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Chicago Area Behavior Workshop

May 6, 2022 - May 6, 2022

The 16th annual Chicago Area Political and Social Behavior Workshop (CAB) will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022, at Northwestern University. The goal of these yearly workshops is to bring together Chicago-area social scientists who share an interest in political and social behavior.

This year’s workshop will be in-person only, no remote option will be offered. Organizers will be following Northwestern University’s COVID-19 safety protocols for events.

Logistical Details

The workshop format is as follows:

  • There will be four paper presentations, with discussion following each presentation.
  • A moderator (for each paper) will keep time and pose a few questions; however, there is no formal discussant, thus the discussion will largely come from the audience.
  • Each presenter will have 40 minutes to present, followed by 20 minutes of discussion (one-hour total).
  • Additionally, we will have a poster session for junior scholars, defined as current advanced graduate students or anyone no more than three years post-PhD.

Papers, if available, will be posted roughly one week in advance on the workshop website.

 A light breakfast, lunch, snacks, and a dinner will be provided. (Dinner is only for those who participate in at least part of the conference.) Part of the purpose of the meeting is to provide scholars from different schools with an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas in an informal setting.

This year’s restaurant for dinner requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination so please bring that if you plan to come to dinner.

Each graduate student will be matched with a faculty member from a different university who shares his/her/their interests. Time will be provided for these pairs to interact (e.g., during break times and lunch).

If you have any questions about the event, please contact:

Next year’s meeting is tentatively set for Friday, May 5, 2023, and you can find out more about past CAB conferences.

We are grateful to Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research, the Department of Political Science, and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, as well as NORC’s AmeriSpeak®Panel who have agreed to sponsor this event on an ongoing basis.


Please click here for a PDF.

2022 CAB schedule
Time Speaker / Event
9:30 a.m. Registration opens, coffee and light breakfast available
10:00 a.m. Welcome by James Druckman, Northwestern University (IPR & Political Science)
10:05 a.m.

The Role of Descriptive and Substantive Representation in Voter Decision-Making” by Tabitha Bonilla, Northwestern University (IPR and SESP)

Moderator: Stephanie Edgerly, Northwestern University (Medill and IPR)

11:05 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m.

Estimating the Returns to Political Microtargeting” by Adam Berinsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Moderator: Sarah Maxey, Loyola University Chicago

12:30 p.m. Mentoring Lunch
1:30 p.m.

Rhetorical Stratagems of Autocratic Leaders in Democratic Systems” by Susan Stokes, University of Chicago

Moderator: Avital Livny, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

2:30 p.m. Brief Overview of NORC’s AmeriSpeak®Panel
2:40 p.m. Break (Junior Scholars set up posters)
3:00 p.m. Junior Scholar Poster Session
3:45 p.m. Break
4:00 p.m.

How Can Government Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination?” by Jake Bowers, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Moderator: Erin Rossiter, University of Notre Dame

5:15 p.m. Dinner


In order of appearance:

Tabitha BonillaTabitha Bonilla, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and IPR Fellow, Northwestern University

Tabitha Bonilla studies political behavior and communication and broadly examines how elite communication influences voter opinions of candidates and political policies. In particular, her work focuses on how messaging polarizes attitudes or can bridge attitudinal divides with substantive focuses on important topics in American politics ranging from Black Lives Matter, gun control, human trafficking and immigration. Her work incorporates a range of quantitative methods, including experiments and text analysis.

Adam BerinskyAdam Berinsky, Mitsui Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Adam Berinsky is the Director of the MIT Political Experiments Research Lab. He specializes in the fields of political behavior and public opinion and is primarily concerned with questions of representation and the relationship between the mass public and political leaders. He has also studied public opinion and foreign policy, the continuing power of group-based stereotypes, the effect of voting reforms, the power of the media, and survey research methods. For the last decade, he has been studying political rumors and misinformation.

Susan StokesSusan Stokes, Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago

Susan Stokes is the Director of the Chicago Center on Democracy. Her research interests include democratic theory and how democracy functions in developing societies, distributive politics, and comparative political behavior. Her single and co-authored books include Mandates and Democracy: Neoliberalism by Surprise in Latin America (2001), Brokers, Voters, and Clientelism: The Puzzle of Distributive Politics (2013), and Why Bother? Rethinking Participation in Elections and Protests (2019). She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Jake BowersJake Bowers, Associate Professor of Political Science and Statistics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Jake Bowers is Methods Director for the Evidence in Governance and Politics network, has served as a Fellow in the Office of Evaluation Sciences in the General Services Administration of the U.S. Federal Government, and Fellow in The Policy Lab at Brown University. His research in methodology focuses on causal inference in both randomized field experiments and observational studies. He also works on projects at the intersection of the social sciences and public policy at the Causal Inference for Social Impact Lab at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

James DruckmanJames Druckman, Organizer, Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science, and IPR Associate Director and Fellow, Northwestern University

James Druckman’s research focuses on political preference formation, communication,
and experimental methods. He also studies sports and politics (with a focus on gender), democratic responsiveness, as well as the impact of race in various decision-making setting. He also researches the relationship between citizens’ preferences and public policy and the polarization of American society.

Directions to the Workshop Location

  • The workshop will take place at Scott Hall’s Guild Lounge (first floor), Northwestern University, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL, 60208. A Google map of Guild Hall is available here
  • If you are driving, take Sheridan Road into Evanston from the north or south. Scott Hall is located between the intersections of Emerson & Sheridan and Chicago & Sheridan, to the west of Sheridan Road. Parking (for a fee) is available at the Church Street Self Park.
  • If you are taking the El Train, take the Purple Line to Davis (901 Davis Street) and then it is roughly a 5-minute walk (to the above workshop address). (“El”: CTA Purple Line to the Davis stop.)
  • If you are taking the Metra train, use the Union Pacific North line to Davis (901 Davis Street), and then it is roughly a 5-minute walk (to the above workshop address). (Metra: Union Pacific North Line to the Davis Street station, Zone C).


Here is a list to help you with your planning, but Northwestern University does not endorse any of the hotels included on it.

The Graduate, Evanston

1625 Hinman Ave

Evanston, IL 60201

(847) 475-3300


Hyatt House Evanston

1515 Chicago Ave.

Evanston, IL 60201

(847) 864-2300


Hilton Garden Inn

1818 Maple Avenue

Evanston, IL 60201

(847) 475-6400 


Holiday Inn Evanston

1501 Sherman Ave.

Evanston, IL 60201

(847) 491-6400