Princeton Research in Experimental Social Science
David Ribar will present “How Concerns Over Status and National Prestige Drive Americans’ Foreign Policy Preferences” and Chinbo Chong will present "Effectiveness of Identity Appeals to Latino and Asian American Voters by Out-Group Candidates”.
“How Concerns Over Status and National Prestige Drive Americans’ Foreign Policy Preferences”
by David Ribar, PhD Candidate Department of Politics
Do Americans’ concerns over their personal status influence their foreign policy preferences, and are these concerns in turn influenced by their perceptions of America’s international prestige? Many studies have examined how concerns over national reputation factor into elite decision-making, but what role do they play in preference-formation at the level of the mass public? In a pair of survey experiments, I first assess whether heightened concern over one’s personal prestige, insofar as it depends on one’s reputation for resolve, leads to increased demand for resolve-enhancing actions in America’s foreign policy. I then see whether shocks to perceived national prestige impact individuals’ own self-assessed prestige and self-esteem. I also examine the role that national identity plays as a moderator in each of these relationships. I find that increased concern over personal resolve does appear to translate into a greater preference for resolve-enhancing foreign policy actions, and that positive and negative shocks to the prestige of one’s nation lead to associated changes in one’s self-esteem. These experiments offer a first look at the precise mechanisms by which concerns over America’s prestige are manifested in public opinion on international affairs, an area which is of increasing importance given the growing literature on the role of status in international conflict and consistent concerns among the American public over how their nation is perceived by the global community.
"Effectiveness of Identity Appeals to Latino and Asian American Voters by Out-Group Candidates"
by Chinbo Chong, Center for the Study of Democratic Politics Fellow
Political scientists have long documented the ways in which racial group identities matter for political behavior. Yet few have compared the relative effectiveness of two different forms of identity, pan-ethnic and national origin, on political behavior. This project investigates the interplay of pan-ethnic (i.e., Asian American; Latino/Hispanic) and national origin identity (i.e., Chinese American; Mexican American, etc.) appeals among immigrant dominated populations in American politics. I make a novel argument that responsiveness to pan-ethnic identity appeals will be largely determined by levels of acculturation. Specifically, I examine the effect of identity appeals on Asian American and Latino political participation when the candidate is 1) white and black, and 2) when the candidate belongs to a different national origin group from the respondent. The findings of this will address how predominantly white American legislature will need to appeal to voters who do not share in their ancestral background.