Research Workshops


October 9 at Corwin 127: Open House with Dan Nielson

Come to PRESS's first event of the year for an experimental workshop with BYU Professor Dan Nielson followed by a catered Open House. He will be presenting on his in-progress design "Banking Bad: Design for a Field Experiment on Compliance with Global Standards in International Finance." 

Please RSVP at


November 13 4:30-6 at Fisher 200

"Memories in conflict: a field experiment on transitional justice" by Elsa Voytas (with Laia Balcells)

Do transitional justice museums promote reconciliation after political violence? Existing scholarship suggests that transitional justice policies aid processes of reconciliation and promote tolerance by acknowledging and imparting a shared history of past events. These notions motivate the widespread construction of transitional justice museums. Skeptics, however, caution that transitional justice policies can induce a polarizing effect, ingraining societal divisions. In past research in Chile, we find that though participants' evaluations of a museum recounting the Pinochet dictatorship differ according to individuals' partisan identification, visiting the museum increases support for democracy and victim-centered transitional justice policies, regardless of pre-treatment ideology. The current project extends this work by implementing a field experiment studying the House of Memory Museum in Medellín, Colombia to advance our understanding of museums' impacts in civil war settings. We propose to measure 1) how treatment (a one hour museum visit) alters visitors' political attitudes and behaviors related to the conflict; 2) whether visitors with varying ideologies and connections to violence have different experiences in transitional justice museums; and 3) the durability of any attitudinal or behavioral changes.


Video ``Deepfakes": Understanding a Novel Form of Misinformation by Kevin Munger (with Chris Lucas and Soubhik Barari)

The technology to create realistic-looking ``Deepfake" videos---where existing video data is modified to change what a person appears to be saying---has recently become public and can be implemented by anyone with advanced coding knowledge and hobbyist-level hardware. Although there have not yet been reports of the use of this technology to create political propaganda, there is widespread concern that it is inevitable. We use this technology to create fake videos of Presidents Trump and Obama saying politically inflammatory things that they never actually said and then present this videos as ``ads" within a video shown to subjects in a lab experiment. The project is exploratory at this stage, and much of what we want to learn is how to effectively debrief subjects exposed to these potentially potent stimuli.


December 4 4:30-6 at Fisher 200

"Spouses’ resources and intra-household inequalities: Exploring new mechanisms" by Daniela R. Urbina Julio

Gender inequalities within households have been largely studied in sociology. Previous research has investigated the role of individual earnings as a key predictor of how couples allocate housework and make decisions concerning the household.  However, fewer studies have examined how other types of individual resources--- welfare, wealth, inheritance, and debt---play a role in these bargaining processes. In this study, I assess how different sources of partners’ economic resources causally affect perceptions of responsibility for housework and decision-making. Furthermore, I test the role of gender ideology and perceptions of effort as potential mediators of these relationships. 


"Hostility and Immigrant Political Integration: Understanding the Muslim Experience in Western Europe" by Alexandra Mayorga

Under what conditions do European Muslims engage in political activity? Existing scholarship has focused on the behaviors of immigrant-minorities and their suitability for integration into their new environments. On the other hand research on the effects of native-majority behavior on this outcome is far more limited. More recent scholarship by Americanists and increasingly by Europeanists supports the idea that native-majority behaviors are crucial for understanding political behaviors of immigrant-minority members. The current project builds on these ideas by implementing a survey experiment studying the preferences and attitudes of British Muslims to advance the understanding of how hostility shapes the political behaviors of targeted group members. The project measures how those treated with hostility primes react politically both formally (voting and vote preference) and informally (participation in group-oriented organizations).


February 12 4:30-6 at Fisher 200

"When Are Diaspora Communities Willing to Finance Development at Home?: A Survey Experiment on Diaspora Bonds" by Lindsay R. Dolan (with Alexandra O. Zeitz)

Developing countries often depend on the wealth of diaspora communities, but under which conditions are migrants willing to sacrifice personal gain for their origin country's national welfare? On the one hand, diaspora communities may support home country governments as a means of assisting family at home or out of a sense of nationalism. On the other hand, diaspora communities may oppose home country governments, which they may have intentionally left by emigrating or come to question after leaving their country of origin. This paper investigates how social, political, and self-interested motivations explain the decisions of diaspora members to share financial capital with home country governments in the form of diaspora bonds. These bonds allow diaspora members to invest directly in the governments of origin countries, usually at below-market returns, a “patriotic discount" that encourages migrants to contribute charitably through a less-lucrative investment. We explore how national and political affinity can shape diaspora members' willingness to invest, adding to a growing literature that investigates the conditional nature of investors' risk assessments. Using a conjoint survey experiment fielded to members of the Indian diaspora in the United States, we randomly manipulate features of hypothetical bonds to measure heterogeneity in willingness to invest in Indian diaspora bonds. We conclude by discussing the relevance of findings for several African governments currently considering diaspora bonds as a potential and innovative source of development finance.


"Linking In: Political Connections, Foreign Direct Investment and Corruption" by Andrey Tomashevskiy

How do firms react to the prospect of corruption in host countries? Although researchers argue that corruption is a deterrent to investment, considerable investment continues to flow to corrupt states. I argue that corruption does not deter investment when investors are able to form political connections with government officials. Due to the clandestine nature of corrupt activity, corrupt in foreign direct investment is difficult to directly study using traditional data. To examine the relationship between corruption and foreign investment, I conduct a field experiment using a sample US, UK and Canadian firms. In the field experiment, I manipulate expectations of political connections and expected corruption in host countries. This research has broad implications for political economy research on corruption, foreign investment and corporate global strategy.


March 6 4:30-6 JRR 399

"Political Misinformation: Consequences and Corrections" by Adam Berinsky (MIT)

I will talk about my ongoing research on political misinformation, focusing on (limited) successes in correcting misinformation and the ongoing challenges for democracy in the U.S. (and abroad) given the current information environment.


March 13 4:30-6 at Robertson 008

Speakers: Zenobia Chan and Leeann Bass


April 15 4:30-6 at Fisher 200

Speakers: Simone Zhang and Derek Wakefield


Presenter Guidelines

PRESS research workshops are intended as a forum to workshop research designs-in- progress
with the goal of receiving constructive feedback before data have been collected. Please keep
in mind the following guidelines when designing your presentation:

Before the Workshop

  • At least ten days before your presentation, please email the PRESS student coordinators a title and abstract describing your project. Please include the names and institutional affiliations of any co-authors who you’d like to include on the event advertisements.

  • Due to time limitations, you may find it helpful to circulate materials to attendees ahead of time, such as an elaboration of your theoretical approach or your draft survey instrument.
  • If you have a Mac computer, please bring your own adapter or let the PRESS student coordinators know several days in advance, if you need to borrow one.
  • Tell your colleagues, friends, advisors, professors, or anyone else whose feedback you’d like to receive that you are presenting. Though we will advertise your event, personal requests are often more effective!

At the Workshop

  • Workshops consist of presentations by two researchers. In order to ensure that both researchers receive constructive feedback, each researcher will be held to a strict 45-minute time limit (including presentation and discussion time).
  • After the first presenter’s time has elapsed, we will transition to the second presentation.
  • The first presenter will be notified after half her allotted time has passed and will be alerted when five minutes remain, at which point she should conclude her presentation.
  • The content of the presentation is largely at the behest of the presenter. Often, it is helpful to provide theoretical background/motivation for the project in addition to details of the experimental design. Feel free to direct the conversation to areas that you believe require the most feedback. Remember – 45 minutes goes by quickly!

After the Workshop

  • Incorporate the feedback you received, consider applying for a PRESS grant, and good luck with your experiment!