Brian Calfano

Brian Calfano
University of Cincinnati | UC · Departments of Political Science and Journalism

PhD

About

93
Publications
3,236
Reads
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555
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2008 - July 2016
Missouri State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2007 - July 2008
Chatham University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2006 - July 2007
Texas A&M University
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (93)
Chapter
This chapter transitions to the consideration of how media professionals look at the contributions of academics in political coverage. We draw on the expertise of news directors and other media leaders across platforms and organizations to first assess what these leaders consider to be useful approaches to political news. We then transition to a se...
Chapter
This chapter builds on its predecessor by providing technical tips to readers in conducting video-based interviews. Our assumption is that, with the advent and increased use of video conferencing software during the COVID pandemic, media outlets will rely more frequently on these methods of featuring Professor Pundits from their homes, offices, hot...
Chapter
This chapter offers readers a broad overview of several literatures concerning media effects, the history of modern journalism, and the development of broadcast news (e.g., television). The chapter links the larger consideration of punditry and academic appearances across media to the academic study of how those in elite positions influence public...
Chapter
This chapter offers an empirical test of the Professor Pundit approach to political coverage. We used two survey embedded experiments on national population samples to test reaction to academics featured in television news coverage of political events. Our expectation is that audiences will have a generally positive impression of these academics wh...
Chapter
This chapter pivots to how academics can leverage their media work to facilitate more in-depth, and, we might suggest, accurate media coverage of the political challenges minority communities face. Here, Professor Pundits use not just their research expertise in media appearances, but (as we envision their role), can function as interlocutors that...
Chapter
This chapter brings academics into the consideration by discussing results from a national survey of professors asking about their relative frequency and type of media appearances. The results show that most academics are relatively infrequent media contributors, but that, over time, many garner a substantial degree of experience doing this work. A...
Chapter
The introductory chapter offers readers the book’s overview, including the perspective about punditry that makes the book unique. Specifically, we argue that academics, by virtue of their expertise and research, are positioned to offer insights on political and policy issues that provide value for audiences. In this way, academics can act as what w...
Chapter
This chapter is the first of two focused on professional tips for how Professor Pundits can effectively make media contributions, especially on screen (i.e., television, web videos, video versions of podcasts, etc.). The chapter provides practical tips about physicality, vocalization, and eye contact, as well as “inner dialogue” ideas on how to bri...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeTo test whether exposure to news images depicting law enforcement affects public attitudes toward the police.Method Participants drawn from a national online panel were randomly assigned to view one of three pictures that depicted a range of hostile to friendly police-civilian interactions (compared to a control group who saw no pictures). D...
Article
Despite debates about the "material militarization" of the police, relatively little information on mass public opinion about police weapons, equipment, and gear currently exists. We analyze data from a national, opt-in panel of survey participants to assess public opinion regarding police use of 10 different types of weapons and equipment for use...
Article
Objective We examine factors that explain differences in assessment of police performance among whites, African Americans, Asians, and Latinos, and utilize a subjective social position framework to better understand variation in poor police evaluations. The framework combines previously disparate explanations in the literature. Method Logit models...
Article
The impact of television news teases has not been explored from the standpoint of response to political positions featured in the tease taken by religious and business elites. We theorize that the novelty of these ostensibly nonpolitical elites offering their perspective in a news tease about a report on immigration and economic growth leads to inc...
Article
The endorser effects literature expects the public to be swayed by cues offered by trusted or liked sources. A useful question for political marketing scholars is whether inherently nonpartizan cues impact public willingness to access nonpartisan political information. We use two social media-based field experiments and two survey-embedded experime...
Book
This book considers the production of political media content from the perspective of academics who are increasingly asked to join the ranks of voices charged with informing the public. The work draws on the authors’ first-hand experience and relationships with media reporters, managers, producers, and academics offering their expertise to a wide a...
Article
Muslims in the United States are often constructed as anti-American and are perceived to have little engagement with politics. Moreover, Arab and Muslim identity is often conflated in the public mind. In this note, we introduce results from a randomized survey experiment conducted in three states with varying Muslim populations—Ohio, California, an...
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Full-text available
We assess the role of social signals about the appropriateness of women in leadership roles in either the political or religious domain. The relevant literature leads to expectations of a relatively clear effect on women’s efficacy levels when encountering social suggestions that women’s skills are better used in other ways. However, less certain i...
Chapter
Survey methodologists are familiar with the use of experiments to show how variations in question wording and survey design can affect people’s expressed opinions, but what does it mean when respondents’ answers do not significantly differ across experimental groups? In this chapter, we draw upon theory from sociology and political science to argue...
Article
Accusations of conspiracy are nothing new in American politics, but examples in which the government—usually cast as a key player in conspiracy theories—goes on record to corroborate that a conspiracy occurred are rare. I leveraged an experiment that randomly exposes both college-student and general-public subject pools to information about the 197...
Article
Public service announcements (PSAs) are key staples for broadcasters in fulfilling their Federal Communications Commission–mandated public interest mission, and the familiarity of the PSA format has helped motivate broadcaster attempts to monetize these short, community-focused messages. But relatively few studies have rigorously assessed the impac...
Article
Many U.S. cities pursue a “human relations” strategy in response to racial and ethnic group conflict. Reflective of Common Ingroup Identity theory, human relations practitioners emphasize a superordinate community identity among residents from different groups for the purpose of “bringing people together” in an effort to improve intergroup relation...
Article
Objectives This study explored the sociopolitical influence of controversies related to policing and “law and order” during the 2016 presidential campaign. Following incidences of social unrest sparked by lethal confrontations between police officers and people of color, Donald Trump condemned protesters and expressed unwavering support for the pol...
Article
What motivates clergy political attitudes and behavior? We investigate this using a questions‐as‐treatment randomized experiment focusing on Roman Catholic priests in the United States. Our results suggest substantial utility in using a question frame referencing the distinct institutional expectations that clergy regularly confront. Specifically,...
Book
Calfano provides an examination of the pressures faced by Muslims, often considered political and social outsiders in western nations, especially in the United States. Identity is a complex concept, especially when considering the role that group attachments play in affecting how one sees her/his role in the political environment of their country o...
Article
The use of field experiments in political science has become extensive, but the promise of conducting a randomized intervention in a “real world” setting also raises perils for researchers. Partnering with organizations to deliver a randomized intervention may be a cost effective route to data collection, but a long-distance partnership presents ce...
Article
With the election of Donald J. Trump as president, Muslim Americans may face the most pronounced threat to their collective political well-being in history. Unfortunately, while scholars have generated insights into the dynamics that affect members of this very diverse community in U.S. politics, assessment of Muslim Americans lags other religious...
Article
Political campaigns are often likened to a game typified by conflict. We consider whether using a conflict frame visually emphasizing the contested aspect of partisanship affects candidate support in the 2016 presidential election. Using a nationwide survey experiment (N = 975) that randomly assigns participants to different visual frames depicting...
Article
While American clergy have been understood as political actors in some capacity, the precise understanding of their representation has been debated. Some argue that clergy may be seen as fidei defensor, representing a particular set of values and beliefs to the world—a trustee model. Others see the potential for clergy to advocate for the interests...
Article
Scholars have generally found e-mail–based effects to be limited, despite suggestions from marketing consultants that techniques such as message personalization and emotion-based content make e-mail campaigns more successful. Key in e-mail personalization is the subject line. To my knowledge, however, no one has examined the direct effects of e-mai...
Article
Sexual victimization is a growing concern on college campuses. Although academic literature has examined the extent and perceived risk and fear of sexual assault at universities, studies focusing on college student attitudes about appropriate sex crime–related policies are severely limited. The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2000 requires post...
Article
“I” Does Not Mean Infallible: Pushing Back against Institutional Review Board Overreach - Volume 49 Issue 2 - Brian R. Calfano
Article
Affective Intelligence Theory (AIT) posits that individuals, when feeling anxious, abandon dispositions and activate their surveillance system to attend to available political information about the focus of their anxiety. However, it is not clear whether, and to what degree, people exercise discernment about the reliability of the information they...
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Full-text available
Though the degree of influence that US bishops have over Catholic parishioners is inconsistent, the institutional power bishops have over parish priests suggests that bishops enjoy reliable influence over their local subordinates. However, there are an array of competing influences over parish priests that, when made salient, might make priest reli...
Article
Muslims have arguably been the most consistently demonized group in American politics of the past decade, factoring heavily in Republican presidential and congressional politics since 2002. Opinions about Muslims have split the American electorate, and we investigate why. Our explanation focuses on interlocking institutions—party, religion, and med...
Article
Religious Rhetoric and American Politics: The Endurance of Civil Religion in Electoral Campaigns. By Christopher B. Chapp. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012. 192 pp., $39.95 cloth - Volume 8 Issue 2 - Brian Calfano
Chapter
This chapter examines the consequences of citizen exposure to “flaming and blaming” in online comments forums. Using an Internet-based experimental research design consisting of an array of media use, emotion, and group perception indicators, the chapter considers how exposure to flaming and blaming rhetoric influence an individual's media consumpt...
Article
Since the 1980s, scholars have come to appreciate the role clergy have in shaping the political attitudes and behaviour of the faithful. Through their leadership in self-selecting religious contexts, they are well positioned to translate religious values into political values. Given their potential as opinion leaders, this study investigates the dy...
Article
We assess clergy political activism dynamics using data from a national survey of Roman Catholic priests. Like their elite counterparts in interest groups and other secular political institutions, clergy encounter expectations and demands from competing principals when determining how to publicly act on key political issues. Building on insights fr...
Article
Field experimentation is a promising but seldom used method for studying the effects of media messages on political attitudes and behavior. The practical challenges of conducting media experiments in real-world settings often come down to securing cooperation from research partners, such as political campaigns. To do so, researchers must be prepare...
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Full-text available
What causes individuals to express patriotism? We argue that Americans’ symbolic patriotism stems in part from social influence, with norms in relevant identity groups influencing individuals’ patriotism levels. Given that Americans identify with multiple groups—national, racial, and religious, among others—many groups are potentially influential i...
Chapter
Political parties and religion are two key sources of social identity for the mass public (Cotter et al. 1984; McCormick 1986; Green, Palmquist, and Schickler 2002; Green 2007), so it is appropriate to consider their linkage within the American political system. But, more to the point of this chapter, it is useful to assess the extent to which part...
Article
Opinion about U.S. foreign intervention depends on both one’s belief about how the world works and those cognitively available value conceptions about how it should work. Consistent with social identity theory, we argue that values can shape social group boundaries and that these boundaries are analogous to the position of the U.S. in the world. Th...
Article
The US troop surge and awakening movements are the two factors most often associated with the decrease of violence in Iraq after 2006. However, these policies, including a distinction between the Anbar Awakening and later Sons of Iraq (SOI) program, did not occur simultaneously. To date, it also has not been made clear whether the surge, Anbar Awak...
Article
A persistent challenge for minority candidates is mitigating negative effects attributed to their unpopular group identity. This was precisely the case for Mitt Romney, a Mormon, as he sought and captured the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. We draw on existing public opinion data about the tepid reaction to Romney's Mormonism from within R...
Article
Recent research in the United States has found candidates for elected office are able to use a rhetorical form of closed-circuit communication with evangelical Protestants — “God Talk” — that communicates valuable political information without alerting other constituencies. Close observation of the 2010 parliamentary elections in the United Kingdom...
Article
The exploration of the religious underpinnings of intolerance has long focused on the effects of religious behaviors and beliefs, but has ignored a variety of important facets of the religious experience that should bear on tolerance judgments: elite communication, religious values about how the world should be ordered, and social networks in churc...
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Full-text available
Using data from a national survey of 465 American Muslims conducted just after the 2008 election season, the authors assess whether American Muslims are invested in the practices (political discussion, especially across lines of difference) and norms (tolerance) that many theorists suggest are crucial to the maintenance of liberal democracy. The au...
Article
In contrast to typical approaches that view religion as problematic or benign, thicker conceptions of religion's place in promoting and sustaining democratic politics are possible. This includes religious organizations modeling democratic practices and engaging in debate on common terms. We initiate this program of inquiry with data from a survey o...
Article
Clergy are political elites. This much is clear. However, direct evidence linking clergy behavior to political belief and action by religious publics has been elusive. This is actually not surprising given that clergy are often situated in complex institutional contexts with myriad group and interpersonal pressures to navigate on a regular basis. A...
Article
Religious appeals have been part and parcel of campaign strategy for decades. Most often, however, these appeals to have come from men, but little is known about how women would fare using religious appeals on the campaign trail. To remedy this, we used an experimental design to examine voter reaction to religious appeals from a female and a male c...
Chapter
The intersection of religious fundamentalism and political life among American Muslims is a complex one (to say the least). Aside from the historical challenges that American Muslims have faced as a fairly fractured immigrant community with pronounced ethnic and racial differences, Muslims have had to endure the difficulties associated with life in...
Article
Studies of clergy political behavior have used one of two empirical lenses to explain clergy actions—ideology and contextual influences. The first lens generally supposes that clergy behave according to their sincerely held preferences; the second takes personal ideology into account, but suggests that clergy are also subject to influence from the...
Article
Though the behavior of American congregational clergy has long received scholarly attention, a similar assessment of those in the denominational bureaucracy has languished I begin to remedy this by testing the usefulness of two dominant theoretical lenses that have proven successful in understanding clergy activity at the congregational level. The...
Article
In this article, I examine whether a constituency's political brand—defined here as the reputation that white evangelicals and Catholics have for “pro-life” abortion policy—influences the public abortion position taken by members in six U.S. state Houses of Representatives. At issue is whether constituent political brand functions as a non-interest...
Article
Objective. I examine the degree to which U.S. clergy might be considered utility maximizers in determining whether to undertake political behavior among their parishioners. Specifically, I investigate whether mainline Protestant clergy elect not to engage in political activities due to a general concern that their behavior might lead to a downturn...
Article
Given its historical and contemporary importance, it is noteworthy that the relevant literature generally overlooks the role that religion and its accompanying values play in determining support for black candidates. In addressing this question, we review the historical and theological bases of evangelical attitudes toward blacks. We then present e...
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Full-text available
It was revealed in 2006 that Republican candidates employ a type of religious code in their political speeches. Their intention is to cue the support of religiously conservative voters without alienating other voters who may not share the same social issue agenda. We assess the efficacy of this GOP Code on the support of voters in specific religiou...
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Full-text available
While our intuition is that religious elites influence the political behavior of their audiences, just how that influence takes place is essentially unknown. Among many possible mechanisms, we investigate a new one: the effects of the decision-making process information that is included in elite statements. We believe that “process cues” parallelin...
Article
Objective. Though constituent reference groups have been shown to impact clergy political behavior, studies have largely cast group influence as a fixed effect. In an update of how specific constituent groups may affect clergy political speech, I assess whether clergy intentionally select cues from specific constituencies in determining whether to...
Article
Objective. We determine the conditions that account for change in the realized level of political rights and civil liberties within the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Methods. We use ordered logit to assess the impact of religious pluralism and fragmentation and related controls on changes in Freedom House Political Rights and Civil...
Article
The collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War have been accompanied by the spread of democracy, advancement in human rights, and the introduction of market reforms throughout the world. The Middle East has been no exception to this trend. There, in response to mounting economic crises and domestic pressures, several governments introduced d...
Article
In recent decades, homosexuality has emerged as a truly national political issue. As a result, the U.S. Congress is increasingly called upon to consider and set policy on an array of issues related to the status of gay men and lesbians. This article investigates legislator decision making pertaining to gay issues in the U.S. House of Representative...
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span style="font-size: 100%; font-family: Arial; color: #000000;" data-sheets-value="{"1":2,"2":"I use two maximum likelihood models to assess whether the density of Roman Catholics and white evangelicals in state legislative districts significantly increases the likelihood that state House representatives hold the \u201cpro-life\u201d position on...
Article
Recent events have drawn attention to Muslim Americans, in particular whether Islam is compatible with American values. Muslim Americans’ fidelity to the U.S. in particular has been called into question. Drawing on a national survey-experiment of Muslim Americans, we explore the impact of social norms on Muslim Americans’ patriotism. We examine the...
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,,,,,, Abstract Can religious elites be considered rational actors? Though personal preferences continue

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We conducted a survey experiment to test how exposure to pictures of police-civilian interactions affect public opinion about police and the government. We randomly exposed participants to see a picture designed to represent militarized policing, community policing, or stop-and-frisk. Our dependent variables included perceptions of police efficacy, bias, and misconduct; support for police weapons and gear; and 2016 presidential vote preference. The confrontations between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri sparked the idea for this project.