Department of Political Science
University of Mississippi
237 Deupree Hall
University, MS 38677
Welcome! I am an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Mississippi.
I use large, frequently updated data sets, including text to measure and gain insight into the decision making of American political elites.
I utilize speech directed from political elites through public, targeted, and personal media. My published work and working papers draw from public speech such as the Congressional Record and U.S. Supreme Court opinions, targeted speech such as the emails sent by U.S. Presidents to their most ardent supporters, and personal speech such as text gleaned from open ended responses in elite surveys.
I also use data produced on a continuing basis by the U.S. federal government to generate raters of regulatory significance as rules are prepared by rulemaking agencies.
I am interested in understanding the psychology and decision making of elites. I apply supervised machine learning models trained on survey data to measure variations in elites' underlying psychological dispositions, which shape the utility they gain from many outcomes. I also use unsupervised methods trained on public and targeted communication to uncover and measure the action sets politicians define for themselves.
My publications and projects focus on political elites within the American system, primarily presidents, and federal legislators, justices, and bureaucratic agencies.