Research and Publications

Completed Papers and Working Projects


Gonzalez, Frank J., and Ingrid Haas. "The Neural Mechanisms of Opposition to Race-Targeted Government Assistance.” Paper presented at American Political Science Association Conference (accepted March 2017, presented September 2017).
When are people most able to inhibit racial prejudice while evaluating government assistance policies? A common proposal is that by making race salient, individuals can use controlled processing and effortful thought to inhibit automatic racial biases and abide by egalitarian norms. We implement a 2x2 within-groups design using fMRI to test this hypothesis and identify the neural processes associated with conscious versus nonconscious racial policy evaluations.
Gonzalez, Frank J., Elizabeth Theiss-Morse*, and Johnathan C. Peterson*. “American = Rich? National Identity, the Prototypical American, and Income Inequality.”
We hypothesize that strong American national identity is associated with opposition to redistributive policies and lower levels of concern over income inequality, but this is only among individuals who automatically associate "being American" with "being Rich." We use physiological and implicit attitude measures in conjunction with self-reports to test this hypothesis.
* = University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Working Projects:

Gonzalez, Frank J. “Low Levels of Implicit Ambivalence Predict Diminished Ingroup Favoritism and Deference to Political Ideology."
Data is utilized from the 2008 ANES as well as a novel laboratory experiment to examine the consequences of implicit ambivalence (gaps between one's implicitly and explicitly measured attitudes) for the roles of ingroup favoritism and political ideology when people evaluate race-targeted policies.
Gonzalez, Frank J., Jayme L. Neiman (University of Northern Iowa), and Naslie Rezaei. “Polarized Words in Polarized Times? Value-Based Language of Political Elites in a Polarized Government.”
We examine whether the language used by Democrats and Republicans (as gauged via 1-minute congressional floor speeches) significantly differs as a function of polarization in congressional voting. Further, a wealth of literature suggests Republicans and Democrats rely on different values, which should be reflected in language. We examine whether differences in value-based language emerge when government is more versus less polarized.
Muhlberger, Peter*, Frank J. Gonzalez, Lisa M. PytlikZillig*, Myiah J. Hutchens (Washington State University), and Alan J. Tomkins*. “Polarization via Deliberation: Modeling the Attitudinal Poles and their Influence during Group Discussions.”
We develop a statistical model of the distinct ways in which individuals' attitudes may change during group discussion, and test the model using a sample of undergraduate students discussing nanotechnology and its uses.
* = University of Nebraska Public Policy Center