Willa Cather Professor
of Political Science
I love all aspects of political psychology. What motivates people to act and think as they do? What role do emotions play in people's reactions? Why do groups have such powerful effects on individuals? My research has specifically examined public opinion concerning various aspects of democracy, including support for civil liberties, Congress, democratic processes, and the American people as a national group. Digging underneath what people say to get at what they really mean is just plain fun.
When I am not working, I love spending time with my family, reading good literature, cooking, playing tennis, swimming, listening to jazz, and taking my dog on walks.
Public opinion, political psychology, and political behavior
- Cooperation and group norms (with Carly Jacobs and Eric Whitaker)
- Religion and national identity (with Carly Jacobs)
- The rhetoric of vilification (with Dona-Gene Mitchell and Michael W. Wagner)
- Political trust (with Dana Griffin)
- Five National Science Foundation grants
- Distinguished teaching award
- POLS 400 class selected by Win Dean Manderscheid's Money winner Christopher Reyelts for "Why should Dean Manderscheid attend your class?"
- Several book awards, including the Fenno Award and two Robert Lane Awards
- Who Counts as an American? The Boundaries of National Identity (2009), winner of the Robert Lane Award for the best book on political psychology
- Stealth Democracy (2002), coauthored with John Hibbing and named an "Outstanding Academic Title" by Choice magazine
- Congress as Public Enemy (1995), co-authored with John Hibbing and winner of the Fenno Prize for the best book on legislative politics
- With Malice Toward Some (1995), co-authored with George Marcus, John Sullivan, and Sandra Wood and winner of the Best Book in Political Psychology award
- Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1989
In The News
Jacobs and Theiss-Morse, "Belonging in a 'Christian Nation,'" Politics and Religion 6 (2013), 373–401 © Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, 2013
Surveys and Datasets