CUP Undergraduate Research


Neil Goldschmidt: A Case Study Analysis of Local Politics

Date of Award

Fall 10-1-2015

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

Psychology, BA

First Advisor

Reed Mueller, Ph.D.


This research considers the concept of political scandal and whether political officials are kept reasonably accountable for their moral actions while serving in a public office. The main question of this study is whether or not former Oregon Governor Goldschmidt and his administration were perceived negatively after the release of his unethical actions while conducted office as Mayor. This case study was conducted to measure changing perceptions of the local politician, Goldschmidt, before and after allegations of a sexual abuse case came to light in 2004. The method used for this analysis process was to run social artifacts and transcribed interviews through a text analysis process that utilized Moral Foundations Theory and the associated dictionary inserted into the Linguistic Word Count and Inquiry program. This provided percentages of words and root words that are associated with vice and virtue foundations found in the Moral Foundations Dictionary that were present in the text that was analyzed. The results after running an independent samples t-test were not statistically significant and the researcher cannot reject the null hypothesis. This is in part due to lack of data collected that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Type II error may have occurred due to the underpowered study and lack of data input. There could be no conclusive evidence found to support the original hypothesis that negative perceptions occurred after the allegations were made towards Goldschmidt.

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