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From Mass Shootings to Policymaking: A Complex Systems Approach

Overview

This study aims to use causal analysis to understand how firearm-related policies, media output, gun ownership, and mass shootings influence one another.

Status

Awarded

Purpose

This project seeks to quantify the impact of different types of policies on firearm acquisition and the incidence of mass shootings; and evaluate the role of individual policies within the firearm ecosystem.

Approach

Determination of causal relationships in the firearm ecosystem will primarily rely on the use of transfer entropy—a mathematical construct that quantifies the degree to which knowledge about the present status of one variable (for example, restrictive firearm policy) improves predictions about the future status of another variable (for example, mass shootings).The project will quantify of the influence of different types of policies on firearm acquisition and the incidence of mass shootings, and evaluate of the role of individual laws by comparing the amounts of transfer entropy before and after their enactment.

Significance

Cause-and-effect relationships in the firearm ecosystem are not fully understood. By unraveling causal relationships between firearm-related policies, media output, gun ownership, and mass shootings, this project will inform legislative actions to mitigate mass shootings, while minimizing the adoption of ineffective policies that would unnecessarily limit firearm owners’ rights.

Investigator Bio

Roni Barak Ventura, B.Sc., M.Sc., received B.Sc. degree in evolutionary biology and ecology from the University of Rochester in 2014, and M.Sc. degree in biomedical engineering from New York University Tandon School of Engineering in 2017. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D at New York University Tandon School of Engineering under the guidance of Professor Maurizio Porfiri. Her research interests include dynamical systems, human behavior, rehabilitation, and human-computer interactions.

Grant Amount
$50,000
Award Type
Postdoctoral
Organization
New York University
Investigator
Roni Barak Ventura, doctoral candidate, New York University Tandon School of Engineering
Expected Completion Date
June 2022
Awarded
2021
Focus Areas
Policy Analysis