FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With a contentious presidential election looming, and the Biden/Harris ticket now in place, politics is once again dominating news messaging. And all of it spun carefully to impact behavior.
The selection of Kamala Harris, mass media's impact on behavior, and what it takes to compel voter turnout—AcademicInfluence.com discusses these topics and more with the world's leading political scientist, Dr. Donald P. Green, in an exclusive one-on-one interview.
"There are lots of people who want to know about the conditions under which people are persuaded by messages," says Green, J.W. Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.
Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of AcademicInfluence.com, and professor of physics at Wake Forest University, and Dr. Green range from the nature of academic research into media consumer and voter perceptions to how even an established researcher can change emphasis in mid-career. Political mavens, students, and academics of all disciplines will find the conversation enlightening.
One of the more illuminating insights to emerge from the conversation is Green's finding on the powerful influence of friendship.
"The more personal, heartfelt, and authentic, the more effective something is," Green states. "You could send somebody an automated text message and get them to move just a little bit in terms of their probability of voting, but if you actually text a friend and say, 'Don, I'm really counting on you to vote, this is going to be a historical election, not one to sit out,' you'll raise my chances of voting considerably."
Green adds, "I think that kind of friend-to-friend model of engaging voters and stimulating turnout is especially pertinent now under COVID conditions where getting to people through impersonal means is not that easy."
Green and Macosko cover COVID-19's disruption of activism, door-to-door canvassing, and other typical expectations of a presidential campaign. The two conclude the wide-ranging talk with Green's thoughts on the Kamala Harris pick for vice president.
"It sets in motion a very interesting and somewhat unpredictable kind of gyroscope to have a Black, female vice-presidential candidate, [which] presumably overcomes one of Hillary Clinton's weakest points in 2016: her inability to mobilize Black voters…."
For more on the insights from one of America's top political scientists and scholars on voter turnout, campaigns, and elections in the United States, don't miss this compelling interview. And for the complete ranking of influential political scientists, visit:
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Jed Macosko, Ph.D.
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