Research Collaborations

Faculty and students in the Center for the Study of Political Psychology enjoy close collaborative relationships and routinely publish their work together. It is our goal to integrate all graduate students affiliated with the center into active mentorship relationships with core and/or affiliated faculty and to explore and develop common intellectual interests.

In the last decade, the most important collaborative projects sponsored by a series of election-year studied aimed at probing the psychological foundations of political preferences in the context of major campaigns in the United States.

To date, we have sponsored and conducted three major election studies. Our first study was conducted during the 2012 presidential election. This was followed up by two additional panel studies, focused on the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 midterm elections. A fourth CSPP election study-focused on the critical 2020 presidential election-is currently underway in the Politcial Psychology Proseminar.

Below, you can find information about the various CSPP Election Studies and their findings.

The 2012 CSPP Election Study

The 2012 CSPP Election Study was a three-wave panel study conducted during the fall of 2012. The study contacted adult respondents via Amazon's Mechanical Turk. The first two waves were collected during October 2012 prior to the general election, and the third wave was collected during November after the election. The study was focused on the psychological bases of voter reasoning, judgment, and choice, and it emphasized establishing causality with survey experiments, tracking change over time in response to campaign events, and the measurement of implicit political attitudes.

The study provided data for a number of works, including:

  • Chen, P. G., Appeby, J., Borgida, E., Callaghan, T. H., Ekstrom, P. D., Farhart, C. E., Housholder, E., Kim, H., Ksiazkiewicz, A., Lavine, H., Luttig, M. D., Mohanty, R., Rosenthal, A., Sheagley, G., Smith, B. A., Vitriol, J. A., & A. Williams. (2014). The Minnesota Multi-Investigator 2012 Presidential Election Panel Study. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 14, 78-104.
  • Chen, P. G., & Householder, E (2018). Against the (campaign) grain: The cross-cutting effects of authoritarianism in political campaigns. Journal of Political Marketing
  • Chen, P. G., & Mohanty, R. (2017). Obama's economy: Conditional racial spillover into evaluations of the economy. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 30, 365-390.
  • Ekstrom, P. D., Smith, B., Williams, A. L., & Kim, H. (2019). Social Networks and Reasoned Candidate Preferences. American Politics Research
  • Ksiazkiewicz, A., Vitriol, J. A., & Farhart, C. (2018). Implicit candidate trait perceptions in political campaigns. Political Psychology, 39(1), 177-195.
  • Luttig, M.D., & Callaghan, T. (2016). Is President Obama's race chronically accessible? Racial priming in the 2012 presidential election. Political Communication, 33, 628-650.
  • Luttig, M. D., & Lavine, H. (2016). Issue frames, personality, and political persuasion. American Politics Research, 44, 448-470.
  • Sheagley, G., Chen, P. G., & Farhart, C. E. (2017). Racial resentment, Hurrican Sandy, and the spillover of racial attitudes into evaluations of government organizations. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 17, 105-131.
  • Vitriol, J. A., Reifen Tagar, M., Federico, C. M., & Sawicki, V. (2019). Ideological uncertainty and investment of the self in politics. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 82, 85-97.

The 2016 CSPP Election Study

The 2016 CSPP Election Study was a four-save panel study conducted between July of 2016 and November 2016. The study surveyed a national sample of American adults. The first three waves were collected in July, September, and October of that year prior to the election, and the fourth was collected in November following the election. Like the 2012 CSPP Election Study, the 2016 version measured a wide variety of psychological variables. Major topics included gender, immigration, and attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act, all of which were explored using a series of survey experiments. 

Works using data from the 2016 CSPP Election Study include:

  • Federico, C. M., & Golec de Zavala, A. (2018). Collective narcissism and the 2016 U.S. presidential vote. Public Opinion Quarterly, 82, 110-121.
  • Golec de Zavala, A., & Federico, C. M. (2017, March 17). Collective narcissism explains at least some of President Trumps support. Washington Post.
  • Golec de Zavala, A., & Federico, C. M. (2018). Collective narcissism and the growth of conspiratorial thinking over the course of the 2016 United States presidential election: A longitudinal analysis. European Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 1011-1018.
  • Goren, P. N., & Motta, M. P. (in press). Values and political judgment: A new approach. In E.Borgida, C. M. Federico, & J. M. Miller (Eds.), At the forefront of political psychology: Essays in honor of John L. Sullivan. New York: Routledge.
  • Luttig, M. D., Federico, C. M., & Lavine, H. (2016, October 24). We showed Trump voters photos of black and white Americans. Here's how it affected their views. Washington Post.
  • Luttig, M. D., Federico, C. M., & Lavine, H. G. (2017). Supporters and opponents of Donald Trump respond differently to racial cues: An experimental analysis. Research and Politics, 4, 1-8.
  • Miller, A. & Borgida, E. (2019). The temporal dimension of system justification: Gender ideology over the course of the 2016 election. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(7), 1057-1067.
  • Motta, M. P. (2017). The dynamics and implications of anti-intellectualism in the United States. American Politics Research, 46, 465-498.
  • Vitriol, J. A., Ksiazkiewicz, A., & Farhart, C. (2018). Implicit trait perceptions in the 2016 presidential election: Replicating a dual-process model of candidate evaluations. Electoral Studies, 54, 261-268.
  • Vitriol, J. A., Reifen Tagar, M., Federico, C. M., & Sawicki, V. (2019). Ideological uncertainty and investment of the self in politics. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 82, 85-97.

The 2018 CSPP Election Study

The 2018 CSPP Election Study was a two-save study of political attitudes in the midst of the 2018 midterm elections, conducted during fall 2018. Like the 2016 CSPP Election Study, it surveyed a national sample of American adults.

Works using data from the 2018 CSPP Election Study include:

  • Parker, C., Federico, C. M., & Aguilera (2018, November 27). Which motivates independents to get politically involved: Pocketbook issues or fear that Trump is hurting democracy? Washington Post.