CASBS Fellows 2013-14

Economics
Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study

During his fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, economist Ali Ahmed will focus on addressing research questions related to economics of sexual orientation. While most of his research is in the field of economics of discrimination, he also studies behavioral economics, labor economics, and economics of religion.

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Public Health
University of California, San Francisco

Paul Blanc continues his research on the viscose rayon industry and occupational disease.  He says the material is linked to widespread, often lethal disease among workers and environmental degradation. Yet, “Rayon is even marketed as a renewable green product,” he says, “because carbon disulfide is mixed with cellulose, a renewable resource.”

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Sociology
University of Michigan

Elizabeth Bruch plans to explore mate search strategies and mate choice behavior on online dating sites. She writes, “One central focus for me is how search strategies and contact behavior differs across dating markets … and also how people learn who is in their ‘league’ based on their interactions on the site.”

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Psychology
Cornell University

While at CASBS, experimental psychologist David Dunning plans to work on a book examining the personal to societal implications of ignorance.  He says he is particularly interested in “the fact that people largely fail to know where their knowledge and expertise end – and their ignorance begins.”

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Sociology
Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Cynthia Fuchs Epstein returns to the Center for a third fellowship to work on the upcoming book, The Difficulty of Doing Good: Law Students’ Commitment to Careers in the Public Interest. Her work looks at the use of categories and distinctions in social life, with a focus on their impact on women and minorities.

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Philosophy
University of Illinois at Chicago

Sam Fleischacker plans to use his time at CASBS to examine a series of philosophical issues raised by the Israel/Palestine conflict. He’s particularly interested in the notion of peoplehood, the link (if any) between peoplehood and territory, and the question of whether states should represent or foster a people’s identity.

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Education
University of California, Berkeley

Returning Fellow Sarah Freedman will conduct data analysis and write about a five-year research project, The Development of Ethical Civic Actors in Divided Societies: Northern Ireland, South Africa, and the United States. Of her work she says, “I am interested in linguistic analyses that provide windows into how varied students think about civic participation.”

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Anthropology
Indiana University

During her time at the Center, cultural anthropologist Ilana Gershon is studying how people agree upon ethical standards when using new media in the course of hiring and firing. Her previous work explored why Samoan migrants experience different ways of being culture-bearers in New Zealand and the United States.”

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Public Health
Oregon Health and Science

Returning Fellow Mitch Greenlick will work on a book on the Oregon Legislature. From the time of his swearing-in, he recorded his reactions to the Legislature, forming a body of work spanning six legislative sessions; over time, perspective emerges from that of a minority freshman to that of a senior committee chair in the majority.

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Sociology
New York University

Returning Fellow Barbara Heyns studies the sociology of education, social stratification, sociology of childhood, social policy, adolescence and the life cycle, and quantitative methodology.

 

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Psychology
University of California, Berkeley

Sheri Johnson’s research focus during her CASBS year is psychobiological triggers of mania. “I like that my work bridges many different paradigms to help understand why people with bipolar disorder develop symptoms on a given day,” she says. “I also really love the process of working with collaborators and with students to develop ideas.”

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Psychology
Rutgers University

Lee Jussim’s research looks at the relationships between social perception and social reality. His primary interests are interpersonal processes, judgment and decision-making, prejudice and stereotyping, self and identity, and social cognition.

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Psychology
Stanford University

Returning Fellow and social psychologist Jon Krosnick’s top priority for his Fellowship year is to finish his book reviewing 100 years of research on how to design questionnaires optimally. He researches attitude formation, change, and survey research methods. For 15 years, he has researched the American public’s views of global warming.

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Sociology
University of California, Los Angeles

In research for her upcoming book, Ching Kwan Lee poses the question, “what is the peculiarity of Chinese capital in Africa?” In order to identify what is Chinese (not just capitalist), she compares Chinese and non-Chinese foreign investors in two core economic sectors in Zambia: copper mining and construction. Of her research, she says, “As China in Africa assumes epochal significance, I hope this project will appeal to a global and concerned public.”

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Linguistics
University of California, San Diego

Through study at the intersection of linguistics, cognitive science, and game theory, Roger Levy hopes his work will help us better understand how speakers and listeners are able to reason about each other to achieve effective communication. He will also study the language of children to better understand how language learning takes place.

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Economics
Stanford University

Returning Fellow Petra Moser’s research at CASBS will examine the effects of copyright policies: Do stronger copyright terms increase the price of books? And how do stronger copyright terms influence diffusion?

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Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health
Faculty of Medicine McGill University

Heather Munroe-Blum will focus on how public policy in science and education contribute to a nation’s social and economic success within the larger global context – with particular attention to young people.  It’s a natural extension of her work advising governments on the role that progressive, evidence-based public policy plays in enriching society and international competitiveness.

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History
Brown University

Ethan Pollock’s current research project tells the history of the Russian bathhouse (bania) in order to gain new perspectives on Russian identity, traditional and modern notions of health and hygiene, and the evolution of ideas about community and sociability. It is under contract with Oxford University Press.

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Psychology
Penn State University

Nilam Ram plans to write about how real-time assessments and analytics can empower people to use data about their own behavioral patterns in order to make changes that will help them have a better life. These “personalized interventions … can be deployed at population scale,” he says.

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Communication
Stanford University

In his scholarship, Byron Reeves balances academic pursuit and business entrepreneurship. One area of focus is psychological processing of media in the areas of attention, emotions, learning, and physiological responses. He is working on the application of multi-player game technology to behavior change and the conduct of serious work.

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Political Science
University of Southern California

Alison Renteln’s research project focuses on various public policy incentives for civic engagement. “As part of this study, I will undertake comparative analyses of Good and Bad Samaritan laws and mandatory voting systems,” she says. “I am particularly interested in cross-disciplinary scholarship on empathy as it relates to political participation and humanitarian assistance.”

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Anthropology
Princeton University

Anthropology Fellow Lawrence Rosen will work on his latest book, Drawn From Memory: Arab Lives Unremembered, a study of the intellectual lives of four ordinary Moroccans he has known many years. It analyzes the concept of memory in settings of the history, rural and urban development, religious, and ethnic relationships of the country.

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Psychiatry
Harvard University

Returning Fellow Albert Rothenberg is studying the development of creativity and creative thinking during adolescence.  It’s an extension of Studies in the Creative Process, a project where he serves as principal investigator and which has carried out research on creativity in literature, art, psychotherapy, and science.

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Communication
University of California, San Diego

Natalia Roudakova’s work bridges cultural anthropology to political communication and comparative media studies. She notes, “Although there is some tradition of ethnography in journalism studies, anthropologists have not played much of a role in the field of political communication.” Her research addresses that gap.

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History
Boston University

Bruce J. Schulman’s CASBS project, “‘Are We A Nation?’: The Birth of the Modern United States,” explores the transformation of American nationhood between 1896 and 1929--the era in which the United States emerged as a world power, international economic leader, and reservoir for displaced persons from around the globe.

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History
Stanford University

Peter Stansky’s scholarly aim is to better understand Britain, mostly in the areas where culture, literature, art, and politics meet, as in his collection of essays, From William Morris to Sergeant Pepper. His current project is a study of Edward Upward, the least-known member of the group who gathered around W. H. Auden.

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Linguistics
Ohio State University

Judith Tonhauser’s project, Content and context in the study of meaning variation, is based on the idea that human languages may differ in their morphological inventories and syntactic structures, but nevertheless convey comparable meanings.

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Law
University of California, Berkeley

Molly Van Houweling’s research focuses on copyright law's implications for new information technologies, and vice versa. One strand of her research explores how legal rules, designed to regulate sophisticated commercial interests, affect unsophisticated individuals empowered by information technology. She is currently working on a book, tentatively entitled Property's Intellect.

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Political Science
University of California, Berkeley

Robert Van Houweling plans to complete a book about political repositioning. It focuses on how voters react when politicians change their policy positions, and in turn, considers the impact voters' reactions have on candidate strategies. He has on-the-ground experience as well, having served as a legislative assistant to Senator Thomas Daschle.

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Psychology
Washington University

While at CASBS, Simine Vazire will work on research related to self-knowledge, exploring these questions: How well do we know ourselves? How can we improve self-knowledge? And what are the consequences of poor self-knowledge? She will also be working on research methodology: How can we improve research practices in psychology? What are some common pitfalls researchers run into?

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Political Science
Duke University

Political scientist Michael D. Ward’s primary interests are in international relations (spanning democratization, globalization, international commerce, military spending, as well as international conflict and cooperation), political geography, as well as mathematical and statistical methods.

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Sociology
Cornell University

Medical sociologist Elaine Wethington plans to work on a book about the potential for translational sociology, focusing on the sociology of mental health and illness and the life course. Her research interests are in the areas of stress, protective mechanisms of social support, aging and the life course, and translational research methods.

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Political Science
Duke University

Political scientist Erik Wibbels’s CASBS project aims to develop innovative approaches to understand why the quality of governance varies across the geography of countries—why, for instance, central authorities in places like Afghanistan and Mexico are able to govern some parts of their countries but not others.

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Science and Technology Studies
Oxford University

Sociologist Steve Woolgar’s main current research projects include mundane governance, the social dynamics of provocation, and the utility of radical academic ideas for business and management. He is interested in technology and organizational change, branding and brand development, the rise of ethics, and visualization and evidence in eScience.

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