Joanne M Miller

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Political Science
1354 Social Science Building

267 19th Ave S

Joanne Miller is Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of Political Science. She teaches courses on research design, quantitative methods, survey methods, political psychology, political propaganda, and belief in misinformation and conspiracy theories. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts and has won awards from the following American Political Science Association sections: Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior, Political Communication, and Political Organizations and Parties. She has published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Political Psychology, Public Opinion Quarterly and American Politics Research.

As a political psychologist, her research applies theories from political science, psychology, and mass communication and uses multiple research methods to illuminate the processes by which citizens form political attitudes and become politically engaged. Her first research program (which has been featured in has been featured in the New York Times, Salon, the Washington Post, Vox, The Atlantic, and National Public Radio, among others) examines the political and psychological antecedents of belief in conspiracy theories. Her second research program examines the causes and consequences of political interest. Her third research program examines the impact of psychological motivations on citizens’ decisions to become politically active.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2000.
  • M.A.: Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1995.
  • B.A.: Psychology & Political Science, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, 1991.

Curriculum Vitae


  • conspiracy theories and misinformation
  • political psychology
  • political participation
  • media and politics
  • survey research methods
  • political propaganda
Courses Taught
  • Pol 1908W - Topics: Freshman Seminar: Political Propaganda
  • Pol 3766 - Political Psychology
  • POL 3785 - Persuasion and Political Propaganda
  • POL 4767/5767 - Public Opinion
  • POL 8127 - Survey Research Methods
  • POL 8311 - Political Psychology and Socialization
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Program section chair, Public Opinion, for the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association:
  • Program Co-Director, 2014 Annual Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology:
  • Ad Hoc Committee on Governance, American Political Science Association, 2013-2016 :
  • Governing Council Member, American Political Science Association, 2012-2014 :
  • Governing Council Member, International Society of Political Psychology, 2011-2014 :
  • National Science Foundation Political Science Advisory Panel, Political Science Directorate, 2009-2011:
  • Director of the Center for the Study of Political Psychology, University of Minnesota, 2011-2014:
  • Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, 2007-2010:


  • Coping by Conspiracy: The Political Antecedants of Belief in Conspiracy Theories:
  • I Just Need to Believe: The Interaction of Authoritarianism and Ideology in Predicting Belief in Conservative Conspiracy Theories:
  • The Conditional Effect of Elite Polarization on Political Interest:
  • Polarized Politics and Political Interest:


  • Media coverage of my research: New York Times, National Public Radio, Associated Press, Washington Post, USA Today, LA Times, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Minnesota Public Radio,
  • Miller, Joanne M., Kyle L. Saunders, and Christina E. Farhart. 2016. “Conspiracy Endorsement as Motivated Reasoning: The Moderating Roles of Political Knowledge and Trust.”American Journal of Political Science 60(4): 824-844. doi: 10.1111/ajps.12234.
  • Miller, Joanne M. and Kyle L. Saunders. 2016. “It's Not All About Resources: Explaining (or Not) the Instability of Individual-Level Political Participation.”American Politics Review 44(6) 943–981 doi: 10.1177/1532673X15599840.
  • Malhotra, Neil, Joanne M. Miller, and Justin Wedeking. 2014. “The Relationship Between Nonresponse Error and Measurement Error: Comparing an Online Panel Survey to Traditional Surveys,” in Online Panel Research: A Data Quality Perspective eds, Mario Callegaro, Reg Baker, Jelke Bethlehem, Anja S. Goritz, Jon A. Krosnick and Paul J. Lavrakas. NJ: Wiley Series on Survey Methodology
  • Miller, Joanne M. 2007. “Examining the Mediators of Agenda Setting: A New Experimental Paradigm Reveals the Role of Emotions.”Political Psychology 28(6): 689-717.
  • Miller, Joanne M. and Jon A. Krosnick. 2004. “Threat as a Motivator of Political Activism: A Field Experiment.”Political Psychology 25: 507-524.
  • Miller, Joanne M. and Jon A. Krosnick. 2000. “News Media Impact on the Ingredients of Presidential Evaluations: Politically Knowledgeable Citizens are Guided by a Trusted Source.”American Journal of Political Science 44: 295-309.
  • Best Paper Award (2016) for the best paper delivered on an Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior panel at the 2015 APSA annual meeting. Paper: “Macrointerest: The Public as Attentive Gods of Vengeance but Lazy Gods of Reward (with Apologies to V.O. Key)” (with David A. M. Peterson, Kyle L. Saunders, and Scott McClurg).
  • Paul Lazarsfeld Award (2015) for the best paper delivered on a Political Communication panel at the 2014 APSA annual meeting. Paper: “Conspiracy Endorsement as Motivated Reasoning: The Moderating Roles of Political Knowledge and Trust” (with Kyle L. Saunders and Christina E. Farhart).
  • Political Organizations and Parties Section Award for the Best Paper (Co-authored with Dara Stolovitch, Seth Masket and Michael Heany ), American Political Science Association, 2010
  • The American Review of Public Administration's Best Article, June 2007