Research

Works in Progress

  • “Social Groups and the Two-Stage Identity Priming Process”
    This paper examines the roles that identity groups and interpersonal communication play in the proliferation of elite-to-public identity priming messages. Utilizing a group-based laboratory experiment, I test a novel application of the Columbia school’s two-step flow of communication, applying this theory to the transmission of identity-based policy cues.
  • “Interest Groups and Identities: How Cues from Political Organizations affect Intergroup Relations.”
    In this project, I explore the effects that interest group coalitions have on political behavior, specifically with regard to outgroup attitudes. Although political scientists have identified the ways in which political organizations affect outcomes such as public policy and vote choice, we know far less about how such groups affect the ways in which citizens relate to one another. I employ a novel, nationally-representative survey experiment to test the impact of these coalitions on intergroup affect, solidarity, and policy support.
  • “‘I Want My America Back’: Fear and Anti-Government Sentiment in the Tea Party,” with Adam Howat
    Our project identifies mediating beliefs along the causal pathway from emotional reactions to President Obama and support for the Tea Party. We find that anger and fear have had two related effects, which in turn act as major drivers of support for the Tea Party: increased perceptions that moral values in America have declined and that the government poses an imminent threat to personal rights and freedoms.
  • “What are They Like? Stereotypes of Party Supporters,” with Ethan Busby, Adam Howat, and Richard Shafranek
    Filling the gap regarding our knowledge of the stereotypes of everyday partisans, We employ a novel survey designed to measure these stereotypes in terms of general descriptors as well as five specific domains. In general, we find that (1) individuals respond to these stereotype questions in predictable ways, largely confirming popular perceptions; (2) stereotypes of the parties achieve a considerable degree of consensus, especially in domains more closely associated with politics; and (3) partisans consistently attribute more positively valenced stereotypes to their own party, and more negative ones to the opposing party. Using an experimental component on our national dataset, we find that different effects result from stereotyping along partisan and racial lines.
  • “Interpersonal Discussion and Interracial Contact as Inoculation against Implicit Racial Priming,” with Tomash Dabrowski
    Although prior research shows that ‘calling out’ the use of implicit racial messaging after exposure can mitigate its effects, we ask whether individuals can be ‘inoculated’ to such messaging prior to receiving the communication. We suggest that both race-focused social discussion and interracial contact that makes race salient to the participants has the potential to undermine such racial priming effects by reducing message ambiguity and raising awareness of racial cues.
  • “Economic and Social Populism in the 2016 Presidential Election,” with Thomas Ferguson, Benjamin I. Page, and Arturo Chang.
    We utilize American National Election Studies open-ended questions, as well as additional contextual economic and social data, to help disentangle the economic and social determinants of vote choice in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
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