James Druckman

Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science | IPR Associate Director | Chair of IPR’s Program on Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy


James Druckman's research focuses on political preference formation and communication. His work examines how citizens make political, economic, and social decisions in various different contexts (e.g., settings with multiple competing messages, online information, deliberation). He also has explored the relationship between citizens' preferences and public policy, and how political elites make decisions under varying institutional conditions.

Druckman has published more than 100 articles and book chapters in political science, communication, economic, science, and psychology journals. He co-authored the book Who Governs? Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation (University of Chicago Press) and co-edited the Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Political Science. He has served as editor of the journals Political Psychology and Public Opinion Quarterly as well as the University of Chicago Press's series in American Politics. He currently is the co-Principal Investigator of Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS). He also sits on numerous advisory boards, organizing committees, prize committees, and editorial boards.

Druckman's work has been recognized with numerous awards including over 15 best paper/book awards; he also has received grant support from such entities as the National Science Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and Phi Beta Kappa. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (pdf) in 2012 and also, in 2012, received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. In 2014, he received Northwestern’s Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence. His teaching/advising has been recognized with the Outstanding Award for Freshman Advising, an Outstanding Faculty citation by Northwestern's Associated Student Government, and the Karl Rosengren Faculty Mentoring Award.

Druckman obtained his BA from Northwestern, majoring in mathematical methods in the social sciences and political science. He is also an Honorary Professor of Political Science at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Current Research

Political and Science Communication. Druckman has various projects that explore how mass communication influences citizens' opinions. This includes work looking at the impact of partisan media, and how issue framing effects public opinion. Druckman also studies the hurdles and antidotes to effective scientific communication (e.g., with regard to climate change and other scientific issues).

Methodology and Epistemology. Druckman is working on projects focused on publication bias, the intellectual evaluation of political behavior research, and experimental methods.

Sports Politics. Druckman is exploring various issues in college sports including attitudes about Title IX and student-athletes engaging in political protests. He also has related work on pain perceptions in the domain of sports.

Campaigns in a New Media Age: How Candidates Use the World Wide Web to Win Elections. Martin Kifer of High Point University, Michael Parkin of Oberlin College, and Druckman are studying the congressional elections and representation. This project has been ongoing since 2002 and involves the coding of nearly 2,000 candidate websites, along with surveys of campaigns and experiments on campaign effects.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Druckman, J. Forthcoming. The crisis of politicization within and beyond science. Nature Human Behavior.

Druckman J., A. Howat, and K. Mullinix. Forthcoming. Graduate advising in experimental research groups. PS: Political Science & Politics.

Druckman, J., M. Kifer, and M. Parkin. Forthcoming. Resisting the opportunity for change: How congressional campaign insiders viewed and used the Web in 2016. Social Science Computer Review.

Druckman, J., M. Kifer, M. Parkin, and I. Montes. Forthcoming. An inside view of congressional campaigning on the Web. Journal of Political Marketing.

Druckman, J., M. Levendusky, and A. McLain. Forthcoming. No need to watch: How the effects of partisan media can spread via inter-personal discussions. American Journal of Political Science.

Druckman, J., J. Robison, and T. Leeper. Forthcoming. Do disagreeable political discussion networks undermine attitude strength? Political Psychology.

Busby, E., J. Druckman, and A. Fredendall. 2017. The political relevance of irrelevant eventsThe Journal of Politics 79: 346–50.

Druckman, J., and R. Shafranek. 2017. The conditional nature of the local warming effectWeather, Climate, and Society 9:15–26.

Levendusky, M., J. Druckman, and A. McLain. 2016. How group discussions create strong attitudes and strong partisansResearch and Politics 3:1–6.

Druckman, J., A. Howat, and A. Rodheim. 2016. The influence of race on attitudes about college athleticsSport in Society 19(7): 1020–39.

Levay, K., J. Freese, and J. Druckman. 2016. The demographic and political composition of Mechanical Turk samplesSAGE Open 6(1): 1–17.

Mullinix, K., T. Leeper, J. Druckman, and J. Freese. 2015. The generalizability of survey experimentsJournal of Experimental Political Science 2(2): 109–38.

Bolsen, T. and J. Druckman. 2015. Counteracting the Politicization of Science. Journal of Communication 65: 745-769.

Druckman, J. 2015. Communicating Policy-Relevant Science. American Political Science Association Task Force on Public Engagement. PS: Political Science & Politics 48(S1): 58-69.

Druckman, J., M. Gilli, S. Klar, and J. Robison. 2015. Measuring Drug and Alcohol Use Among College Student-Athletes. Social Science Quarterly 96: 369–80.

Druckman, J. 2015. Eliminating the Local Warming Effect. Nature Climate Change 5: 176–7.

Bolsen, T., J. Druckman, and F.L. Cook. 2015. Citizens’, Scientists’, and Legislators’ Beliefs about Global Climate Change. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 658: 271–95.

Druckman, J. 2015. Merging Research and Undergraduate Teaching in Political Behavior Research. PS: Political Science & Politics 48: 53–57.

Druckman, J., M. Gilli, S. Klar, and J. Robison. 2014. The Role of Social Context in Shaping Student-Athlete Opinions.  PLoS ONE 9: e115159. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115159.

Bolsen, T., J. Druckman, and F.L. Cook. 2014. Communication and Collective Actions: A Survey Experiment on Motivating Energy Conservation in the U.S. Journal of Experimental Political Science 1: 24–38

Druckman, J.  2014. Pathologies of Studying Public Opinion, Political Communication, and Democratic Responsiveness. Political Communication 31: 467–92.

Bolsen, T., J. Druckman, and F.L. Cook. 2014. The influence of partisan motivated reasoning on public opinion. Political Behavior 36(2): 235–62.

Druckman, J., M. Gilli, S. Klar, and J. Robison. 2014. Athlete support for Title IX. The Sport Journal.

Bolsen, T., J. Druckman, and F. L.Cook. 2014. How frames can undermine support for scientific adaptations: Politicization and the status quo bias. Public Opinion Quarterly 78(1): 1–26.

Druckman, J., M. Kifer, and M. Parkin. 2014. U.S. congressional campaign communications in an Internet age. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties 24(1): 20–44.

Druckman, J., and D. P. Green. 2013. Mobilizing group membership:  The impact of personalization and social pressure e-mails. SAGE Open 3: 1–6. 

Chong, D. and J. Druckman. 2013. Counter-framing effectsThe Journal of Politics 75(1): 1–16.

Druckman, J., E. Peterson, and R. Slothuus. 2013. How elite partisan polarization affects public opinion formationAmerican Political Science Review.

Druckman, J., and T. Leeper. 2012. Is public opinion stable? Resolving the micro-macro disconnect in studies of publicDaedalus 141(4): 50–68.

Druckman, J., and T. Leeper. 2012. Learning more from political communication experiments: Pretreatment and its effectsAmerican Journal of Political Science 56(4): 875–96.

Druckman, J. 2012. The politics of motivationCritical ReviewA Journal of Politics and Society 24: 199–216.

Druckman, J., J. Fein, and T. Leeper. 2012. A source of bias in public opinion stabilityAmerican Political Science Review 106(2): 430–54.

Druckman, J., and  A. Lupia. 2012. Experimenting with politicsScience 335(6073): 1177–79.

Druckman, J., and  T. Bolsen. 2011. Framing, motivated reasoning, and opinions about emergent technologiesJournal of Communication 61(4): 659–88.

Chong, D. and J. Druckman. 2010. Dynamic public opinion: Communication effects over timeAmerican Political Science Review 104(4):663–80.


Druckman, James, and Lawrence R. Jacobs. Who Governs? Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation. University of Chicago Press (2015).

Druckman, James, with Donald P. Green, James H. Kuklinski, and Arthur Lupia, eds. Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Political Science. New York: Cambridge University Press (2011).