I am a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Political Science and Government at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark. I received my PhD from Northwestern University in June 2014 where I also served as a graduate fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. I also hold an MA degree from the Masters of Arts Program in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, where my studies focused on theories regarding deliberative democracy, and a BA in History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (summa cum laude).
My research focuses on two intersecting areas of inquiry.
First, I explore the origins and nature of psychological antecedents to political engagement and particularly the underlying motives that animate engagement. In my dissertation I used experimental and large scale survey evidence to explore the origins of political interest focusing on the role played by value-expressive and social motives in this process. I am currently engaged in a related project focusing on social and citizenship norms and their relationship to political attitudes and behavior. At Aarhus, I am part of the PERSOS (Perceptions of Social Stratification and Voting) research group where I investigate the relationships between social group identities, partisan identification, and voting. These areas of inquiry are united by an interest in understanding the causes of citizen engagement with politics and particularly the role of motivation in explaining such outcomes.
Second, I am also interested in the relationship between mass communications and political engagement and preference formation. In particular, I am currently engaged in an ongoing project focusing on how the news media describes the motives of elites (and the causes of political events) and how the resulting attributional beliefs held by citizens influences their attitudes toward politics and the reception of elite persuasive appeals.