I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University where I am affiliated with the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP). My areas of study are American politics and political behavior. My research focuses on public opinion, political psychology, morals and politics, media and politics, and campaign finance. I am also interested in the empirical study of democratic theory and political deliberation.
My dissertation examines the moral content in citizens' perceptions and judgments of political actors at the presidential level. I argue that judgments of these actors fall along a moral dimension that has a different emotional foundation than other judgments. Moral judgments activate moral emotions, especially anger and disgust, that make them particularly influential for citizens' political behavior. Negative moral judgments of the other party's presidential candidate makes partisans, especially weaker partisans, more loyal to their party at the ballot box. Negative moral judgments also contribute to increased political activism and polarization. My dissertation committee is Tali Mendelberg (chair), Martin Gilens, Omar Wasow, and LaFleur Stephens.
I grew up in Arlington, Virginia and have lived in New Jersey, Utah, and Argentina. Before graduate school I worked for a polling firm in Alexandria, Virginia and as a research associate at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy (CSED) at Brigham Young University. I received my B.A. cum laude in 2006 from Brigham Young University with a major in political science. I received an M.A. in politics from Princeton in 2011.