Can warm behavior mitigate the negative effect of unfavorable outcomes on citizens’ trust?

Frederik Godt Hansen Every day, government institutions and bureaucrats handle citizens’ applications for services such as welfare benefits or healthcare. When bureaucrats reject or approve applications, it has significant implications for individual citizens’ welfare. Even though a rejection is legitimate and correct, citizens may not accept and trust a negative decision because their interests are … Read more

How Does Confirmation Bias Affect the Persuasiveness of Policy Predictions?

Love Christensen An important way for political actors to shape public opinion is by influencing voters’ beliefs about policy outcomes. For example, in debates on trade reforms, U.S. politicians have frequently made predictive appeals about the effects of free trade on, for instance, manufacturing employment. But political actors face a trade-off when they try to … Read more

What motivates people to impose their view upon others?

Xianwen Chen and Øivind Schøyen People participating in revolutions, elections, and civil society often exert a great deal of effort to align the world with their sense of fairness. However, the preferences of the people affected by these political activities often vary and prescribe mutually excluding policies. How does people’s motivation to impose their fairness … Read more

The Face of the Problem: How Subordinates Shield Executives from Blame

Sarah Croco, Jared McDonald, and Candace Turitto             How do executives avoid catching heat when their administration is caught in a lie? Can they deflect blame by using a subordinate as a public shield? In this article we investigate how the public reacts when a subordinate member of an administration is made the “face of … Read more

Individualized text messages about public services fail to sway voters: Evidence from a field experiment on Ugandan elections

Ryan Jablonski, Mark T. Buntaine, Daniel L. Nielson, and Paula M. Pickering We used SMS messages about public services to help Ugandans make informed voting decisions, but find no effect on voting. Here is why information alone is sometimes insufficient to affect political behavior. Like in many countries, citizens’ ability to access quality services from … Read more

Teargas and Selfie Cams: Foreign Protests and Media in the Digital Age

Naima Green-Riley, Dominka Kruszewska-Eduardo, and Ze Fu More and more in the current age, protesters in cities around the world are making international headlines.  For international relations scholars, this raises an interesting question: how do foreign audiences react to footage of protests overseas? Do certain types of videos garner greater support for foreign policy actions … Read more

How Accurate Are Beliefs About the Politics of Others?

Taylor N. Carlson and Seth J. Hill In a June 23, 2016 referendum, citizens of the United Kingdom voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union. The result surprised pundits and journalists who, supported by contemporaneous opinion surveys, had been confident that remain would win. The result surprised many voters, too. Anecdotes … Read more

Self-Affirmation and Identity-Driven Political Behavior

Benjamin A. Lyons , Christina E. Farhart, Michael P. Hall, John Kotcher, Matthew Levendusky, Joanne M. Miller, Brendan Nyhan, Kaitlin T. Raimi, Jason Reifler, Kyle L. Saunders, Rasmus Skytte, and Xiaoquan Zhao Strong attachments to partisan identities can fuel a number outcomes troubling for democracy. These may range from affective polarisation — dislike for the … Read more

Refugees to the Rescue: Motivating Pro-Refugee Public Engagement during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Claire Leslie Adida, Adeline Lo, Lauren Prather, and Scott Williamson Refugees are often scapegoated during public health crises. How can refugee advocacy organizations push back effectively? During the COVID-19 pandemic, these organizations have advanced narratives that emphasize refugees’ contribution to fighting the virus. They highlight stories of doctors who first came to the United States … Read more

The Effects of Source Cues and Issue Frames During COVID-19

Chandler Case, Christopher Eddy, Rahul Hemrajani, Christopher Howell, Daniel Lyons, Yu-Hsien Sung, and Elizabeth C. Connors: The health and economic outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic are largely dependent on individual behavior—behavior that can potentially be shaped by the information environment. The pandemic thus highlights the importance of communication: how individuals interpret recommendations from experts matters, … Read more