Office: PLS 300
Education: Ph.D., University of Michigan; B.A., Grinnell College
Areas of Specialization: Public policy, race, public opinion, political behavior, politics of inequality
Spencer Piston is an Assistant Professor of Political Science. His research has been published or accepted for publication in leading political science journals, including The Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior, Political Communication, and Political Psychology. He was named a Distinguished Junior Scholar by the Political Psychology Section of the American Political Science Association.
His research examines the influence of attitudes about social groups, with particular attention to racial and class groups, on public opinion and political behavior. He conducts survey research, often experimental. He has two primary strands of scholarship. The first is a series of articles examining the conditions under which racial prejudice influences policy opinion and electoral behavior. The second, a book project based on his dissertation, assesses American reactions to economic inequality. The dissertation, which was completed at the University of Michigan in August 2014, was co-chaired by Vince Hutchings and Skip Lupia, and Don Kinder, Rob Mickey, and Mary Corcoran also served on the committee.