Dane Wendell

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Illinois College

Dane Wendell is a Ph.D. in Political Science studying political behavior, political psychology, and biology of politics.

Rhodes College Student Research Symposium 2016

A student at Rhodes College and I have been working through some of our original research on how parent-child relationships may affect political conversation.

Some details:

  • The Y-axis is "How comfortable are you discussing politics with parent?"
  • X-axis is whether you have congruent (the same) politics as that parent, or incongruent.
  • Both participant ideology and parents ideology are self-reported nominal categories by the participant (Liberal, Moderate, Conservative, Libertarian, Socialist, Other).

So it looks like the relationship is broadly that incongruent politics decreases "comfort talking about politics" but sons and mothers have a unique pattern of no correlation. Son and mother "comfort" is not affected by politics.

Also, not pictured here, these trends are the same with a Y-axis of general, non-political "I feel close to my Dad/Mom"... daughters and fathers with incongruent political beliefs lose an entire point in "closeness" but moms and sons suffer no difference whatsoever.

Go/No-Go Task and Political Ideology

This is just a sample of some brain data from the dissertation.

Code below. Had to relearn how to use geom_vline.

a <- ggplot(df2, aes(x = time, y = erp, color = self_id_avg))
a + geom_line(size = 1.5) + 
  geom_vline(xintercept = 0, alpha = 0.35) +
  geom_hline(yintercept = 0, alpha = 0.35) +
  scale_color_manual(values = c("dodgerblue","firebrick1"),
                     name = "", labels = c("liberal","conservative")) + 
  theme_bw(base_size = 16) + 
  theme(legend.position=c(0.8, 0.9)) + 
  scale_y_reverse(limits = c(5, -10)) + 
  scale_x_continuous(breaks=seq(-400, 400, by=100), limits = c(-400,400)) + 
  annotate("text", label = "* Differences not significant", x = 275, y = -6, size = 4) +
  labs(title = "No relationship between self-reported political ideology 
       and error related negativity on the Go/No-Go task",
       y = "Amplitude of average event-related potential (μV)",
       x = "Time (in milliseconds)")

Colleges as "Easter Eggs"

Mr. Davis came to understand this all too well. As the investigators wrote in their final report, Mr. Davis “found Chapel Hill’s attitude toward student-athlete academics to be like an ‘Easter egg,’ beautiful and impressive to the outside world, but without much life inside.”

Most colleges, presumably, aren’t harboring in-house credit mills. Yet in its underlying design, organizational values and daily operations, North Carolina is no different from most other colleges and universities. These organizations are not coherent academic enterprises with consistent standards of classroom excellence. When it comes to exerting influence over teaching and learning, they’re Easter eggs. They barely exist.

A pretty interesting read.

Disgust sensitivity and GMO and Anti-vax attitudes

This comes from our work on disgust sensitivity and "health purity attitudes." Probably landing on a blog post at sometime in the future.

R code, made with ggplot2 package
# Plot 1: Study 1, DS and GMO corrstats <- cor.test(study1$DS, study1$GMO) p <- round(corrstats$p.value, 3) r <- round(corr_stats$estimate, 2) n <- nrow(study1)

plotTitle <- paste0("Study 1: Pathogen Disgust Sensitivity\n Positively Correlated with Opposition to GM Foods\n (n = ",n,")\n\n r = ", r, ", p = ", p)
ggplot(study1, aes(x = DS, y = GMO)) + 
  geom_jitter(alpha = 0.5) + 
  geom_smooth(method = "lm", color = "black") + 
  scale_y_continuous(breaks = 1:7) +
  xlab("\nPathogen Disgust Sensitivity") +
  ylab("Opposition to GM Food\n") + 
  ggtitle(plotTitle) +