Publications & Manuscripts Under Review

Peer Reviewed Journal Manuscripts (Under Review)

Warren, Clarisse, Schneider, S.P., Smith, K. B., & Hibbing, J. R.  “Selective Exposure to Political Images When Reasoning is not Involved.”  Under review at Personality and Individual Differences (R&R Submitted)

Abstract:   Motivated reasoning is an important element of politics especially in these highly polarized times.  People selectively expose themselves to information in a fashion that makes it possible to embrace arguments consistent with their existing biases and ignore arguments inconsistent with those biases.  Often overlooked in the research on motivated reasoning and selective exposure to information, however, is that a substantial portion of politics is about affective responses—that which makes people feel good and that which makes people feel bad.  In this paper, we introduce a novel indicator of people’s tendency to prolong exposure to favored political images or to truncate exposure to disliked political images.  This measure makes it possible to better understand individual differences regarding concepts such as negativity bias and asymmetric political attention even when substantive, issue-based information is not at play.

Warren, Clarisse & Burge, Ryan.  “Conflicted Partisans:  When Political Identity is Accompanied by Discontent.”  Under review at American Politics Research.

Abstract:  Interparty conflict has long been a source of interest for political science scholars; however, with an increasingly polarized political system, it is important to examine sources of intraparty conflict and discontentment. This article makes the distinction between consistent partisans (partisans who share party-consistent attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors) and conflicted partisans (people who identify as partisan yet fail to resemble the party which with they identify).  Using the Trump administration as a case study, we use 2018 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey (CCES) data to examine the ways in which conflicted partisans differ from consistent partisans.  We find that conflicted partisans tend to share different demographic characteristics, policy positions, and voting behaviors than their consistent partisan counterparts.

Book Chapter

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

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.

Purchase The Routledge Companion to Media and Scandal here 

Peer Reviewed Book Chapter

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 (R&R Submitted 7/31/19)

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 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