PoliticaBeingFigure adopted from Cottom et al’s (2010) Introduction to Political Psychology

My research agenda is broadly concerned with the consequences of failure events — i.e., “when an untoward or unexpected act is committed or an anticipated act or obligation is not fulfilled” (McLaughlin et al. 1983). I am particularly interested in the cognitive processes that facilitate appraisals about individual and institutional accountability following these transgressions (e.g., misconduct, policy failure), with a focus on how identity and group-based differences influence such judgments. I examine, for example, the ways in which group-based biases complicate attributions of responsibility and the assignment of punishment for local-level political actors (e.g., mayors).