My research agenda lies at the intersection of political psychology, political communication, and political behavior. I am especially interested in how the interaction between political messages and people’s intuitions — which partially reflect evolutionary and biological processes — shape opinions and, ultimately, behavior. Motivating my work is the commonplace concern that citizens are easily manipulated by advertising and slick messaging. The research undertaken by my collaborators and me suggests that while most people are not pliant dupes, many also deviate from the democratic ideal of an engaged, deeply informed, and fair-minded citizenry. Individuals possess predispositions, which constrain the influence of political messages disseminated through mass media and by campaigns. While predispositions may sometimes help people behave in ways that are consistent with the democratic ideal, they can also undermine it — especially when predispositions revolve around ingroup biases.
Predispositions and Intuition
Aarøe, Lene, Michael Bang Petersen, Kevin Arceneaux. 2017 “The Behavioral Immune System Shapes Political Intuitions: Why and How Individual Differences in Disgust Sensitivity Underlie Opposition to Immigration.” American Political Science Review, 111 (2): 277-94.
Partisan News Media and Selective Exposure
Arceneaux, Kevin, Johanna Dunaway, Martin Johnson, and Ryan Vander Wielen. “Strategic Candidate Entry and Congressional Elections in the Era of Fox News.” American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming.
Arceneaux, Kevin, Martin Johnson, René Lindstädt, and Ryan J. Vander Wielen. 2016 “The Influence of News Media on Political Elites: Investigating Strategic Responsiveness in Congress.” American Journal of Political Science, 60 (1): 5-29.
Arceneaux, Kevin, and Martin Johnson. 2015 “How Does Media Choice Affect Hostile Media Perceptions? Evidence from Participant Preference Experiments.” Journal of Experimental Political Science, 2 (1): 12-25.
Arceneaux, Kevin, Martin Johnson, and John Cryderman. 2013. “Communication, Persuasion, and the Conditioning Value of Selective Exposure: Like Minds May Unite and Divide but They Mostly Tune Out.” Political Communication, 30 (2): 213-31.
Election Campaigns and Persuasion
Arceneaux, Kevin. 2007. “I’m Asking for Your Support: The Effects of Personally Delievered Campaign Messages on Voting Decisions and Opinion Formation,” Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 2(1): 43-65.
Mann, Christopher B., Kevin Arceneaux, and David W. Nickerson. 2019. “Do Negatively Framed Messages Motivate Political Participation? Evidence from Four Field Experiments.” American Politics Research, forthcoming.
Arceneaux, Kevin, and Daniel Butler. 2016. “How Not to Increase Participation in Local Government: The Advantages of Experiments when Testing Policy Interventions.” Public Administration Review, 76 (1): 131-39.
Arceneaux, Kevin, Thad Kousser, and Megan Mullin. 2012. “Get Out the Vote-by-Mail? A Randomized Field Experiment Testing the Effect of Mobilization in Traditional and Vote-by-Mail Precincts,” Political Research Quarterly, 65 (4): 882-94.
Responsibility Attribution and Voting
Arceneaux, Kevin, and Robert Stein. 2006. “Who is Held Responsible When Disaster Strikes? The Attribution of Responsibility for a Natural Disaster in an Urban Election,” Journal of Urban Affairs, 28 (1): 43-53.
Public Opinion and Democratic Responsiveness
Johnson, Martin, Paul Brace, and Kevin Arceneaux. 2005. “Public Opinion and Dynamic Representation in the American States: The Case of environmental Attitudes,” Social Science Quarterly, 86 (1): 87-108.
Brace, Paul, Kevin Arceneaux, Martin Johnson, and Stacy Ulbig. 2004. “Does State Political Ideology Change over Time?” Political Research Quarterly, 57 (4): 529-40.
“Correction,” (September 2006), 59 (3): 493-94.
“Rejoinder to Berry, Ringquist, Fording, and Hanson ‘Comment’,” (2006), 59 (4): 655.
Brace, Paul, Kellie Butler, Kevin Arceneaux, and Martin Johnson. 2002. “Public Opinion in the American States: New Perspectives Using National Survey Data,” American Journal of Political Science, 46 (1): 173-89.
Arceneaux, Kevin. 2005. “Using Cluster Randomized Field Experiments to Study Voting Behavior, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 601: 169-79.
“Correction,” 628 (1): 209-12.