lab director


H. Hannah Nam is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Stony Brook University. Her research and teaching interests are broadly in political psychology and political neuroscience on topics of social change, social justice, and ideological beliefs. She integrates insights and methods from psychology, political science, and neuroscience to study why and how people resist or embrace social change, especially in social, economic, and political systems marked by inequality and injustice. She is also interested in understanding the psychological basis and development of ideologies that reinforce or reduce existing social inequalities.

Hannah's website

affiliated students

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Elizabeth Connors is a Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stony Brook University. Her dissertation focuses on how social motivations influence politics. She specializes in the influence of the social context on political values, opinions, and behavior, as well as reputation management within the political public.

Elizabeth's website




Ryan Cotter's research interests focus on the cognitive underpinnings of attitude formation and communication effects. He is also interested in the assessment of construct validity in survey and experimental methods.

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Caitlin Davies is primarily interested in the development and consequences of political identities. Her research looks at how people come to be attached to political parties, and how such attachments influence political cognition and behavior. She uses both observational and experimental methods and study political identities in the U.S. as well as in multi-party systems.

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Caitlin's website


Michelle Io-Low graduated from the University of Southern California with her B.A. in Psychology. Her research interests lie broadly in political identities, political emotions, and how these factors influence people's attitudes and behavior towards social and economic inequality. 

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Patrick Kraft is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Stony Brook University. He received his MA in Political Science from the University of Mannheim. His research interests include ideology, political attitude expression, text analysis, and experimental methods. In his dissertation, he analyzes how citizens discuss their political beliefs in open-ended responses as well as group discussions.

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Patrick's website

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William Pollock's dissertation explores the relationship between political demeanor and voter perceptions. Communicating with the public is a key function for candidates and elected officials. In doing so, demeanor represents the range of stylistic choices politicians choose among when presenting themselves to their constituents. He examines the linkage between various styles of demeanor and public attitudes toward the figures expressing them. Other areas of research experience include political knowledge, media exposure, and the relationship between psychological biases and spatial voting.

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Johanna Willmann received her MA in Political Science from the University of Vienna. She is interested in studying how voters structure their political attitudes and how individuals change their attitudes. In particular, she compares voters' ideological attitude structure across various European countries and she studies the cross-pressures that voters underline when their political orientations, candidate orientations and party orientations fall apart. She is also exploring how voters change their attitudes and the role implicit attitudes play in attitude change. 

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Johanna's website

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Yangzi Zhao is a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science at Stony Brook University. Before joining the political science program at Stony Brook, she obtained her master's degree in sociology from University of Maryland.

Her primary research agenda focuses on how the racialization process shapes the psychology undergirding Asian Americans' political attitudes and behaviors. Particularly, she wants to understand the relationship between social identity formation and political engagement among Asian Americans. She is broadly interested in understanding the cross-cutting cleavage of race, gender, and class. She is also interested in interdisciplinary inquires that articulate insights from political science, sociology, and psychology to understand social inequalities in general.

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undergraduate research assistant

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Erica Jackson is a Senior Psychology and Sociology double major at Stony Brook University. With a dual interest in clinical psychology and social advocacy she hopes to pursue a career in which she can incorporate both. Her research interests are both behavioral and cognitive psychology with a burgeoning and eager interest in political neuroscience.