Research InterestsMy research interest are in emotions, attitudes, and political orientation. In particular, I am interested in how epistemic emotions (i.e. emotions related to knowledge and sense-making) influence the political attitudes people hold, and how they can help foster identification with political groups or categories.
The experience of disillusionment is a primary focus of my work. We conceptualize disillusionment as an affective response to events that challenge a persons sense of meaning in life. My collaborators and I have shown that disillusionment is linked to political polarization and low meaning in life. We have also demonstrated that disillusionment can lead to an increased tendency to engage in nostalgic reflection.
My political ideology research focuses on investigating how attitude networks influence political identification. For example, we have demonstrated that public health attitudes increasingly became a more important predictor of behaviour as they formed distinct network clusters in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. My approach is to use bipartite network visualizations to map the structure of political ingroup attitudes. Through this work, I explore how group level emotions impact behaviour and susceptibility to misinformation.
- 2017 University of Limerick - PhD