Matthew Motta

I am a Political Science PhD candidate and National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow and Robert T. Holt Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Fellow at the University of Minnesota. I received a B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University in 2013, and I am currently studying American Politics and Quantitative Methods (with a PhD minor in Political Psychology). My research primarily focuses on political expertise; how citizens acquire information about politics, the extent to which that information shapes their political behavior, and the attitudes that citizens hold toward people who are experts in policy, scientific, or other domains. I am also broadly interested in public opinion, political psychology, and survey methodology. Additionally, I am a Research Associate for the Wesleyan Media Project and consult for public opinion survey research projects on an ad hoc basis.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts: Government, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, 2013.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Political Psychology
  • Public Opinion and Political Behavior
  • Political Expertise
  • Political Advertising
  • Campaigns & Elections
  • Survey Methodology
Courses Taught
  • POL 3766 - Political Psychology of Mass Behavior
Research & Professional Activities


  • Survey Administrator - 2016 CSPP National Election Panel Study: Data collection & preparation, Summer 2016 - Winter 2016
  • Research Associate - Wesleyan Media Project: November 2015 - Present
  • Motta, Matthew (2016). What do interviewer intelligence ratings actually measure?. Research and Politics, 3(3), 1-10. Link
  • Motta, Matthew, Timothy Callaghan, Brianna Smith (2016). Looking for Answers: Identifying Search Behavior and Improving Knowledge-Based Data Quality in Online Surveys. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Link
  • Motta, Matthew (2016). Book Review of "Uninformed: Why People Seem to Know So Little about Politics and What We Can Do about It." By Arthur Lupia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.. Journal of Politics, 78(4), E17-E18. Link
  • Motta, Matthew, Erika Franklin Fowler (2016). The Content and Effect of Political Advertising in U.S. Campaigns. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Link
  • Motta, Matthew, Erika Franklin Fowler (2016). The Content and Effect of Political Advertising in U.S. Campaigns. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Link
  • Motta, Matthew (2016). Air war? Campaign advertising in the 2016 Presidential Election. US Election Analysis 2016, Link
  • Smith, BA, Murib, Z., Motta, MP, Callaghan, TH, & Theys M. “Gay or Homosexual? The Implications of Social Category Labels for the Structure of Mass Attitudes." Forthcoming at American Politics Research.
  • Motta, Matthew P. "The Dynamics and Political Implications of Anti-Intellectualism in the U.S." Accepted at American Politics Research
  • Luttig, Matthew D. and Motta MP (2017). President Obama on the ballot: Referendum voting and racial spillover in the 2014 midterm elections. Electoral Studies, Forthcoming..
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Fall 2014 - Fall 2017
  • Robert T. Holt Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Minnesota Graduate School, Fall 2017 - Fall 2018

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