays a key role in defining romantic attachment according to gender, and these dimensions in turn tend to affect the levels of aggressiveness.


2018 - “Grandi opere” civili. L’effetto del capitale sociale bridging sulla cultura civile in Italia. [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Sciandra, A
abstract

L’obiettivo di questo volume è definire le proprietà delle reti di relazioni e la loro influenza sulla cultura civile. Il riferimento alle grandi opere e alla metafora del ponte è dovuto ai risultati delle analisi teoriche ed empiriche (tramite modelli SEM), dalle quali è emerso che le persone caratterizzate da una conformazione aperta dei propri reticoli sociali, definita bridging, presentano livelli più elevati di cultura civile. Inoltre, attraverso l’analisi secondaria dei dati derivanti da una rilevazione a livello nazionale, è stato possibile fornire un quadro complessivo della cultura civile in Italia, definendo quali aspetti funzionano meglio e le caratteristiche che ne favoriscono la presenza. In questo contesto è stata evidenziata la presenza di atteggiamenti mediamente positivi di cultura civile, che però sporadicamente si concretizzano in comportamenti attivi di impegno civico.


2015 - Big data nelle scienze sociali: una proposta di integrazione del topic modeling nei disegni di ricerca con mixed methods [Capitolo/Saggio]
Sciandra, A
abstract

Negli ultimi anni l’impatto dei big data sulla capacità di prevedere vari fenomeni e sulla conoscenza in generale è stato tale che si è dibattuto sulla possibile “fine della teoria”. La disponibilità di dataset relazionali su larga scala, spesso generati attraverso contenuti pubblicati direttamente dagli utenti sui Social Networking Sites, offre nuove opportunità e solleva al tempo stesso interrogativi e problematiche metodologiche, che la sociologia e le scienze sociali in generale non possono ignorare. Un saggio delle potenzialità di analisi di dati sociali su larga scala è offerto dai modelli probabilistici per l’individuazione dei topic latenti in un corpus testuale, come la latent Dirichlet allocation, applicabili, per esempio, ai contenuti presenti sul sito di micro-blogging Twitter. A partire da queste premesse, il presente contributo illustra una proposta di inquadramento metodologico del topic modeling all’interno di disegni di ricerca basati sui mixed methods, che combinano metodi e tecniche quantitative e qualitative. In particolare, questo lavoro mostra una possibile integrazione di metodi qualitativi in un disegno di ricerca fondato su analisi e algoritmi derivanti da un approccio tipicamente quantitativo. Pur sottolineando i limiti conoscitivi insiti in queste tecniche di analisi, la loro ricaduta sulla ricerca sociale è rilevante e la strada intrapresa non può che favorire una maggiore collaborazione interdisciplinare.


2015 - The role of co-parenting alliance as a mediator between trait anxiety, family system maladjustment, and parenting stress in a sample of non-clinical Italian parents [Articolo su rivista]
Delvecchio, E.; Sciandra, A.; Finos, L.; Mazzeschi, C.; Di Riso, D.
abstract

This study investigated the role of co-parenting alliance in mediating the influence of parents' trait anxiety on family system maladjustment and parenting stress. A sample of 1606 Italian parents (803 mothers and 803 fathers) of children aged one to 13 years completed measures of trait anxiety (State Trait Anxiety Inventory-Y), co-parenting alliance (Parenting Alliance Measure), family system maladjustment (Family Assessment Measure-III), and parenting stress (Parenting Stress Inventory-Short Form). These variables were investigated together comparing two structural equations model-fitting including both partners. A model for both mothers and fathers was empirically devised as a series of associations between parent trait anxiety (independent variable), family system maladjustment and parenting stress (dependent variables), mediated by coparenting alliance, with the insertion of cross predictions between mothers and fathers and correlations between dependent variables for both parents. Results indicated that the relation between mothers and fathers' trait anxiety, family system maladjustment and parenting stress was mediated by the level of co-parenting alliance. Understanding the role of couples' co-parenting alliance could be useful during the family assessment and/or treatment, since it is an efficient and effective tool to improve the family system maladjustment and stress.


2014 - Time in adolescence.validating zimbardo's stanford time perspective inventory using a sample of italian adolescents [Articolo su rivista]
Segatto, B.; Sciandra, A.
abstract

In this study, we explore the psychometric characteristics of Zimbardo's Stanford Time Perspective Inventory, using a representative sample made up of 1517 Italian adolescents, aged 15-19 years. The results show marked differences with respect to preceding studies conducted in the United States and Italy. In particular, the scale of the present forms a single dimension, losing its subdivision into two distinct dimensions, hedonistic and fatalistic. The two scales found in factor analysis, present and future, show a good degree of internal consistency and discriminating validity. Results are interpreted according to the individual differences present in the sample and to the cultural and economic changes occurring at this specific moment of history. © 2014 Cises.


2013 - Pixel vs. Font. Facebook and Young People’s Self-Presentation [Articolo su rivista]
Angelini, P; Sciandra, A
abstract

This paper explores various strategies for self-presentation used on Facebook, among a sample of 1330 Italian students aged 14-19 years. Based on two social network site practices, the production of text material and the publication of personal photos, we have constructed a model embracing four types of categories and behaviors. We examined the categories according to structural variables, variables regarding self-narration, and two psychological scales. The results show the validity of the four categories in distinguishing different styles of Facebook use and allowing us to define those styles in greater depth. In particular, the publication of photos by those who do not contribute written text seems to indicate the need to maintain one’s real-life social network; the production of text alone seems to reflect the need to deepen one’s most passionate interests; while the combination of the two communicative modes tends to reveal a greater capacity in planning for the future.


2012 - Ambiguità nelle risposte al Position Generator [Traduzione in Rivista]
Sciandra, A.
abstract

The Position Generator is a popular measurement instrument for individual level social capital. Empirical studies have tested or discussed measurement properties of the instrument, but not the underlying response process. In 35 semi-structured cognitive interviews across gender, education, and age groups, we asked respondents to reflect on the 1999/2000 Social Survey of the Dutch (SSND) Position Generator. Effects found were unfamiliarity with occupations, interpretation of occupations, unknown occupations of alters, forcing alters into occupations, speculation, forgetting single alters and groups of alters, but not detectable misrepresentation of alters. In only 6 interviews all alters were working in a paid job (as the PG assumes); most remarkable alternatives were retired, unemployed, or deceased alters. An overall impression of the responses is that recalling alters to fit occupations feels counterintuitive to how relationships are memorized. item validity and reliability are therefore likely to be negatively affected, but whether all combined ambiguities affect social capital measures is difficult to predict. Yet, an underestimation of social capital seems likely. Implications and ideas for future development of PGs are discussed.


2011 - Social capital and social network sites: an empirical analysis of European high school students [Articolo su rivista]
Sciandra, A
abstract

This paper shows the results of part of an empirical study which was developed in the sphere of the PACT EU project (Pathways for Carbon Transitions). The performed analysis concerns the social capital of young Europeans in terms of trust, size of personal networks, volunteering activities and usage of social network sites (SNS). The purpose of the work is, on one hand, exploratory, especially in aspects related to the comparison between relational context of social networks and virtual networks. At the same time, the research aims to confirm on this particular population some of the hypothesis coming from the literature on social capital, and to verify the existence of differences between European countries regarding relational characteristics.


2011 - Social Capital in Relational Approaches: Methodology and Results of Empirical Studies [Articolo su rivista]
Sciandra, Andrea
abstract

This review tried to highlight the progress made in the studies that use the concept of social capital from a relational perspective, especially from the point of view of the methods used and the results obtained in relation to other concepts such as interpersonal trust, participation and civic engagement.


2011 - Studiare riflessività e capitale sociale: una nota metodologica [Capitolo/Saggio]
Sciandra, A
abstract

Il contributo descrive la metodologia utilizzata per l'analisi del capitale sociale e della riflessività. In particolare, è stata effettuata un'analisi affidabilità dell'indicatore ICONI, sviluppato da Margaret Archer.