Research

This page provides an overview of my research interests, current projects, and publications.

Publications

Henderson, John, Geoffrey Sheagley, Stephen Goggin, Logan Dancey, and Alexander Theodoridis. "Primary Divisions: How Voters Evaluate Policy and Group Differences in Intra-Party Contests." Journal of Politics. https://doi.org/10.1086/718208

Clifford, Scott, Geoffrey Sheagley, and Spencer Piston. 2021. "Increasing Precision without Altering Treatment Effects: Repeated Measures Designs in Survey Experiments." American Political Science Review. 115(3): 1048-1065.

Sheagley, Geoffrey and Adriano Udani. 2021. "Multiple Meanings? The Link Between Partisanship and Definitions of Voter Fraud." Electoral Studies. 69"

Sheagley, Geoffrey. 2019. "The Effect of Cross-cutting Partisan Debates on Political Decision-Making." Party Politics. 25(3): 401-411.

Dancey, Logan and Geoffrey Sheagley. 2018. "Partisanship and Perceptions of Party-Line Voting in Congress." Political Research Quarterly. 71(1): 32-45

Sheagley, Geoffrey, Philip G. Chen, and Christina Farhart. 2017. "Racial Resentment, Hurricane Sandy, and the Spillover of Racial Attitudes into Evaluations of Government Organizations." Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy. 17(1): 105-131.

Dancey, Logan and Geoffrey Sheagley. 2016. "Inferences Made Easy: Partisan Voting in Congress, Voter Awareness, and Senator Approval." American Politics Research. 44 (5), 844-874.

Chen et al. 2014. "The Minnesota Multi-Investigator 2012 Presidential Election Panel Study." Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy. 14(1): 78-104.

Dancey, Logan and Geoffrey Sheagley. 2013. "Heuristics Behaving Badly: Party Cues and Voter Knowledge." American Journal of Political Science. 57(2): 312-325.

Ongoing Research & Working Papers

No Need for a Panel Study: Measuring Moderators Doesn't Alter Treatment Effects

As survey experiments have become more common in political science, so too have efforts to identify who is most responsive to a treatment. These moderation experiments frequently rely on observed, rather than manipulated moderators, such as partisan identity or racial attitudes. These designs have led to an ongoing debate about where to measure moderators – immediately prior to the treatment, after the treatment, or in a prior wave of a panel survey. Each design choice has its downsides and detractors. Measuring a moderator after the treatment opens the possibility of posttreatment bias. Measuring it prior to the experiment may create priming effects. And panel studies are costly and sometimes infeasible. We contribute to this debate by systematically studying whether measuring moderators prior to an experiment affects the results. Across four different experiments involving four of the most commonly used moderators, we find no evidence of priming effects. In an additional experiment, we find no evidence that the distance between a moderator and an experiment within a survey affects the results. Our findings thus help resolve the debate, suggesting that the pretreatment measurement of a moderator often poses little threat to the inferences drawn from an experiment.


Partisan Poll Watchers and Americans' Beliefs about Electoral Integrity

This is an ongoing project focused on how partisan poll watchers shape Americans' perceptions of fairness and electoral integrity. To date, we have collected data from three conjoint experiments administered on large national samples to examine this question. Our design randomizes a variety of features of polling locations, including the types of poll watchers, voter registration requirements, and voter identification requirements.


Trade Politics at the Checkout Lane - Ethnocentrism and Consumer Preferences

  • With Alexa Bankert and Ryan Powers

As international trade flourishes, Americans can choose from an increasing number of foreign products even at their local grocery stores, allowing consumers to directly experience the consequences of globalized trade in a simple and intuitive way that does not require much political expertise. Yet, most prior scholarship on political consumerism assumes that consumers are aware of the political and economic implications of their choices at the checkout lane. We move away from this assumption, focusing instead on more fundamental psychological predispositions such as ethnocentrism that may guide daily consumer choices. Using a discrete choice conjoint experiment, we show that Americans, on average, exhibit ethnocentric consumer preferences, with demand for products falling as they are produced in more culturally and ethnically distant places. Additionally, we show that this effect is more pronounced among those with higher levels of ethnocentrism. Our results provide evidence for a “naïve” form of political consumerism.


Dividing Lines: Voter Perceptions of Intra-Party Policy Disagreement

    • With Logan Dancey and John Henderson

Polarization creates incentives for voters to use the party label when evaluating the policy differences between politicians. Yet, it is unclear whether such reliance on a party heuristic reduces or eliminates voter awareness of the ongoing policy disagreements within parties. This paper explores the extent to which voters perceive intra-party divisions in the contemporary period of sorted and polarized parties. Using an original experiment on two large-scale surveys administered during the 2016 election, we test what, if any, policy disagreements voters perceive between hypothetical moderates and ideologues from the same party. In a separate study, we then ask voters to place recent presidential contenders on a series of issues to assess whether voters perceive differences in the policy positions of high-profile candidates from the same party. High knowledge respondents are capable of drawing policy content from ideological labels, though a large segment of the mass public sees little policy differences between moderates and ideologues. When asked to discern the policy positions of presidential candidates, however, even low knowledge respondents recognize a degree of intra-party disagreement. These findings highlight that voters recognize variation within parties over key issues, in spite of weak ideological commitments and strong reliance on singular party heuristics.