Elizabeth Theiss-Morse Portrait
Willa Cather Professor Political Science

Dr. Elizabeth Theiss-Morse loves 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? Her 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. According to Theiss-Morse, digging underneath what people say to get at what they really mean is just plain fun.

When she is not working, she loves spending time with her family, reading good literature, cooking, playing tennis, swimming, listening to jazz, and taking her dog on walks.

Research Areas

  • Public Opinion
  • Political Psychology
  • Political Behavior


  • 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). With John Hibbing. Named an "Outstanding Academic Title" by Choice magazine
  • Congress as Public Enemy (1995). With John Hibbing. Winner of the Fenno Prize for the best book on legislative politics
  • With Malice Toward Some (1995). With George Marcus, John Sullivan, and Sandra Wood. Winner of the Best Book in Political Psychology award

Career Highlights

  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1989

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