Tag Archives: republicans

Mitt Romney’s Face Looks Different to Republicans and Democrats

Political opinions can influence how people perceive a candidate’s facial characteristics  

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new study suggests that political bias can influence how people perceive the facial characteristics of a presidential candidate – even after seeing his face on TV thousands of times.

The study of Ohioans immediately before and after the 2012 presidential election showed that people’s mental representation of Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s face differed based on their political persuasion. (more…)

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Plan C: ‘All Roads Lead Back to Boehner’ – UMD’s Kettl

University of Maryland School of Public Policy Dean Don Kettl on where the fiscal cliff negotiations head after Plan B fails:

“For the Republicans, this is a very weak situation. They’re struggling to get their mojo back after the election. It’s very clear they don’t know which way to go and they aren’t willing to follow anyone to get them there.

For the Democrats, there will be a powerful temptation to allow the Republicans to swing in the wind. It’s hard to beat something with nothing, and right now the Republicans have nothing to bring to the table. The Democrats will surely enjoy watching this for a few days, and watching the approval ratings of the House Republicans drop a few more notches. (more…)

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Rose McDermott: The Political Genome

A recent review of research co-authored by Rose McDermott highlights the role that genes play in political preferences, an area of study that began to draw significant attention in the last decade. McDermott speaks with Courtney Coelho about this growing field of research, its evolutionary roots, and whether it means anything for the prediction of future election results.

The connection between biology and political science is relatively new, but it’s one that has grown rapidly, with a boom in research linking genetics and political preferences in the last decade. Rose McDermott, professor of political science, has done research on this topic and recently co-authored a review, published in Trends in Genetics, of studies in recent years. (more…)

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Political Leaders Play Key Role in How Worried Americans Are By Climate Change

COLUMBUS, Ohio – More than extreme weather events and the work of scientists, it is national political leaders who influence how much Americans worry about the threat of climate change, new research finds.

In a study of public opinion from 2002 to 2010, researchers found that public belief that climate change was a threat peaked in 2006-2007 when Democrats and Republicans in Congress showed the most agreement on the issue. (more…)

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J. Timmons Roberts: What did Durban do for climate?

J. Timmons Roberts, professor of sociology and director of the Center for Environmental Studies, led a group of Brown researchers and students to the United Nations climate change negotiations in Durban, South Africa. On his return, Roberts spoke with Richard Lewis, reflecting on the Durban meetings, the status of research, and the challenges of activism on issues of climate change.

Timmons Roberts, professor and director of the Center for Environmental Studies, has just returned from attending climate talks in Durban, South Africa. Roberts and a delegation from Brown — faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students — witnessed the negotiations up close as observers to ministerial speeches and negotiations. The talks ended with an agreement to extend the greenhouse gas emissions targets set under the Kyoto Protocol and a pledge to work on a replacement treaty incorporating the United States, China, and India.

Roberts spoke with Richard Lewis on the importance of the talks, the need for industrialized countries to compensate developing countries for damages from climate change, and the unique opportunity for people from Brown’s environmental program to attend the talks. (more…)

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Some People’s Climate Beliefs Shift with Weather

*Study shows daily malleability on a long-term question*

Social scientists are struggling with a perplexing earth-science question: as the power of evidence showing manmade global warming is rising, why do opinion polls suggest public belief in the findings is wavering? Part of the answer may be that some people are too easily swayed by the easiest, most irrational piece of evidence at hand: their own estimation of the day’s temperature.

In three separate studies, researchers affiliated with Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) surveyed about 1,200 people in the United States and Australia, and found that those who thought the current day was warmer than usual were more likely to believe in and feel concern about global warming than those who thought the day was unusually cold. A new paper describing the studies appears in the current issue of the journal Psychological Science. (more…)

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Who Wants to Deliberate with Politicians? More than Some Expected, Study Finds

Conventional wisdom suggests that average citizens hate politics, loathe hyper-partisan gridlock, balk at voting even in presidential election years and are, incidentally, woefully ill-informed.

Given that, the thinking goes, it’s reasonable to conclude that citizens want less, not more, involvement in politics.

But that widely accepted theory does not survive empirical scrutiny, a team of researchers that includes a University of Colorado Boulder political scientist found. (more…)

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