My current draft of my graduate political behavior seminar syllabus. There are a few holes here and there—and I know it’s probably closer to a senior seminar-level syllabus at a more selective institution—but I’m confident I can refine it a bit in the next few weeks while I tackle the easier syllabi.
In the last 24 hours, I’ve been asked to disseminate two survey links. So have at them:
A research team from the Psychology Department at New York University, headed by Professor Yaacov Trope and supported by the National Science Foundation, is investigating the cognitive causes of voting behavior, political preferences, and candidate evaluations throughout the course of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. This stage of the study focuses on the information people use to inform evaluations during the last few weeks before the election. They seek respondents of all political leanings from all over the country (and from the rest of the world) to complete a 15-minute questionnaire, the responses to which will be completely anonymous. The survey is here.
I also have a briefish survey from some students of a friend of mine at Auburn University, for those with less time to spare.
Standard disclaimers regarding the fact I know this is a convenience sample apply; complain at the principal investigators if you must.
A commenter at Kids Prefer Cheese demonstrates the application of heuristics to Internet dialogue:
You know how people use cognitive short-cuts to make sense of the world? For example, I could go read Ransom’s entire blog, probably do a bunch of background reading on Austrian business cycles, and then figure out whether he’s right about Cowen. Or I could use a simplifying heuristic which goes like this: people who post in all caps in blog comments are usually wingnuts. Sorry, Ransom, maybe you’re right, but in my book you’ve already lost on style points.
Josh Patashnik of The New Republic discovers that Republicans and Democrats have divergent beliefs about the state of the national economy (þ: JustOneMinute). Clearly he doesn’t have a subscription to the American Journal of Political Science, where my dissertation chair and two co-authors showed this to be the case seven years ago based on 1990s data, well before George W. Bush set up camp in the Oval Office (see also Duch and Palmer 2001, which demonstrates the same effect among Hungarian voters).
The moral of the story: those who do not read the political science literature are condemned to reinvent it.