CV & New Projects

You can download below a copy of my most recent CV.

Here is a brief selection of research papers that I’m currently working on. About one third of the scholarship I produce through the REPS Lab consists of active collaborations with talented undergraduate students at UCLA, many of them in political science, psychology, or other analog disciplines. The papers below include some of these more recent collaborations.

Experimenting with Interview Language and Latino Support for COVID-19 Protocols (with Jessica HyunJeong Lee, Ana Luisa Oaxaca, Cole Matthews, and Madison Ritsema)

Much uncertainty remains about effective messaging to boost public support for COVID-19 mitigation efforts, especially among people of color. We investigate the relationship between interview language and expressed support for COVID-19 public health protocols among Latinos: America’s largest ethnic group. Prior work establishes that interview language shapes opinions by structuring which considerations people draw on to form attitudes. Yet other work suggests interview language shapes opinions by activating cultural norms associated with a tongue. We reasoned that interviewing in Spanish (versus English) would boost support for COVID-19 protocols by activating pro-social norms associated with Spanish. Using a pre-registered experiment on bilingual Latino adults (N=1,700), we uncover little support for this prediction. Instead, we find that Spanish interviewees consistently report weaker levels of and changes in support for COVID-19 protocols, regardless of whether pro-social norms are primed. We discuss implications for COVID-19 attitudes in a linguistically diverse U.S. polity.

Manifold Threats to White Identity and Their Political Effects on White Partisans (with Jessica HyunJeong Lee, Ana Luisa Oaxaca, Tania Solano Cervantes, Jasmine García Rodríguez, Kimberly Lam, and David McFall)

We investigate how threats to White identity operate among White Democrats and Republicans. We evaluate four identity threats that prior work conflates or overlooks: distinctiveness threat (an ingroup’s loss of unique attributes), power threat (an ingroup perceiving outgroup collusion), morality threat (impugning an ingroup’s integrity), and meritocratic threat (questioning an ingroup’s advantages). We pinpoint which threats catalyze White identity among specific partisans—and with what political consequences. Leveraging a pre-registered experiment with 4,000 White Democrats and Republicans, we find most identity threats significantly and additively catalyze White identity among all partisans at comparable intensity (d~.20). However, among Democrats, a heightened sense of racial identity generates more downstream opposition to pro-outgroup policies (e.g., pathway to immigrant citizenship) and greater support for pro-ingroup policies (i.e., legacy college admissions) than among White Republicans. These indirect effects are robust to confounding and highlight White identity’s viability as a key mechanism behind contemporary partisan politics.    

Shared Station, Shared Politics? Evaluating a New Pathway to Black Solidarity with other People of Color (with Bianca Vicuña and Alisson Ramos)

Research suggests that solidarity between people of color (PoC) is triggered when a marginalized ingroup believes they are discriminated similarly to another outgroup. This evidence has primarily focused on Asian Americans, Latinos, and Middle Eastern people, who are systematically discriminated against as foreigners. Yet evidence remains absent on Black people, who are systematically discriminated against as inferior, but not as foreign. Using a pair of pre-registered experiments with Black and Latino adults (N=2,060), we manipulated a shared sense of discrimination as inferior (“second class citizenship”). This treatment measurably increased Black solidarity with PoC, which then significantly boosted their support for pro-Latino policies (e.g., less Border Patrol agents along U.S.-Mexico border). This pattern was reciprocated by Latinos, whose heightened solidarity with PoC increased their support for pro-Black initiatives (e.g., endorsing #BlackLivesMatter). Sensitivity analyses further establish this pathway’s viability. We discuss the implications for more effective coalition-building among racially minoritized groups in U.S. politics.

“Taking Stock of Solidarity Between People of Color:  A Meta-Analysis of 5 Experiments” (with Bianca Vicuña and Alisson Ramos)

Recent work suggests that solidarity between people of color (PoC) is triggered when a minoritized ingroup believes they are discriminated similarly to another outgroup based on their alleged foreigness or inferiority. Heightened solidarity then boosts support for policies that benefit minoritized outgroups who are not one’s own. Available experiments on this pathway vary by participants (e.g., Asian, Black, and Latino adults), manipulations (discrimination as foreign vs. inferior), and pro-outgroup outcomes (support for undocumented immigrants, Black Lives Matter). We report a pre-registered meta-analysis of this “similar discrimination-to solidarity-to political opinion” mechanism. Across five experiments, sensed discrimination as foreign or inferior reliably triggers solidarity with PoC, which then substantially increases support for pro-outgroup policies. This pathway is robust to possible confounding and emerges across studies and planned subsets of them. We discuss what the viability of this mechanism implies for further theoretic and empirical innovation in a racially diversifying polity. 

The Surprising Stability of Asian Americans’ and Latinos’ Partisan Identities in the Early Trump Era (with Daniel J. Hopkins and Cheryl R. Kaiser)

Two prominent, compatible accounts contend that Asian Americans and Latinos are not strongly connected to America’s political parties and that their partisanship is responsive to identity threats. Donald Trump’s political ascent presents a critical test, as Trump reoriented the Republican Party by foregrounding anti-immigrant hostility. Here, we test these perspectives using one of the first-ever population-based panels of Asian Americans and Latinos from 2016 to 2018. Across various empirical tests, we uncover surprising strength and stability in respondents’ partisan identities. In a period of pronounced anti-immigrant rhetoric, these groups remained steadfast in their party affiliation. We also show that pan-ethnic identities were stable over this period, that partisanship can shape subsequent pan-ethnic identities, and that few respondents describe the parties with reference to ethnic/racial groups in either year. By 2016, pan-ethnic identities were already stably integrated with partisanship, with little evidence of situational shifts in response to identity threats.

Diversity Management from a Target’s Perspective: A Pre-Registered Experiment on Latinos, Multiculturalism, and Colorblindness,” (w/Bianca Vicuña, Hannah Cass, Celine Tsoi, and Ying Xuan Chua)

Political elites have formulated multiculturalism and colorblindness to manage intergroup relations in diverse polities. Multiculturalism celebrates intergroup differences, while colorblindness emphasizes intergroup commonalities. Prior research finds varied effects for these ideologies, but primarily focuses on majority groups. We report a pre-registered experiment that evaluates these ideologies among Latinos—America’s largest ethnic minority. We hypothesized that multiculturalism and colorblindness would increase (decrease) one’s inclination to view oneself as Latino, with downstream consequences for political views. We also explored whether each ideology’s impact was moderated by individual differences in preferences towards cultural assimilation and/or intergroup equality. We find that multiculturalism has no measurable effects, yet colorblindness undermines participants’ sense of being Latino. This effect emerges among Latinos who strongly prefer to remain culturally distinct and is associated with greater ingroup favoritism and stronger support for policies that broadly improve the life chances of people of color (e.g., affirmative action).