Participants: Bryan Caplan, Eric Dickson, Kristina Hoke, Howard Lavine, Jeff Merritt
Whether it's a paper, electronic, or absentee ballot, we take protective measures to ensure that each individual can cast his vote in private. One of the pillars of our democracy is that every voter has the right to make an independent-minded decision, yet even in the absence of overt political dialogue, membership to specific political and social groups alters our political attitudes and subsequent actions. This roundtable discussion will examine the effects of crowd psychology and identity on the individual. How and why are our personal political beliefs influenced by the groups to which we belong?
Following the roundtable, audience memebers are invited to watch a live broadcast of the third presidential debate at 9pm.
Bryan Caplan is an Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He is the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies, named "the best political book this year" by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. His articles have been published in the American Economic Review, The Economic Journal, The Journal of Law and Economics, and many other outlets. He blogs for EconLog.
Eric Dickson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and the Center for Experimental Social Science at New York University. His research applies game-theoretic and psychological approaches to the study of elections, political communication, ethnic politics, and political violence. He is also interested in the evolutionary foundations of social judgment formation and decision making. His recent work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, and Journal of Theoretical Biology.
Kristina Hoke recently finished her second term as President of the Manhattan Young Democrats, a group dedicated to the education and empowerment of young progressive-minded New Yorkers. She is currently in her final year of medical training in the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program in New York City, after which she will pursue residency training in Psychiatry.
Howard Lavine is Associate Professor of Political Science and Psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is editor of the journal Political Psychology, past president of the Political Psychology Section of the American Political Science Association, and editor of a forthcoming four-volume collection of Master Works in Political Psychology. In 2004, Lavine received the Erik H. Erikson Early Career Award for Research Achievement from the International Society of Political Psychology. He as published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, among others.
Jeff Merritt is the founder of Grassroots Initiative, the nation's first and only non-profit election consulting firm. Prior to starting Grassroots Initiative in 2005, Mr. Merritt served as the Executive Director of the Center for Civic Responsibility. He has also worked with U.S. Department of State and USAID-funded democratization programs in Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, and East Timor. Mr. Merritt holds a Master's degree in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan.