Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

(Submitted, awaiting review or rejection)


Book Chapters

Warren, Clarisse and Barton, Dona-Gene. “Scandal, media effects and political candidates.” Invited chapter to appear in H. Tumber and S. Waisbord (Eds.)  The Routledge Companion to Media and Scandal.  New York, NY: Routledge. Forthcoming, July 2019. 

Chapter Abstract:  Public and media fixation on political scandals is not new, and yet drastic changes in today’s political and media landscapes have intensified the media’s spotlight on the moral mishaps of politicians. In light of these changes, it is even more important to understand how scandal coverage of politicians influences public reactions. In this chapter we provide an overview of the longstanding streams of research on the electoral consequences of political scandals. Additionally, we explore how more recent avenues of research have offered greater nuance to our understanding by investigating how various characteristics of the scandal, the candidate, the electoral context and the media environment condition voters’ reactions to scandal coverage. Next, we examine scandal fatigue which can occur when the public becomes desensitized to ongoing scandal coverage. Finally, we identify some future research directions that could further advance our understanding of the intersection of scandal, media effects and political candidates.


Haas, Ingrid. J., Warren, Clarisse., & Lauf, Samantha J. “Political neuroscience: Understanding how the brain makes political decisions.”  Invited chapter to appear in D. Redlawsk (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Decision Making. Oxford University Press.  Manuscript under review

Chapter Abstract:  Recent research in political psychology and biopolitics has begun to incorporate theory and methods from cognitive neuroscience. The emerging interdisciplinary field of political neuroscience (or neuropolitics) is focused on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying political information processing and decision making. Most of the existing work in this area has utilized structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), or electroencephalography (EEG), and focused on understanding areas of the brain commonly implicated in social and affective neuroscience more generally. This includes brain regions involved in affective and evaluative processing, such as the amygdala, insula, anterior cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex, as well as regions involved in social cognition (e.g., medial prefrontal cortex), decision making (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and reward processing (e.g., ventral striatum). Existing research in political neuroscience has largely focused on understanding candidate evaluation, political participation, and ideological differences. Early work in the field focused simply on examining neural responses to political stimuli, whereas more recent work has begun to examine more nuanced hypotheses about how the brain engages in political cognition and decision making. While the field is still relatively new, this work has begun to improve our understanding of how people engage in motivated reasoning about political candidates and elected officials and the extent to which these processes may be automatic versus relatively more controlled. Other work has focused on understanding how brain differences are related to differences in political opinion, showing both structural and functional variation between political liberals and political conservatives.  Neuroscientific methods are best used as part of a larger, multimethod research program to help inform theoretical questions about mechanisms underlying political cognition. This work can then be triangulated with experimental laboratory studies, psychophysiology, and traditional survey approaches and help to constrain and ensure that theory in political psychology and political behavior is biologically plausible given what we know about underlying neural architecture. This field will continue to grow, as interest and expertise expands and new technologies become available