Elizabeth Theiss-Morse

Willa Cather Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean for Faculty, College of Arts and Sciences 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.

Research Areas

Public opinion, political psychology, and political behavior




  • 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

Career Highlights

Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1989

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