Welcome! I’m a Postdoctoral Scientist at George Washington University’s School of Media & Public Affairs. I earned my Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan in 2012, and a B.A. in journalism and political science at the University of Wisconsin. My interdisciplinary teaching and research focus on public opinion, communication, psychology, and research methods, with publications in Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Communication, and Political Behavior. My projects often involve communication experiments, measurement innovation, and the intersection of politics with aggression in the U.S. and abroad.
My award-winning dissertation investigated how metaphors in campaign messages interact with audience traits to influence political behavior, focusing on violent language and trait aggression. These two factors combine to shape electoral participation, vote choice, and violent attitudes. This work utilized two nationally-representative survey experiments and content analysis of presidential campaigns since 1932, merged with fifty years of ANES survey data. Two chapters are published, the voting and measurement chapters are under review, and two more are in preparation.
Other projects in the final stages include a book reappraising ideological identification (w/ Don Kinder), flag imagery effects on vote choice through primes of patriotism and prejudice (under review, w/ Kim Gross), aggression’s role in the expression of political self-interest, and unobtrusive measures of opinion that predict imminent violence in Pakistan. Two projects with Josh Gubler involve intergroup aggression experiments in Israel and India (under review), and polarizing issue attitudes with violent metaphors (also w/ David Wood).
In the longer term, I am examining media coverage of economic inequality and racial cues in ads during the 2012 election (w/ Bob Entman & Kim Gross), and I’ve started a new book project linking voting patterns and violence during and after the American Civil War.
My research has been funded by Time-Series Experiments for the Social Sciences (National Science Foundation), the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, the Marsh Center for Journalistic Performance, and the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan.