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Unpacking the role of emotions and cognition in shaping political violence & conflict

Researching how exposure to political violence influences short- and long-term political attitudes

Investigating the role of leaders, groups & bureaucracies in shaping security policy and international diplomacy

Examining psychological pathways driving electoral polarization and radicalization into violent extremism

Studying the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its effects on political attitudes & public health


I am an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Washington University in St. Louis. I completed my PhD in Political Science at the University of Michigan.

I study international relations and the political psychology of conflict, examining the behavioral micro-foundations underpinning war and political violence across and within societies. 
My research crosses subfield lines, adapting theories and tools from the fields of American and comparative political behavior to provide insight into how emotional and cognitive processes impact the behavior of the mass public and political elites in conflict contexts. Some of my current projects examine, for example: the role of emotions in political conflict, the long-term effects of exposure to political violence, group processes in foreign policy decision-making, and the strategic psychology of terrorist targeting and recruitment. My newest large-scale project, funded by the National Science Foundation, uses observational and experimental data to investigate the emotional and informational mechanisms through which interpersonal communication affects White Nationalist radicalization around the world.

My work is published or forthcoming at a number of journals, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, World Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Global Security Studies, Political Psychology, Political Behavior, Public Opinion Quarterly, and European Psychologist. My first book, The Polythink Syndrome (with Alex Mintz), was awarded the 2016 Alexander George Book Award by the International Society of Political Psychology for best book in the field of political psychology. My second book, Beyond Rationality: Behavioral Political Science in the 21st Century (with Alex Mintz & Nicholas Valentino) with Cambridge University Press was published in 2021. This book aims to provide a unifying framework of behavioral approaches to political science and is designed as an introductory text for graduate students and other scholars interested in integrating behavioral approaches with rational choice models of politics.​

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