Images as Data for Social Science Research: An Introduction to Convolutional Neural Nets for Image Classification

Nora Webb Williams, Andreu Casas Salleras, John Wilkerson

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Images play a crucial role in shaping and reflecting political life. Digitization has vastly increased the presence of such images in daily life, creating valuable new research opportunities for social scientists. We show how recent innovations in computer vision methods can substantially lower the costs of using images as data. We introduce readers to the deep learning algorithms commonly used for object recognition, facial recognition, and visual sentiment analysis. We then provide guidance and specific instructions for scholars interested in using these methods in their own research.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)9781108860741
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

Name Elements in Quantitative and Computational Methods for the Social Sciences
PublisherCambridge University Press


  • images as data
  • computer vision
  • machine learning
  • deep learning
  • artificial intelligence

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