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IPR enews



The High Cost of Stereotypes

Stereotype threat—when one group suffers from a societal stereotype cast over their abilities—“happens everywhere, from sixth grade classrooms to Stanford Medical School,” said social psychologist Claude Steele during a February 4 keynote lecture at Northwestern on his book Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. Steele has spent the better part of his illustrious career identifying and examining threats to our sense of self, including stereotypes. At IPR, an interdisciplinary cadre of researchers continue to push this field into new territory, detailing the effects of stereotypes, as well as pointing to potential interventions for addressing them. MORE

Human Capital Investments Across the Life Cycle: A Conversation with James Heckman

James Heckman, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at University of Chicago and Nobel Laureate in Economics, will give an IPR Distinguished Public Policy Lecture on April 27 at Northwestern University in Evanston. REGISTER

Infographic: An Intervention That Could Save Marriages

Existing research has shown that a good marriage can have profound impacts on mental and physical health. Yet evidence also suggests that, on the whole, marital quality declines over time. Noting the demonstrated importance of a successful marriage, social psychologist and IPR associate Eli Finkel and his colleagues launched a two-year experiment that aimed to preserve marital quality. MORE

Faculty in the Media
The Washington Post

Partisan bias about climate change is more prevalent than you think
In an op-ed in the Post’s Monkey Cage blog, IPR political scientist James Druckman, IPR social policy professor Fay Lomax Cook, and Georgia State University’s Toby Bolsen discuss their research on how politicization influences the communication of scientific knowledge—in particular, how the U.S. public, scientists, and congressional staffers from both sides of the aisle regard the highly charged issue of climate change.

The American Prospect

Not just Kumbaya: Multiracial coalitions yield pragmatic results for the common good
IPR social psychologist Jennifer Richeson highlights times in the past when multiracial coalitions came together to combat inequality and explores related themes in her own research—namely, the ability of people in one racial group to identify with another racial group if the other group is exposed to racial prejudice.

The Atlantic
It really might “get better” for LGBT teens
Does bullying really “get better” when LGBT teens reach adulthood? The Atlantic cites new research by professor of medical social sciences and IPR associate Brian Mustanski, which finds that levels of psychological distress and victimization dropped steadily as LGBT teens left adolescence—but also that benefits from social support while they were being bullied tended to be short lived.

The Washington Post
Women are working more everywhere—except in the U.S.
In a story about how United States lags behind other nations in terms of women in the workforce due to childcare costs, The Washington Post's Wonkblog featured work by IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach showing the link between high-quality preschool options and more low-income women working.

Find these and other clips HERE
News & Research

Faculty Spotlight: Alice Eagly
The era of second-wave feminism, from the early 1960s to the early 1980s, featured a renewed focus on remedying legal and social inequalities for women. Although the movement had visible political successes, like Title IX—and challenges, like the failure to pass the Equal Rights Amendment—psychological research wasn’t initially a robust part of the conversation. IPR social psychologist Alice Eagly was among a group of scholars who sought to change that. MORE


Women in Mali Save and Invest, with No Banks Nearby
They live in poor villages that are, on average, 14 miles from the nearest paved road. Traditional banking institutions are neither accessible nor affordable to them. As a result, women in Mali must find other means of saving and lending money. The newest and most popular saving and lending programs are “savings groups,” where women contribute money to a group fund and then collectively decide if they should loan money from the fund to other members of the group. In a recent IPR working paper, IPR economist Lori Beaman and her co-authors evaluate the impact of these savings groups. MORE

Does Medical Malpractice Law Affect Health Outcomes?
Over the last several decades, premiums for medical malpractice insurance have climbed sharply, prompting many states to enact tort reforms to mitigate the costs of medical malpractice litigation. Yet surprisingly little is known about the relationship between the medical liability system and quality of care. In a recent IPR working paper, health and law scholar Michael Frakes and his colleague study the relationship between such reforms and quality of care. MORE

IPR Policing Expert Testifies Before Presidential Task Force
Last December, in the midst of heightened tensions between police officers and the public, President Barack Obama established the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. IPR political scientist Wesley G. Skogan, who has conducted extensive research on Chicago’s community policing efforts, was one of the experts invited to make a presentation on February 13 in Phoenix. The task force submitted a preliminary version of its report identifying policing best practices to the president in March.

Subtle Discrimination Harms, Too
“A lot of the conversations around Ferguson, etc., have been about the impacts of these really overt forms of discrimination,” said IPR psychobiologist Emma Adam. “But there are more subtle ways in which discrimination is hurting African Americans.” In a recent IPR working paper, Adam, IPR social psychologist Jennifer Richeson, several IPR graduate research assistants, and their colleagues consider whether experiences of perceived racial and ethnic discrimination during adolescence and young adulthood affect how bodies react to stress later in life.

New IPR Working Papers

Find all IPR working papers HERE.

“Gendered Incentives for Legislative Compromise” (WP-14-27)

Nichole Bauer, Laurel Harbridge, and Yanna Krupnikov

Conventional wisdom suggests that incentives to compromise will be especially strong for female legislators, who might be punished more than male legislators for failing to compromise. Through two original national experiments, the researchers instead show that the role of legislator gender is limited. The way people respond to female legislators who do not compromise depends on two factors: first, whether these legislators are co-partisans or members of the opposing party, and second, whether the compromise is about a “women’s issue.” These results suggest that although female legislators might face stronger incentives to compromise under some conditions, under other conditions male legislators have greater incentives to engage in compromise.

“Eliminating the Local Warming Effect” (WP-14-26)

James Druckman

A growing body of work shows that perceived deviations in daily local temperatures alter individuals’ global warming beliefs and concerns. Little research, however, explores the conditions under which this “local warming” effect occurs. Druckman presents an experiment that shows how a simple prompt reminding individuals to remember how the weather felt over the past year eliminates the local warming effect. The prompt severs the relationship between perceptions of the daily temperature with estimates of last year’s temperature deviations, the basis on which many base their global warming opinions. While the results do not reveal the frequency that local warming effects occur overall, they do demonstrate the limits of the effect and suggest ways to counteract it.

“Long-Term Unemployment and the Great Recession: The Role of Composition, Duration Dependence, and Non-Participation” (WP-14-25)

Kory Kroft, Fabian Lange, Matthew Notowidigdo, Lawrence Katz

While short-term unemployment returned to normal levels in 2013 following the Great Recession, long-term unemployment (LTU) among workers aged 25–55 has remained historically high. The rate for 2013 was 45 percent—more than double the 2008 rate. In an IPR working paper, Notowidigdo and his colleagues first explore how conventional compositional shifts, i.e., in demographics and occupations, do not explain this abnormally high rate. They then use Current Population Survey panel data for 2002–07 to calibrate a matching model that incorporates characteristics of the long-term unemployed, shifts in the length of time spent finding a job, and transitions in and out of the labor force. Their calibrated model accounts for almost all of the increase and much of the observed outward shift in the Beveridge curve, or the relationship between the job vacancy and unemployment rates, between 2008 and 2013. This finding indicates a “self-perpetuating cycle” might be at work—as pointed to by the Congressional Budget Office and other recent studies—whereby the longer an individual remains unemployed the less likely it is that he or she will land an interview, and thus, the harder it becomes to re-enter the labor force.


Upcoming Events

4/6/15 - “How Americans Think Politically About Economic Inequality” by Leslie McCall (IPR/Sociology)

4/7/15 - "Psychometrics Behind Adaptive Testing and Adaptive Learning” by Hua-Hua Chang (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)

4/13/15 - "The Democratization of Education: Its Apparent Paradox, a Plausible Explanation, and its Empirical Proof" by Louis-André Vallet (Sciences Po)
4/14/15 - "Inequalities in Access to Higher Education in France: The Role of Institutional and Market Devices" by Agnes van Zanten (Sciences Po)

4/15/15 - "Non-Adherence in Healthcare: A Positive and Normative Analysis" by Tomas Philipson (University of Chicago)

4/16/15 - "Can Tracking Raise the Test Scores of High-Ability Minority Students?" by David Card (University of California, Berkeley)

4/20/15 - "Religion's Limits on Redistribution: Evidence from an Experiment in Nairobi, Kenya" by Rachel Beatty Riedl (Political Science/IPR)

4/23/15 - "Estimating Average Treatment Effects Using Stata" by David Drukker (Stata)

Find the complete calendar HERE.

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