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

Speakers: Daniela Julia and Zenobia Chan

Topics: TBA


February 12 4:30-6 at Fisher 200

Speakers TBD


March 5 4:30-6 at Fisher 200

Speakers TBD


April 16 4:30-6 at Fisher 200

Speakers TBD


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!