People

Lab Directors

John Hibbing and Kevin Smith

John Hibbing

John R. Hibbing

Foundation Regents University Professor of Political Science

Ph.D, University of Iowa, 1980

Hibbing C.V.
jhibbing@unl.edu

Fields: Biology and Politics, Political Psychology, Public Opinion, American Politics, Legislative Politics.

For nearly 20 years, John Hibbing studied Congress, congressional careers, congressional elections, comparative legislatures, and public opinion toward Congress. About a decade ago, he and John Alford (Rice University) began investigating the role of biological factors in explaining political variation. They were soon joined by Kevin Smith.

Currently, they are engaged in projects involving the effects of cortisol levels on voter turnout, the effects of Androstenone detection on political attitudes, physiological variations as correlates of political ideology and involvement, variation across the political spectrum in cognitive tasks such as the flanker task, frustration task, and emotion discrimination task, gaze cuing, eyetracking technology, physiological responses to aversive stimuli, twin studies in the United States, Denmark, and Australia, cross-national physiology, brain imaging (both EEG and fMRI), molecular genetics, and economic games.

He previously edited the Legislative Studies Quarterly, served as Chair of the American Political Science Association's Legislative Studies Section, co-authored Congress as Public Enemy and Stealth Democracy (with Elizabeth Theiss-Morse), received the Fenno Prize, and served as a NATO Fellow in Science, a Senior Fulbright Fellow, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind, and a Velux Senior Resarch Fellow at Sydansk University in Denmark.

Kevin Smith

Kevin B. Smith

Professor of Political Science

Ph.D, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1994

Smith C.V.
ksmith1@unl.edu
Personal website

Fields: Public policy, Public Administration, American Politics, Biology and Politics

Kevin Smith spent more than a decade studying public policy, public administration and bureaucratic behavior. About ten years ago he became interested in the biological basis of attitudes and behavior, especially in how the theories and methods of cognitive psychology, behavioral genetics, and psychophysiology might be employed to better understand political traits. For most of that time he has closely collaborated with John Hibbing (see above) and John Alford (Rice University) on a range of research projects that investigate biological correlates of political, social and economic behavior and attitudes.

The latter include serving as Co-PI on project to create the first-ever data set specifically designed to investigate the heritability of political, social and economic traits (available on this website), co-founding the UNL Political Physiology Lab, and being a Co-PI on the Human Social Dynamics (HSD) project, an NSF-funded project that is the first attempt to investigate a comprehensive set of biological markers of political behavior (genes, physiology, endocrinology, brain imaging) on a representative sample of adult citizens.

He has authored or co-authored nine books as well as dozens of journal articles and book chapters. He has served as co-editor of State Politics & Policy Quarterly, was a long-time director of the UNL Political Science Graduate Program, chairs UNL's Systems Biology of Social Behavior initiative, and is a recent recipient of the College of Arts and Science's Outstanding Research and Creative Achievement award.  

Graduate Students

Several current graduate students have focused a significant portion of their energies on research associated with the Political Physiology Lab.

Stephen Schneider

Stephen Schneider

Ph.D Student

Fields: American Politics, Political Psychology, Biology and Politics

I am interested in numerous things. Where do I start? Currently, I am interested in political attitudes, beliefs, and ideology, and how these relate to biology. Previously, and on any given day, I am curious about group dynamics and gender. If you would like to see me salivate like one of Pavlov’s dogs, mention how any of my research interests are related to endocrinology. 

stphnschndr@gmail.com

Clarisse

Clarisse Warren

Ph.D Student

Fields: American Politics, Political Psychology, Biology and Politics

 

Samamtha Lauf Koehler

Ph.D Student

Kyle Hull

Kyle Hull

Ph.D Student

Fields: Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Psychology, Disability Rights

Ernest Dupree

Ernest Dupree III

Ph.D Student

Fields: Political Psychology, American Government, Biopolitics

Alison O'Toole

Alison O'Toole

Ph.D Student

Fields: Public Policy, International Relations/Security, Immigration

 

Samamtha Weiner

Ph.D Student