Projects and Research


ECREP – Research initiative in electoral psychology and electoral ergonomics”

Research team: Dr. Michael Bruter and Dr. Sarah Harrison

ECREP is a research initiative dedicated to the study of electoral psychology and electoral ergonomics. The project aims to understand what goes on in voters’ minds when they are in the polling booth, what emotions are at stake when people vote and how their electoral memory builds up over citizens’ lifetime.

“Multiculturalism and British Neighbourhoods – How Individuals Respond to Policy Innovations”

Research team: Dr. Neli Demireva and Dr. Nick Allum

The project focuses on the study of multiculturalism through experiments. Using web-based and lab-based experimental designs, the projects attempts to examine attitudes and beliefs about multiculturalism in general and religious symbols and accents in particular. We are particularly interested in measuring how newly arrived migrants are perceived by the citizens of the host country and by other well-established minority groups within the host country.

“When Torture Becomes Justifiable” – Public’s Approval Ratings Concerning the Use of Torture    

Supervisor: Dr. Rob Johns

The research project was based on a 2010 survey conducted in parallel on American and British samples. The US data was collected in a survey fielded under the auspices of the Time-Sharing Experiments for Social Sciences (TESS) and the British data was taken from two waves of a major study of foreign policy attitudes administered by YouGov over the internet.

The survey experiment designed by me was distributed to Amazon’s M-Turk users. We had a fantastic response rate (1562 respondents) and due to the large sample we were able to explore important social differences which can be found in subgroups (gender, age, income, political views and other social distributions).

“Less Hate, More Speech: An Experimental and Comparative Study in Media and Political Elites’ Ability to Nurture Civil, Tolerant, Pro-Democratic Citizens”        

Research team: Median Research Center (MRC) and myself

This political science project explores dynamic influences on intolerance and uncivil anti-democratic talk regarding (a) opponents in the democratic political process and (b) the Roma minority and other groups that are on the receiving end of widespread prejudice, incivility, intimidation and social exclusion in contemporary Romania.

The main question of the project is which of several plausible dynamic tools and agents of reducing prejudiced, anti-democratic discourse and attitudes among citizens may be most efficient in Romania, and why certain tools and agents are more efficient in Norway, while others may prove more powerful in Romania.

“Perceptions of policy responsiveness across Europe – Who feels the government is responsive to their preferences and why?”

Supervisor: Dr. John Bartle

Does democracy actually work? What makes some electoral systems more responsive to the public opinion than others? Why is there such high cross-country variation in terms of policy responsiveness?  

The project looks at levels of political responsiveness within and across various electoral systems. The research mainly focuses on majoritarian vs. proportional representation systems in Europe. Using a multi-level analysis, the factors that influence responsiveness and perceptions of responsiveness at the individual and aggregate level are underlined. The data used is the European Social Survey (panel data from 6 cross-national surveys that have been conducted every two years across Europe since 2002).