My research focuses on the complex relationship between public opinion and political communication. I am interested in the political beliefs of citizens and in identifying the origins of these beliefs. Public opinion matters. Aggregations of individual opinions determine which candidates win and lose elections. These aggregations, conveyed through either electoral returns or public opinion polls, shape the policies and priorities incumbents pursue. Still, many aspects of opinion formation remain unknown. Why do some demographic groups express different political preferences than others? How do characteristics of an individual's information environment, like campaign advertisements or local news coverage, influence these preferences? My work addresses these questions.

Much of my research examines the public opinions of women. The remainder unite public opinion with political communication, examining how an individual's location, and the environmental stimuli occurring within it, shape political preferences. I take an interdisciplinary approach to these research questions. Political scientists draw from theoretical and empirical work in economics, sociology, and psychology to explain opinion formation. They draw much less from works in fields such as primatology and neurobiology despite the fact these works provide leverage for scholars researching political behavior. I draw from these fields, utilizing theories and findings in a variety of fields, including the hard sciences, to inform my own political behavior research.