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An Innovative Survey Approach to Gauging the Impact of Racism on the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election

31. Oktober 2019, 13:45 Uhr

Universität Mannheim, Raum B244, A5, 6

Prof. Jon Krosnick


With the nomination of the first African-American candidate for President by a major political party, the 2008 U.S Presidential election made history, as did Barack Obama's victory.  How much did racism influence the outcome of that election?  To answer this question, researchers from Stanford University and the Associated Press designed a national survey to measure citizens racial attitudes and a wide range of other factors that might have influenced turnout and candidate choice.  The racism measures included traditional questions asking respondents explicitly to report how they would feel about a black candidate being elected president, and also measuring symbolic racism, racial resentment, and other such constructs.  In addition, the survey included an implicit measure of prejudice, called the Affect Misattribution Procedure.  Innovative statistical analyses gauged the impact of the many considerations on Americans' decisions about whether to vote and for whom to vote, telling a compelling story about why the election turned out as it did and answering important questions about whether citizens make these decisions wisely.

About the Speaker

Jon A. Krosnick is the Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor of Communication, Political Science, and (by courtesy) Psychology. At Stanford, in addition to his professorships, he directs the Political Psychology Research Group and the Summer Institute in Political Psychology. He is the author of seven books and more than 190 articles and chapters, and conducts research in three primary areas: (1) attitude formation, change, and effects, (2) the psychology of political behavior, and (3) the optimal design of questionnaires used for laboratory experiments and surveys, and survey research methodology more generally. Dr. Krosnick’s scholarship has been recognized by the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Lifetime Achievement Award, election as a fellow by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Erik Erikson Early Career Award for Excellence and Creativity in the Field of Political Psychology from the International Society of Political Psychology, a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Phillip Brickman Memorial Prize for Research in Social Psychology, and the American Political Science Association’s Best Paper Award. He is the former co-principal investigator of the American National Election Study and his research has been funded by many organizations, including the National Science Foundation, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the National Institute on Aging, the United States Department of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Psychological Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Marketing Science Institute.