My current research and published work span American politics, political psychology, public opinion and political communication. I am particularly interested in how people resolve tension between their political orientations and their social identities and personal experiences when engaging in politics. 

Current Projects

The Consequences of Imperfect Partisanship for Political Decisions (book project). Partisanship has a tremendous influence on political preferences and behavior in American politics. However, people are not perfect partisans. Most partisans disagree with their party on at least one issue or have a social identity that is more typically associated with the opposing party. In this project, I develop and test a theoretical framework to evaluate how individuals manage and resolve their party-conflicting beliefs and identities, and how these conflicts or "cross-pressures" influence political decisions. My findings reveal how changes in the political environment alter voting behavior, and how partisans respond to the environment by constructing their own interpretation of how partisanship and their beliefs and identities intersect.

Information and Opinion Formation. In a series of papers, co-authors and I examine how the quantity, frequency, and tone of information about political events influences the way people form opinions about political issues and evaluate candidates. See a recent working paper on the role of social media live chats on shaping perceptions of political debates.

Unexpected Medical Costs and Public Opinion. A majority of U.S. adults report that they have at some point experienced a medical bill they could not afford. In a series of papers, I examine how personal experiences with high and unexpected health care costs influence the attitudes individuals hold toward health reform policy and government involvement in the health care system.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Kolcak, Burcu and Katherine T. McCabe. (2021). Federalism at a partisan’s convenience: public opinion on federal intervention in 2020 election policy. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 31(sup1), 167-179.

Ventura, T., Munger, K., McCabe, K., & Chang, K.-C. (2021). Connective Effervescence and Streaming Chat During Political Debates. Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media, 1.

Walker, Hannah L., Katherine T. McCabe & Yalidy Matos. 2021. "Proximal contact with Latino immigrants and immigration attitudes." Politics, Groups, and Identities. DOI: 10.1080/21565503.2021.1882315

Funck, Amy S. and Katherine T. McCabe. 2021. "Partisanship, Information, and the Conditional Effects of Scandal on Voting Decisions." Political Behavior

Feick, Lukas, Karsten Donnay, and Katherine T. McCabe. 2020. "The Subconscious Effect of Subtle Media Bias on Perceptions of Terrorism." American Politics Research.

McCabe, Katherine, Yalidy Matos, and Hannah Walker. 2020. "Priming Legality: Perceptions of Latino and Undocumented Latino Immigrants." American Politics Research.

McCabe, Katherine T. 2019. “The Persistence of Racialized Health Care Attitudes: Racial Attitudes among White Adults and Identity Importance among Black Adults. The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, 4(2), 378-98. doi:10.1017/rep.2019.20.

McCabe, Katherine T. 2019. “Person-Positivity Bias, Social Category Labels, and Attitudes toward Gays and Lesbians.” Research & Politics. doi: 10.1177/2053168019858850.

McCabe, Katherine T. 2019. “Variation in Perceptions of Sexual Identity: Partisanship and Personal Exposure.” Politics, Groups, and Identities

Lerman, Amy E. and Katherine T. McCabe. 2017. “Personal Experience and Public Opinion: Assessing Conditional Policy Feedback.” The Journal of Politics 79(2): 624-41.

Mendelberg, Tali, Katherine T. McCabe, and Adam Thal. 2017. “College Socialization and the Economic Views of Affluent Americans.” American Journal of Political Science 61(3): 606-23. doi: 10.1111/ajps.12265.  

McCabe, Katherine T. 2016. “Attitude Responsiveness and Partisan Bias: Direct Experience with the Affordable Care Act.” 2016. Political Behavior 38(4): 861-82. doi: 10.1007/s11109-016-9337-9.

Lerman, Amy E., Katherine T. McCabe, and Meredith L  Sadin. 2015. “Political Ideology, Skin Tone, and the Psychology of Candidate Evaluations.” Public Opinion Quarterly 79(1): 53-90. doi: 10.1093/poq/nfu055.

Hopkins, Daniel J. and Katherine T. McCabe. 2012. “After It's Too Late: Estimating the Policy Impacts of Black Mayoralties in U.S. Cities.” American Politics Research 40(4): 665-700. doi: 10.1177/1532673X11432469.