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Affective polarization – partisans’ dislike and distrust of those from the other party – has reached historically high levels in the United States. While numerous studies estimate its effect on apolitical outcomes (e.g., dating and economic transactions), we know much less about its effects on political beliefs. We argue that those who exhibit high levels of affective polarization politicize ostensibly apolitical issues and actors. An experiment focused on responses to COVID-19 that relies on pre-pandemic, exogenous measures of affective polarization supports our expectations. Partisans who harbor high levels of animus towards the other party do not differentiate the “United States’” response to COVID-19 from that of the Trump administration. Less affectively polarized partisans, in contrast, do not politicize evaluations of the country’s response. Our results provide evidence of how affective polarization, apart from partisanship itself, shapes substantive beliefs. Affective polarization has political consequences and political beliefs stem, in part, from partisan animus.
There are a number of observed gender differences in the frequency of political discussion, perceived levels of expertise, and importantly, openness to persuasion. This article explores the consequences of these differences for political choices. Given the difficulty in separating influence from homophily with observational data, this paper relies on a group-based experiment. Results suggest that when selecting between candidates, women are more likely to accept information from others, even if the information in the signals is not helpful. Men, on the other hand, often ignore outside signals in favor of sticking with their own choices even when outside signals would be helpful to their decision-making. A reanalysis of a previously published experiment on social communication leads to similar gender differences.
An emerging consensus suggests that women are underrepresented in government because of biases in the recruitment process instead of biases at the ballot box. These results, however, are largely for legislative offices, and research suggests that “male” characteristics are generally associated with executive positions like the presidency. At the same time, some research demonstrates social desirability masks gender biases against women who seek the highest office in the land. We use the historic candidacy of Hillary Clinton to examine if she faces hidden biases in either the primaries or the general election. Two different methods for uncovering hidden biases embedded in national surveys demonstrate small hidden biases that are likely electorally inconsequential.
We introduce a novel approach to the synthesis of high-quality and highly uniform few-layer graphene on silicon wafers, based on solid source growth from epitaxial 3C-SiC films. Using a Ni/Cu catalytic alloy, we obtain a transfer-free bilayer graphene directly on Si(100) wafers, at temperatures potentially compatible with conventional semiconductor processing. The graphene covers uniformly a 2″ silicon wafer, with a Raman ID/IG band ratio as low as 0.5, indicative of a low defectivity material. The sheet resistance of the graphene is as low as 25 Ω/square, and its adhesion energy to the underlying substrate is substantially higher than transferred graphene. This work opens the avenue for the true wafer-level fabrication of microdevices comprising graphene functional layers. Specifically, we suggest that exceptional conduction qualifies this graphene as a metal replacement for MEMS and advanced on-chip interconnects with ultimate scalability.