Research Workshops

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:

Spring Semester Dates

February 13, 4:30-6pm, featuring Andrew Proctor (PhD Candidate in American Politics)/Kenneth Lowande (CSDP) and Jayanti Owens (Visiting Researcher, Office of Population Research)

  • "Exclusionary Discipline: Racial/Ethnic and Color Disparities in How Educators Evaluate and Sanction Classroom Misbehavior," Jayanti Owens
    • School suspension and expulsion predict dropout, juvenile detention, incarceration, and recidivism. Suspension/expulsion impacts children’s development, contributing to cumulative disadvantages for students, families, and communities. Black students face more suspension/expulsion: 20% of Black boys are suspended, compared to 12% of Black girls, 9% of Latino/Hispanic boys, and 6% of White boys. Neither higher incidence of infraction nor lesser responsiveness to restorative discipline (tutoring or counseling) fully accounts for Black boys’ higher suspension/expulsion rates. Implicit bias offers a possible explanation: certain teachers might sanction Black boys more readily, and punitively, than White boys for identical, routine misbehavior. This compelling hypothesis has received scant empirical investigation. This project: 1) precisely estimates magnitudes of teacher bias in evaluations of identical misbehavior and in recommended sanctions, 2) disentangles the mechanisms of bias (how behavior is "read" and assigned meaning and how the same behavior is punished), and; 3) tests an intervention to reduce bias. I deploy a video vignette experiment that manipulates the race/ethnicity and skin color of students committing identical misbehavior. Teachers are randomly assigned to students and punitive or restorative school discipline environment. Teachers then view and rate videotaped misbehavior and report recommended sanction. This project quantifies teachers’ implicit bias; the social psychological mechanisms underlying disproportionate suspension/expulsion; and factors magnifying bias. Results will inform promising strategies for teacher training and administrative disciplinary decision-making.
  • "Bureaucratic Responsiveness and Local Governance," Kenneth Lowande and Andrew Proctor
    • In 2015, Kim Davis, a Democratic county clerk in Kentucky, refused to provide a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Although these events have faded from the news cycle, they raise a fundamental question about bureaucratic responsiveness to LGBT Americans: Do bureaucratic elites discriminate against LGBT Americans? To date, no studies have examined the interactions between "street-level" bureaucracies and LGBT people. Thus, we propose a national audit experiment that tests whether bureaucratic agents discriminate against LGBT Americans, and how information influences that discrimination. To measure LGB discrimination, we make requests for information about obtaining a marriage license varying the gender composition of the information requestors. To measure transgender discrimination, we make requests for information about obtaining a new birth certificate varying whether the request includes a change of gender. To determine whether information can reduce bias, we forward emails with relevant information about LGBT protections under the law. 

​​​​​​​March 13, 4:30-6pm, featuring James Druckman (Northwestern University)

April 17, 4:30-6pm, presentation slots open


Previous Workshops

February 8, 4:30-6pm, featuring Jane Junn (University of Southern California) in 301 Julis Romo Rabinowitz (JRR) Building 

  • "Sexual Harassment and Candidate Evaluation: Group  Membership and Heterogeneous Effects." 
    • Jane Junn is Professor of Political Science and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. She is the author of five books on political participation and public opinion in the United States. Her most recent book The Politics of Belonging: Race, Immigration, and Public Opinion (with Natalie Masuoka), was published in 2013 by the University of Chicago Press. Her first book, Education and Democratic Citizenship in America (with Norman Nie and Ken Stehlik-Barry, University of Chicago Press, 1996), won the Woodrow Wilson Foundation award from the American Political Science Association for the best book published in political science. She is also the author of Civic Education: What Makes Students Learn (with Richard G. Niemi, Yale University Press, 1998), New Race Politics: Understanding Minority and Immigrant Politics (edited with Kerry L. Haynie, Cambridge University Press, 2008), and Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and their Political Identities (with Janelle Wong, Karthick Ramakrishnan and Taeku Lee, Russell Sage Foundation, 2011). Her research articles on political behavior, public opinion, racial and ethnic politics, the politics of immigration, gender and politics, and political identity have appeared in journals including Perspectives on Politics, The DuBois Review, Politics & Gender, American Politics Research, and the American Behavioral Scientist. Jane has been Vice President of the American Political Science Association, a Fulbright Senior Scholar, and the recipient of an Outstanding Teacher Award from Columbia University Teachers College. She was a member of the Social Science Research Council National Research Commission on Elections and Voting and a member of the National Academy of Science Committee on the U.S. Naturalization Test Redesign. She was the director of the USC – Los Angeles Times Poll during the 2010 California election.She is currently at work on a new book on the “gender gap” and voting in the United States.

Presenter Guidelines

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!