Graduate students Chelsea Coe, Kayla Canelo, and Kau Vue, along with Profs. Matthew Hibbing and Stephen Nicholson, have just had their paper "The Physiology of Framing Effects" published in the Journal of Politics. Congratulations to all!
The paper argues that framing effects - a commonly studied behavioral phenomenon in which elites shape political issues in the media and beyond - may be conditioned by individuals' physiological predispositions. In particular, the paper addresses the possibility that physiological threat sensitivity may moderate how individuals respond to frames that invoke physical danger. To test this claim, the paper replicates and extends a classic framing experiment about political tolerance and the Ku Klux Klan, showing that those high in physiological threat sensitivity are indeed more susceptible to the frame.