Methodological workshops
The Methodological Unit of HSSH organizes workshops and courses on methodology, data processing and data analysis in the social sciences and humanities. Our aim is to support researchers in social science and humanities in strengthening their methodological competence and in adopting novel methods.

Information about upcoming workshops will be posted on our website and mailing list.

The Methodological Unit also welcomes suggestions for future workshops and courses. Please post your suggestion for a topic by filling this form.

The suggestions are checked regularly, and they are used to plan future methodological training.

16.11.2022 Computational methods in studying legal phenomena

Are you using, or interested in using, empirical (quantitative or qualitative) methods to analyse legal materials or data related to law? If yes, come to meet other likeminded researchers and research groups. To get the conversation going, researchers from the University of Helsinki Legal Tech Lab will briefly present their ongoing work on computational bibliometric analysis of literature on regulating Artificial Intelligence.

The workshop is organised by HSSH and Legal Tech Lab, and in person at HSSH, Vuorikatu 3, 16.11.2022, 13-15.

Read more about the workshop and sign up here.

7.12.2022 & 18.1.2023 From Raw Data to Analyzable Data

This workshop focuses on strategies of handling raw questionnaire data, multimodal data, and longitudinal data. Challenges in handling and combining data with different measurement intensity or different structure are common. This workshop provides tools and strategies for modifying datasets together for easier upkeep, sharing and analyzing. Data processing is not just about tools – hence, workshop participants will be guided through data collection and processing pipeline from a wider perspective. Methods are meant to be more universal rather than program specific. In the workshops R programming language is used, with examples in SPSS and Excel included as well. These are practical workshops where we focus on actual processing with your own data. Example data is provided for rehearsing introduced methods.

Read more about the workshop and sign up here.

14.12.2022 Generative AI as an object of research and method? A workshop on using new text-to-image AI models in SSH research

Please note: The workshop had to be rescheduled and will be arranged in January or February, 2023. The new date will be announced soon, stay tuned!

This workshop, facilitated by Anton Berg and Matti Pohjonen from the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH), explores some of the opportunities and challenges of using these new text-to-image models for research. The emergence of a new generation of synthetic media tools such as web apps that facilitate the use of these AI models, however, now offers new opportunities for researchers to explore the models and the training data used in them.

The workshop provides an introduction to researchers interested in using these tools in their own research and some of the methodological questions raised by this. It first introduces popular text-to-AI models currently in use and the AI systems behind them. It then outlines different research projects where these models have been used to explore questions of representation and bias in AI systems. Finally, it provides hands-on examples of how to use these models, what platforms and tools are available, and what are some of the technical issues required to run them in a more systematic way. This includes an ecosystem of easy-to-use apps and web pages, as well as Google Colab notebooks and GitHub repositories for the more technically literate.

The workshop is targeted toward researchers interested in understanding these new text-to-AI image models as new cultural phenomena but also how these models themselves could be repurposed for more rigorous social sciences and humanities’ research interested in the cultural impacts of AI.

The workshop is arranged in person at HSSH, Vuorikatu 3 on 14.12., 15.30-18.00.

Read more about the workshop and sign up here.

12.1.2023 Facial behavior analysis workshop

HSSH will organize a workshop on facial behavior analysis on 12.1.2023, 10:00-16:30. Hybrid participation via zoom and in location. In both cases, please register for the workshop using the following form:

Facial behavior analysis as a research methodology

This workshop will focus on video-based algorithmic recognition and estimation of facial features, facial muscle gestures (action units), head position and gaze direction. Topics and themes include but are not limited to:

•                          Validity, reliability, and signal-to-noise ratio of contemporary methods

•                          Overview of open source (Openface) and commercial (Noldus Facereader) software                

•                          Action units and their use in different contexts and paradigms

•                          Tradeoffs between noninvasive vs. invasive (electromyography) data acquisition


12.1.2023 10.00 – 16.00 Vuorikatu 3, Helsinki 

BYOD (Bring your own data) if you want!


Final program:

Part I: Theory 10.00-13:00

LOCATION: HSSH Seminar Room, Vuorikatu 3, 2nd floor and Zoom

10:00 Introductions

10:10 Viljami Salmela (University of Helsinki):

“Processing of faces and facial features in the brain”

10:50 Pentti Henttonen (University of Helsinki, HSSH):

“Present status of facial behavior research in Finland”

11:30 Break (10 minutes)

11:40 Romain Hollands (Noldus):

“Introduction to Noldus Facereader software”

12:20 Matias Piispanen (Aalto University):

“Introduction to Openface software”

13:00 Lunch break (1 hour) 


Part II: Practice 14:00-16:30

LOCATION: Room 524 , Fabianinkatu 24, 5th floor, and Zoom*

Afternoon program in another room, but still in the same building (official addresses differ). We will organize a zoom stream (*) for overall participation and Q&A, but due to the hands-on nature of the program, remote attendance might not provide the full experience.

We will organize into two loose groups, based on prior experience, software needs and research interests. We will provide workstations with installed software and example data for both groups. We can also have a look at data provided by participants.  For sensitive data, we will have a private breakout option. Rough guideline for afternoon’s program is:

14:00-15:00 Data analysis I: Tutorial and example data

15:00-16:00 Data analysis II: Participant-provided data and troubleshooting

16:00-16:30 Concluding remarks and future directions


For any questions regarding workshop, please contact:

Pentti Henttonen
Helsinki Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH)
University of Helsinki