I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am the lead social scientist in the Genomic Security and Privacy Theme at IGB.
My research expands on core theories of American politics and political psychology by integrating insights drawn from behavioral genetic, implicit social cognition, and chronobiological research. My genetic research examines the role of genes in political ideology, interest in politics, and political participation. These studies also shed light on the relationships between politics and other phenomena such as religiosity, Big Five personality traits, and cognitive styles. In addition, my work at IGB examines the public’s attitudes towards genetics, people’s understandings and concerns about the security and privacy of their genetic data, and individuals’ willingness to participate in genetic research.
My second stream of research uses methods from the study of implicit social cognition to develop new insights into a diverse set of political attributes and outcomes, including candidate traits evaluations, vote choice, political knowledge, racial attitudes, and immigration policy attitudes. These studies use multiple research designs (large-N panel studies, experiments), various measurement techniques (surveys, priming, latency-based measures), and diverse samples (student in lab, non-student by mail, online via Amazon Mechanical Turk). I have highlighted the importance of implicit research for political science as editor of a symposium in PS: Political Science and Politics.
My newest stream of research considers the intersection of chronobiology and politics. I examine how differences in sleep preferences and access to adequate sleep are related to differences in political attitudes, in media consumption patterns and political knowledge, and in interest and participation in politics, among other outcomes. I am also interested in how society and the political system structure time and privilege particular temporal patterns, as well as the extent to which individuals endorse the social organization of time (chrononormativity).
My teaching interests include American politics, political psychology, and biopolitics.