March 2018

Crime in Chicago: What Does the Research Tell Us?

Chicago has a national reputation for violence. Even though shooting deaths dropped in the city last year, 664 people still died from gun violence. At a recent policy research briefing, three IPR experts presented their findings on the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to Chicago's enduring violence problem. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Children Drawing More Female Scientists

When drawing scientists, U.S. children now depict female scientists more often than ever, according to new research by David Miller, a PhD candidate in psychology, with IPR psychologist Alice Eagly. This change suggests that children's stereotypes linking science with men have weakened over time, consistent with more women becoming scientists and children's media depicting more female scientists on television shows, magazines, and other media. MORE

Putting a Premium on Civil Discourse

For Strobe Talbott, who led the Brookings Institution until last year, the lack of trust in expertise is "challenge number one, two, and three" for academics hoping their work can influence policymakers. He spoke about this challenge and the role academia can play at an event cosponsored by IPR and the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, where Talbott is a Distinguished Visitor. MORE

The Political Weaponization of Gun Owners

After every mass shooting, including the recent Parkland, Florida, school shooting, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is able to rally its members to defeat virtually all attempts at gun regulation. Matthew Lacombe, a PhD candidate in political science and an IPR graduate research assistant, is investigating exactly how the NRA exerts so much influence on Congress and beyond. MORE

Two Cheers for the Truth?

According to IPR political scientist John Bullock, insincere answers are part of the wedge driving political partisans further apart. People may know that what they are saying is false, but if the claim seems to support their political party—or criticize the other party—they might say it anyway. MORE

How Turf Wars Lead to Violence in Chicago

Chicago's Little Village ranks among the top 10 most violent neighborhoods in the city, with much of the violence concentrated on the neighborhood's east side. As University of Chicago sociologist and former IPR graduate research assistant Robert Vargas explains in a Spencer Foundation lecture, these violent hot spots are due to a lack of resources and territorial disputes. MORE

IPR Working Papers

Group Identification and the Collaboration Effect (WP-17-17)

Mary McGrath

Why do people share resources and how do they decide who merits them? In a series of experiments, McGrath asks participants to either work individually or collaboratively on a task and then decide whether to share a bonus with a collaborator who is similar or different in terms of gender, political party, and racial/ethnic group. Collaboration decreased with a person of a different racial/ethnic group, but gender and political party made no difference. McGrath suggests that these effects might reach beyond the collaboration of the experiment to include changing people's preferences for federal welfare spending.

Electoral Campaigns and the Incumbency Advantage: How Institutions Generate Competitive Inequities (WP-17-18)

James Druckman, Martin Kifer, and Michael Parkin

Scholars have identified many factors that contribute to the incumbency advantage, but have largely ignored the role of electoral campaigns. Druckman and his colleagues use an experiment to determine how different types of campaign rhetoric from incumbents and challengers affect voters' decision-making. They find that the campaigns matter. Voters tend to respond to characteristics—such as experience and familiarity—that inherently favor incumbents. Incumbents who instead use a rhetorical strategy emphasizing issues and image do not perform as well with voters. Challengers are at an extreme disadvantage in campaigns, even if incumbents' rhetorical strategy is counter to their own interests. The researchers suggest that the effectiveness of congressional incumbents' campaign rhetoric is another type of advantage, perhaps a more significant one, beyond the well-recognized basic incumbency advantage.

Read more IPR working papers

Infographic: Gun and Non-Gun Homicides in Chicago

At a March 9 policy research briefing, IPR political scientist Wesley Skogan examined Chicago's 2016 crime spike, noting that the sharp increase was primarily due to gun violence. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR developmental psychologist Onnie Rogers received the Gender Equity in Action Faculty Award from the Northwestern Women's Center.

IPR psychologist Alice Eagly received the Legacy Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, given to a social or personality psychologist whose work has been broadly influential in the field.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

Chicago Magazine

What We Can Do About Crime in Chicago

Chicago magazine covered IPR's policy research briefing, "Crime in Chicago: What Does the Research Tell Us?" The event included presentations from Wesley Skogan, Andrew Papachristos, and Jonathan Guryan and was moderated by Mary Pattillo.

The Economist

India's gender gap is closing in some respects, but remains vast

India has 21 million "unwanted girls," girls whose parents likely preferred a boy, according to IPR economist Seema Jayachandran. The last child born to Indian families is more likely to be male, as sex preference prompts parents to keep trying until they have a boy.

The Hill

US weakness to blame for Russian interference—they exploited our vulnerabilities

Political scientist and IPR associate Jordan Gans-Morse penned an op-ed for The Hill, where he argued political polarization is increasingly a threat to our national security.

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