[gov3009-l] Baum on "Political Scandal, Gender, and Tabloid News"

Matt Blackwell mblackwell at iq.harvard.edu
Mon Feb 1 14:05:41 EST 2010


We are happy to announce that we will have Matthew Baum of the Harvard
Kennedy School at the Applied Statistics workshop this Wednesday,
February 3rd at 12 noon. The title of the talk is "Political Scandal,
Gender, and Tabloid News: An Experimental Examination of the
Evolutionary Origins of Consumer Preferences for Scandalous News."
Matt has passed along the following abstract for the talk.

Building on recent work in evolutionary psychology, we predict
substantial gender- and self-image-related differences in demand for
scandalous political news. We argue that individuals’ relative
attractiveness can alter their motivation to seek information about
potential sexual competitors and mates, even when those figures are
“virtual”—appearing in mass media. We test our hypotheses using
national survey data, as well as experiments on student and
nationally-representative population samples. We find strong
correlations between respondents’ self-image and their likelihood of
seeking and distributing positive or negative information about
“virtual” competitors and mates.

The Applied Statistics workshop meets in room K354 of CGIS Knafel
(1737 Cambridge St) at 12 noon on Wednesdays. A light lunch will be
provided. We hope you can make it.


Matthew Blackwell
PhD Candidate
Institute for Quantitative Social Science
Department of Government
Harvard University
email: mblackwell at iq.harvard.edu
url: http://people.fas.harvard.edu/~blackwel/

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