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Elaine Denny

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Title: Assistant Professor
  • Ph.D. in Political Science and International Affairs, 2017 —  University of California, San Diego
  • M.A. in Political Science, 2013 — University of California, San Diego
  • M.P.P. in Human Rights and Development, 2009 — University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • B.A. in Chemistry, 2004 —  Williams College
Research Interests:

Poverty and anxiety both affect decision-making through well-established cognitive mechanisms. I use these insights from behavioral economics and psychology to improve our understanding of when and why people do (or do not) take political action. Specifically, why do poor people often participate in politics at lower rates than wealthier counterparts, even when they stand to benefit more from political change? I show that the experience of financial stress alters how people think about decisions, leading to divergences in political behavior, with downstream representational consequences. Related research interests include:

  • Social Movements
  • Political Violence
  • Human Rights
  • Spread of Social Norms

I use research methods including:

  • Lab
  • Survey
  • Field Experiments
  • Geospatial Analysis
  • Statistical Modeling
Graduate Groups: Political Science
Discipline: Political Science