Professor Jon Krosnick

Dr. Jon Krosnick (Stanford) will be visiting the University of Kentucky on Thursday 10/15 and Friday 10/16 to give two talks on political and social psychology. Winner of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Jon Krosnick is a social psychologist who does research on attitude formation, change, and effects, on the psychology of political behavior, and on survey research methods.  He 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.


Thursday, October 15th, 2015, 11:00 AM in the Marksbury Theater on Rose Street by special request from UK social psychologists: Social Psychology Under the Microscope: Do Our Classic Experiments Replicate When Participants Are Representative of the General Public Rather Than Convenience Samples of College Students?

Abstract: Since David Sears's provocative article in JPSP in the late 1980s about social psychology’s nearly exclusive reliance on American college sophomores as our research participants, the field has become increasingly interested in studying social phenomena outside of that group.  Recent years have seen growing interest in the impact of culture (studied via comparisons of people across nations and across regions within a nation), the impact of aging (studied via comparisons of young adults, middle-age adults, and the elderly), and more.  But it continues to be much more practical for social psychologists to rely on nearly cost-free laboratory studies of college students than to attempt to collect data from representative samples of adults.

This talk will explore whether this approach compromises theory-building in social psychology.  In the context of national surveys of representative samples of thousands of American adults, a series of classic and highly-cited social psychological experiments were repeated to assess the generalizability of the lab-based results that fill our introductory textbooks and to gauge whether our widely-accepted effects appear across a range of population subgroups differing in age, educational experience, race, region of residence, and other factors.  Topics of the studies include attitude processes (e.g., persuasion and predictions of the ELM), social cognition (e.g., heuristics and biases in social judgment, the fundamental attribution error, the false consensus effect, self-perception effects), and more.  In every case, the limits of generalizability are quite striking and remarkably consistent across experiments. 


Friday, October 16th, 2015, 1:00 PM also in the Marksbury TheaterPolitical Thinking, Passion and Action in America: The Contributions of Jon Krosnick to the Study of Political Psychology

Abstract: For 30 years, Jon Krosnick has been applying psychological theories and research methods to illuminate the forces that drive political thinking and action in America.  What leads some people to vote and others not?  What leads people to select the candidates they choose?  How do the news media influence people's choices?  Does racism influence vote choices?  What happens cognitively and behaviorally when a citizen becomes especially passionate about a policy issue?  His research on these and other such topics is a part of a much larger literature on political psychology, which brings to bear many different analytic perspectives to understand the forces that drive political developments in this country.  During his presentation, Professor Krosnick will take a broad look at work in political psychology and illustrate how it has helped us better understand contemporary events, advanced basic theory-development in psychology, and advanced basic theory-development in political science. 



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