My current research and published work span American politics, political psychology, public opinion, and social identity. I am particularly interested in how people resolve tension between their political orientations and their social identities and personal experiences when engaging in politics. My work has focused on voting decisions, as well as attitudes on health care and LGBT identity.

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.

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 this project, 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.


“Personal Experience and Public Opinion: Assessing Conditional Policy Feedback." 2017. The Journal of Politics 79(2): 624-41. With Amy E. Lerman [University of California, Berkeley].

"Attitude Responsiveness and Partisan Bias: Direct Experience with the Affordable Care Act." 2016. Political Behavior DOI 10.1007/s11109-016-9337-9.

"College Socialization and the Economic Views of Affluent Americans." 2016.  American Journal of Political Science DOI 10.1111/ajps.12265. With Tali Mendelberg and Adam Thal.

"Political Ideology, Skin Tone, and the Psychology of Candidate Evaluations." 2015. Public Opinion Quarterly 79(1): 53-90. With Amy E. Lerman and Meredith L. Sadin.

"After It's Too Late: Estimating the Policy Impacts of Black Mayoralties in U.S. Cities." 2012. American Politics Research 40(4): 665-700. With Daniel J. Hopkins.

"The Persistence of Racialized Health Care Attitudes: Racial Attitudes among White Adults and Identity Importance among Black Adults." Accepted at Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics.

"Person-Positivity Bias, Social Category Labels, and Attitudes toward Gays and Lesbians." Accepted at Research & Politics.

Working Papers

"Politicized Perceptions of Sexual Identity Categories." Revise and Resubmit

"Personal Experience with Medical Expenses and Public Opinion." 

"Issue-Partisan Conflicts and Voting Decisions." 

"Decision Strategies and the Quality of Voter Decision Making." (with Richard Lau, Lasse Laustsen, and Dieter Stiers) 

"Partisanship, Information, and the Conditional Effects of Scandal on Voting Decisions." (with Amy Funck)