Elizabeth C. Connors

About Me

I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of South Carolina and received my PhD from Stony Brook University in 2019.

Broadly speaking, I study political behavior in American politics. My research has looked at how political beliefs shape people's reactions to political messaging and the political environment—examining how partisanship influences the effectiveness of political value rhetoric, how political predispositions overrode the effects of issue framing and source cues in the beginning stages of COVID-19, how prejudice and immigrant characteristics shape immigration support, and how candidate support (or lack thereof) influences partisanship as well as reactions to election predictions in determining turnout.

I am especially interested in how the social world intersects with the political world. I have investigated this in a few ways. First, I have examined how people’s desire to present themselves well to others shapes people’s political expressions—looking at how this can influence their reported political attitudes, political values, affective polarization, partisan attachment, and civic engagement. Second, I have researched how dynamics of interpersonal political interactions can influence people’s political attitudes and behavior—examining how motivations, gender, tone, expectations of conflict, and confidence influence the occurrence, processes, and outcomes of social communication about politics.

Third, I have examined how general interpersonal interactions are shaped by—and shape—politics, looking at how political anger decreases social interactions between partisans, how often and under what circumstances people sever social ties due to politics, and how group perceptions and social networks shape feminist affiliation. Lastly, I am in the beginning stages of work looking at the strength of social over media influence in politics, focusing on how trust differentials shape the incorporation of political information.

I am a University of South Carolina McCausland Fellow, and my work has received multiple awards from the American Political Science Association and has been funded by university grants, Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences, and the Institute for Humane Studies. It has also been published by Cambridge University Press, the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior, Political Science Research and Methods, and the Journal of Experimental Political Science.

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