2019 Conference Presentations

Thank you for taking an interest in my research.  This post will feature my 2019 conference and workshop presentations.  It looks like 2019 is shaping up to be a busy year for conferences.

2019 Midwestern Political Science Association (MPSA) Conference  (Accepted November 2018)
(Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Title:  Turning a Blind Eye:  How Ideology Influences Perceptions of Sexual Harassment
Authors:  Clarisse Warren and Stephen Schneider

Abstract:   As a response to the election of Donald Trump to the American Presidency, the Women’s March on Washington in January 2017 was the earthquake that generated the tsunami of the #MeToo movement. The wave of allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and abuse continues to wash across Hollywood, Washington D.C., and the American political and social landscape. Allegations of sexual misconduct have swept the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of federal and state governments. The unprecedented rate of allegations of sexual harassment and assault propelled the issue of sexual harassment onto the national stage and served as a divisive talking point among the mass public. The ways in which allegations of sexual harassment and assault were discussed at both the elite and mass electorate level seemed to fall along existing ideological cleavages. We examine the degree to which ideology is associated with perceptions of sexual harassment. Using two studies, we find that conservatives are less likely to perceive instances of sexual harassment, while liberals are more likely to perceive instances of sexual harassment, even when examining ambiguous situations. These findings have have implications on policy as well as electoral outcomes for those accused of sexual harassment.

Title:  Genetic Attributions of Gender Stereotypes Vary by Ideology: A Case for Using Genetic Attributions as Motivated Reasoning
Authors:  Stephen Schneider and Clarisse Warren

Abstract:  At the height of the #MeToo movement, a spotlight was placed on sexism in America and women’s status in society was called into question. Often, the status of women and other minority groups falls along ideological cleavages, wherein liberals are often seen as advancing minority rights while conservatives uphold the status quo. In this study we examine the role of ideology in how individuals perceive that men and women are different in some fundamental way. The endorsement of gender stereotypes and the causal attributions made based upon these stereotypes provides a unique window through which sexism can be examined. In this study we find that conservatives are more likely than liberals to say that gender differences exist on a number of stereotypical traits. Overall, conservatives are more likely to endorse genetic explanations for differences between men and women. These attributions align with existing political and social narratives surrounding the role of women in the home and society. Finally, we find that hostile sexism mediates the relationship between ideology and genetic attributions. It is likely that attributing gender differences to genetic factors is a mechanism used to bolster ones’ preexisting political narrative

Title:  The Psychophysiology of Negative Partisanship
Authors:  Stephen Schneider, Clarisse Warren, Ernest Dupree, Kevin B. Smith, and John R. Hibbing

Abstract:  Negative partisanship, the idea that partisanship can be anchored in intense dislike of an opposing party rather than a strong commitment to the party actually supported, has been offered as one explanation for increasing political polarization. We seek to investigate the basis of negative partisanship by hypothesizing this is a trait based in implicit, emotional responses to ideological outgroup stimuli. To do this we examine how individuals physiologically respond to a series of videos that alternate between attacking their partisan in-group and attacking their partisan out-group. We hypothesize that individuals with stronger implicit emotional responses (as measured by electro-dermal activity) to negative partisan appeals embedded in these videos are more likely to, (a) self-report a higher dislike of out-group compared to in-group partisan support, and (b) are more likely to support the use of political violence to achieve in-group partisan goals.

 Politics, Physiology, and Cognition : Advances in Theory and Method (Workshop)
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Title:  I’m So Mad, I Could Spit!:  Analyzing Salivary Cortisol and Alpha-Amylase Responses to Partisan Media Messages
Authors:  Clarisse Warren, Kevin B. Smith, and John R. Hibbing

Abstract:  With no shortage of virulence from both Republican and Democratic news sources, we examine the degree to which highly-charged, partisan media messages impact citizens’ physical and psychological stress levels.  This study examines citizens’ physiological and neuroendocrine stress responses to attitudinal and counterattitudinal televised media messages.  Employing traditional physiological measures of sympathetic nervous system response (skin conductance) we extend current research to include salivary bioscientific measures of the full human stress response.  The salivary biomarker alpha-amylase provides a neuroendocrine measure of sympathetic nervous system activity and the salivary biomarker cortisol provides a measure of HPA-axis activity.  We discuss the future directions for salivary bioscientific measures of political stress.   Finally, we present the possibility that the stress response may be driving an individual’s desire to self-select attitudinal media messages (confirmation bias) and stay comfortably within his or her own echo chamber.


2019 American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Conference
(Washington D.C.)

Title: Not quite woke: Using physiological data to uncover Democrats’ sexism toward female leaders.
Authors:  Clarisse Warren, Claire Gothreau, & Amanda Friesen

Abstract:   Since 2016, Democrats have been criticized for and complained about their leadership and prominent candidates – particularly Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. While Al Gore, John Kerry, and even Bill Clinton have either continued in politics or led very public lives as post-presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton has been told to “find a hobby,” and Democrats urged by outlets like Politico to think on “How do you solve a problem like Hillary?” Concurrently, Nancy Pelosi is widely criticized for her political positions, leadership skills, and even age while her Senatorial counterpart Chuck Schumer receives far fewer calls for his replacement. Any criticism of sexism is met with disdain, and we think this is due to Democrats’ perceived social desirability of eschewing sexism, which will not be uncovered by survey data alone. Using electrodermal response and survey data collected from a midwestern adult sample in 2010, we collected self-reported ratings and non-conscious physiological responses to a variety of American politicians, including then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Our findings reveal that individuals respond to prominent male and female politicians differently, and that Democratic men, in particular, issue negative self-reported ratings of both Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. As a follow up, we issued a keypress task to a student sample in 2018 (and plan to administer an adult sample in spring 2019) to examine the amount of effort (number of key presses) individuals are willing to exert to maintain or remove political images, including those of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and Barack Obama. We find that Democratic individuals were more likely to exert effort to maintain images of Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders than they were for Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. These physiological and behavioral results demonstrate that favorability rating disparities by gender may be deep-seated.

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