View in Browser/Mobile May 2013

IPR enews

Cecilia Rouse

Woodrow Wilson dean and former presidential economic adviser Cecilia Rouse discusses the challenges and rewards of working in the White House with moderator and IPR Director David Figlio.

Economist, Presidential Adviser, Dean, and Mom

Economist Cecilia Rouse, dean of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, spoke about policymaking, parenting, and other experiences while working in the White House in two different administrations. The IPR 2013 Distinguished Public Policy Lecture took place on April 8 at Northwestern University. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors 
Daniel Diermeier
Daniel Diermeier, professor of managerial economics and decision sciences and an IPR associate, was recently elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. MORE

Eszter Hargittai
On April 29, communication studies researcher and IPR associate Eszter Hargittai became the first Delaney Family Research Professor. MORE

James Spillane
Education researcher and IPR associate James Spillane was awarded Northwestern's 2013 Ver Steeg Research Fellowship. MORE

MORE faculty awards & honors.

Faculty in the Media
The Wall Street Journal
We didn't sign at the office
In an editorial, Northwestern University President and Professor Morton Schapiro and Barry Glassner, president of Lewis & Clark College, discuss why they decided to "eschew petitions," noting from their vantage point as researchers and teachers that "any important issue deserves more serious thought and discussion than can be captured in a list of demands."

The New York Times
Keep calm and save the day
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, IPR social psychologist Alice Eagly discusses two important personal qualities that impel bystanders to rush to help without deliberating—confidence in one’s ability to help and emotional control that suppresses fear.

Pacific Standard
Help others to help yourself: High school students benefit from volunteer work
IPR health psychologist Edith Chen and two colleagues found that high school students who were assigned to do volunteer work were happier and healthier than their peers. The teens' self-esteem was unaffected, suggesting that they were unaware of the subtle effects themselves. The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Why concentrated poverty matters
IPR anthropologist Thomas McDade and his co-authors explain how their study of data from the randomized Moving to Opportunity mobility experiment shows the important effects of concentrated poverty on the mental and physical health of low-income families, with less impact seen for outcomes like schooling and earnings.

Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research
Public Policy in an Uncertain World
While acknowledging the importance of relying on experts for policy analysis, IPR economist Charles F. Manski bluntly told an audience that they should be more discriminating consumers of policy research in a recent lecture at the British Academy in London. MORE

Zeroing in on Teen Stress
All parents know that stress affects their kids, yet little information exists on the specific ways it happens, mainly due to a lack of comprehensive measures. IPR psychobiologist Emma Adam's many projects are zeroing in on exactly how daily and long-term stress affect children and teens. MORE

Divided We View
IPR mass communications researcher Rachel Davis Mersey takes a look at why Americans have become so polarized in their news consumption. She uncovers several factors, including how the public responds to news. MORE

In Memoriam: Paul Friesema
Northwestern faculty came together on April 26 to honor the life and accomplishments of H. Paul Friesema, professor emeritus of political science, IPR faculty emeritus, and a leader in environmental/urban policy studies, who died at age 77. MORE

Save the Date, 10/28: IPR Lecture with Katherine Baicker
Economist Katherine Baicker of Harvard's School of Public Health will deliver the IPR Distinguished Public Policy Lecture on October 28 at Northwestern University. Baicker was a former member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2005 to 2007 under President George W. Bush and is a co-principal investigator of the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment. MORE

New IPR Working Papers

Find the complete list of IPR working papers HERE.

“Long-Term Effects of Birth Weight and Breast-Feeding Duration on Inflammation in Early Adulthood” (WP-13-13)
Thomas McDade, Molly Metzger, Laura Chyu, Greg Duncan, Craig Garfield, and Emma Adam

A team of IPR Cells to Society researchers examines whether measures of C-reactive protein (CRP)—a biomarker of inflammation across the life course—might predict risk for certain adult diseases. They postulate that birth weight and breast-feeding duration are possible determinants of chronic inflammation in adults. Using data on 10,500 young adults, they find infants with lower birth weights did show higher CRP concentrations in adulthood. In those who were breast-fed, their CRP concentrations ranged from 20 to 30 percent lower as adults, in comparison with those who were not. The research indicates that efforts to promote breast-feeding and improve birth outcomes might have clinically relevant effects on reducing levels of chronic inflammation and lowering risk for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in adulthood.

“Mobilizing Group Membership: The Impact of Personalization and Social Pressure E-mails” (WP-13-12)
James Druckman and Donald Green

The researchers used a randomized experiment to assess the effectiveness of three forms of e-mail appeals to prospective members of a newly formed professional group. The three appeals consisted of either an impersonal appeal (baseline of impersonal mass e-mail), a persona appeal (included a personal note from the group's president), or a social pressure appeal (personal note recalling that they had signed a petition and then asking them to make good on their earlier pledge). Druckman and Green find personalization generates strong and statistically significant treatment effects, with social pressure effects found to be even stronger.

“The Politicization of Science and Support for Scientific Innovations” (WP-13-11)
Toby Bolsen, James Druckman, and Fay Lomax Cook

Does the politicization of science influence support for scientific innovations? In such a climate, does scientific evidence matter? The authors use an experiment to focus on how exposure to information and politicization of science affect support for nuclear power. They find that politicizing science invalidates arguments about nuclear energy's environmental benefits, with or without a reference to a consensus of scientific evidence, and, in fact, reduces support for using it. The findings have implications for the future of scientific innovations in today’s politicized scientific climate.

“Communication and Collective Actions: Motivating Energy Conservation in the U.S.” (WP-13-10)
Toby Bolsen, James Druckman, and Fay Lomax Cook

To examine when and why citizens engage in collective actions of their own volition, the researchers present a novel framework and test predictions with a survey experiment in the domain of energy conservation. Unlike past work, the study does not explore selective incentives or social pressure, but shows that communications drive behavior, adding substantially to what is known about collective action. The study results have implications for energy sustainability.

Upcoming Events
5/17/13 - 2013 Social Inequality and Difference Lecture, "Neighborhood Effects and the New Social
                Transformation of the American City" by Robert Sampson (Harvard); followed by a panel
                discussion with Mary Pattillo (Sociology/African American Studies/IPR), Jonathan Guryan
                (SESP/IPR), Wesley G. Skogan (Political Science/IPR), and Dan Lewis (SESP/IPR)
5/20/13 - "Psychosocial Interventions in Prostate Cancer Survivorship: Considering Biobehavioral and
                Sociocultural Processes" by Frank Penedo (MSS/IPR)
5/21/13 - "Matching Designs for Observational Studies with Multilevel Data" by Peter Steiner
                (U. Wisconsin-Madison)
5/23/13 - "Desegregation and (Un)Equal Opportunity: The Long March from Brown to the Mobility of
                Brown's Grandchildren" by Rucker Johnson (UC-Berkeley)
5/29/13 - "Women of the National Supported Work Demonstration" by Jeffrey Smith (U. Michigan)
5/30/13 - "TBA" by Sarah Reber (UCLA)

Find the complete calendar HERE.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?
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