Jason Gainous

Jason Gainous
University of Louisville | UL · Department of Political Science

Ph.D. University of Florida

About

78
Publications
27,731
Reads
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1,419
Citations
Citations since 2017
22 Research Items
972 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Additional affiliations
August 2006 - present
University of Louisville
Education
August 2000 - August 2005
University of Florida
Field of study
  • Political Science
August 1998 - May 2000
Florida Atlantic University
Field of study
  • Political Science

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
Communication research has extensively addressed the influence of social media on protest. We seek to add to this body of research by examining how sentiment contained in Twitter communication about protest can condition the public reach of this communication. Specifically, we are interested in whether Twitter communication couched in negative sent...
Article
We investigate to what extent partisan political candidates in the United States pay attention to different issues in their campaign communication, and whether they systematically deliver messages using different types of sentiment. We analyze the 267,538 tweets issued by candidates for the U.S. Congress during the 2018 midterm elections using a co...
Article
Research suggests that framing climate change as a national security issue can shape opinion about climate change. This research is less clear about what exactly constitutes a “national security frame” and what aspects of this frame are most persuasive. We use a survey experiment to compare the relative effects of three types of national security f...
Article
Academia, in much of the world, has long been disproportionately populated by men. This pattern, at least in the social sciences, may be changing. We explore the shifting gender gap in political science in Kazakhstan, and then set out to explore potential determinants of the changes as well as the resulting employment patterns. We use time-series d...
Article
Objective As the coronavirus pandemic raged throughout 2020, political leaders faced a difficult choice: Should strict social distancing guidelines be maintained until the threat posed by COVID-19 was diminished enough for citizens to return to their regular activities? Or was the economic disruption caused by the pandemic something that was, accor...
Article
There is a considerable body of research suggesting that social media may be a primary vehicle for both the dissemination of politically dissident information and for organizing protest activity in contexts of weak governance. Researchers are beginning to focus on building a more nuanced understanding of how new media shape these processes. Using o...
Article
Objective A significant portion ofthe American public does not accept the current overwhelming scientific consensus about the anthropogenic causality of climate change. This issue has been politicized and is now highly partisan. Because the military is the most trusted public institution in the United States, and the Environmental Protection Agency...
Article
Passive online media use refers to the act of merely reading and observing political information on a users’ feed. Alternatively, active use refers to the conscious decision to share information, comment, challenge, fact check, or engage in related activity. We argue that these types of social media use have fundamentally different relationships to...
Article
Objective Recent research suggests that many American voters use candidate accents as an evaluative heuristic. We build on this research by examining whether this effect is conditional on the partisan positions of the candidate and across participant party identification. Methods We designed an experiment using actors to record candidate stump spe...
Article
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Objective Research suggests that voters rely on cognitive heuristics to simplify the evaluative process. Such heuristics include candidate race and other visible characteristics. We set out to test whether Americans use Latino ethnicity as a heuristic to evaluate candidates, and whether the darkness of Latino candidates’ skin tone influences these...
Article
We use the concepts of value framing, frame salience, and political targeting to examine variation in the application of values to gay rights opinions among Black and White Americans. Our argument is that value application fluctuates across race as the salience of equality and morality value frames shifts over time. We employ a print news content a...
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The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. The gender dummy variable was mistakenly coded in reverse order. The interpretation treated it as (0 = Male, 1 = Female), while the actual coding was (0 = Female, 1 = Male). This had no influence on the substantive results for all other variables. The sign on the coefficients f...
Article
We use original survey data from China to examine gender differences in exposure to, and the exchange of, information critical of their respective governments via the Internet and social media. Existing research suggests that men, generally, tend to be more politically engaged than women. We set out to test whether this extended to dissident politi...
Article
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We use original survey data from Malaysia to explore differences in how traditional and digital media shape the attitudes and behavior of citizens. In closed, and even semi-authoritarian, states such as Malaysia, the Internet, including social media, is often the only place for opposition-centered media to thrive. As a result, consumption of Intern...
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Purpose Early information technology scholarship centered on the internet’s potential to be a democratizing force was often framed using an equalization/normalization lens arguing that either the internet was going to be an equalizing force bringing power to the masses, or it was going to be normalized into the existing power structure. The purpos...
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In political regimes where traditional mass media are under state control, social networking sites may be the only place where citizens are exposed to and exchange dissident information. Despite all the attempts, complete control of social media seems to be implausible. We argue that the critical information that people see, read and share online u...
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Partisan elites justify policy positions by invoking underlying values, and political parties are associated with value reputations that connect particular values to specific policy positions. Value recruitment theory explains the relationship between value framing and policy positions. Newspaper content analysis and statistical analysis of survey...
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Digital information consumption has a positive effect on external political efficacy in that the Internet provides factual support for the belief that governments are responsive to the demands of citizens. The existence of the digital forum creates the perception of greater openness and transparency. This effect is likely conditional on institution...
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The ability of authoritarian regimes to maintain power hinges, in part, on how well they are able to manipulate the flow of information to the masses. While authoritarian states have had success controlling traditional media, the growth of social media over the last decade has created new challenges for such regimes. The Russian experience offers a...
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This study synthesizes two theoretical literatures to explain gender differences in Twitter usage and effectiveness among US Congressional candidates. The first suggests that candidates in perceived disadvantaged positions, females in this case, innovate to improve their chances of success, and the second, that female politicians often adopt stereo...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to theorize the heightened exposure to information via the internet can lead citizens to be more critical about political conditions in their countries because using social media increases the likelihood of being exposed to dissident information. Further, the authors argue that the degree to which information is...
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Recent research has found that civic education improves the democratic capacity of students and that teachers who employ an ‘open classroom’ approach seem to perform better at accomplishing this goal. We build on behavioural literature suggesting that variation in personality traits across ideology may account for why liberal middle school teachers...
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Public opinion about gay rights is often shaped by egalitarian values. While the extant literature has suggested that African Americans’ value structure tends to be very egalitarian, many popular media accounts as well as some scholarly research indicate that Blacks have, at times, opposed gay rights. We assert that when the media frame gay rights...
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Objectives: We analyze differences in how men and women in Latin American countries are utilizing the Internet to identify a possible regional gendered digital divide in Internet use. The extent, degree, and implications of this gender digital divide are explored across countries with varying degrees of digital freedom. Methods: We employ a series...
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There is a debate in the extant literature concerning whether the Internet stimulates political participation. We examine both whether Internet use encourages traditional participation such as campaign and election centered acts, and non-traditional participation, including protest/resistance centered acts in the East Asian context. In doing so, we...
Conference Paper
Studies show that going negative does not always work in political campaigns, and yet candidates and consultants are rational people whose experience has persuaded them that it can be a winning strategy under the right circumstances. As scholars continue to explore what those circumstances might be, recent work by Lavine, Johnston, and Steenbergen...
Article
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Objectives In recent years, political scientists have found that civic education improves the democratic capacity of students, yet little research has been done to date on how and why civic education works when it does. In this study, we go inside the classroom to explore how teachers teach civics to find out what works best at preparing young peop...
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We use survey data from 2006–2007 to explore the implications of Internet use on political opinion in the Middle East, arguing that the Internet has had an equalizing effect when government filtering is low. Specifically, the findings indicate that Internet use had a positive effect on political knowledge, political participation, and attitudes abo...
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There is a growing literature that examines the effects of the Internet on political participation. We seek to contribute to this literature by exploring how online social networking may stimulate online political participation. Using survey data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, we confirm a strong positive relationship and show that...
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Online social networking sites are rapidly becoming a central component of the modern political campaign. We build a theoretical framework to explain how and why state party organizations are incorporating social networking sites-Facebook in particular-into their strategy to support their candidates. After offering some descriptive evidence doc...
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Some contend that Whites’ application of values to form opinions about race-conscious policy may constitute a subtle form of racism. Others challenge the new racism thesis, suggesting that racism and values are exclusive in their influence. Proponents of the thesis assert that many Whites’ attitudes about such policy are structured by a mix of raci...
Article
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Past research has explored the effectiveness of civic education in America’s classrooms. We build on these efforts using a survey of American students to test whether civics instruction enhances students’ political knowledge, political efficacy, and their voting intent. We refer to these outcomes, collectively, as democratic capacity. Recognizing t...
Chapter
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Although scholars increasingly recognize that people often possess multiple and even conflicting attitudes about a given topic, our understanding of the nature, causes, and consequences of such attitudinal ambivalence is limited by a lack of consensus as to how the concept should be operationalized. In this paper, we examine three separate measures...
Chapter
This chapter examines ambivalence about government. The 2006 Pilot Study had included a subjective, self-report measure as well as questions designed to tap into the specific considerations that can be used to create objective, or “operative,” measures of ambivalence. While the subjective (or meta-attitudinal) ambivalence measure generally performe...
Book
Going beyond theory and guess-based forecasts, this book systematically explores and measures the implications of the growing use of the Internet in the American political landscape. The authors show that the Internet changes the way voters process information and explain how the use of the Internet is causing a marked shift not just in who votes,...
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Prior research has focused almost exclusively on value conflict as a source of attitudinal ambivalence, with mixed and often modest empirical results. Using data from a 2004 survey of voters in Florida, we examine multiple potential sources of ambivalence about social welfare policy. We find that ambivalence is rooted in value conflict, as well as...
Article
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This research explores the implications of the growing use of the Internet to campaign and win elections in the United States. After exploring the historic assumptions and motivations behind the use of the Internet to campaign, the authors use election data from the 2006 midterm congressional elections and webpage ranking data from the leading web-...
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Evidence suggests that mistrust of government contributes directly to a lack of support for social welfare programs. An alternative explanation, however, is that many citizens are ambivalent concerning government and the role that it should play in society today and, as result, are less likely to support such programs. Based on our analysis of data...
Article
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This study uses a fresh approach to measure social welfare ambivalence, addressing the question of who is more ambivalent about such policies— liberals or conservatives. The findings presented here challenge previous assertions that liberals are typically more ambivalent. I argue that conservatives are now more ambivalent than liberals because a ch...
Article
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This study uses a fresh approach to measure social welfare ambivalence, addressing the question of who is more ambivalent about such policies— liberals or conservatives. The findings presented here challenge previous assertions that liberals are typically more ambivalent. I argue that conservatives are now more ambivalent than liberals because a ch...
Article
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Research across disciplines, including political science, has embraced the idea that individuals often possess ambivalent attitudes, but there is considerable disagreement about how to measure this phenomenon. Determining an effective way of capturing such phenomena is important to our under-standing of politics and public opinion. The literature o...
Article
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Research across disciplines, including political science, has embraced the idea that individuals often possess ambivalent attitudes, but there is considerable disagreement about how to measure ambivalence. Determining an effective way of capturing such phenomena is important to our understanding of politics and public opinion. The literature offers...
Article
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A survey of the extant literature addressing the factors that drive African American municipal employment offers two broad types of explanations: (1) Black political power and (2) institutional. A comparative assessment of the performance of each of these explanations fills a gap in the literature by illuminating the differences of these distinct p...
Article
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This research creates a theoretical framework for understanding the effect of Internet voting on the electorate. Based on standard Downsian rational choice voting theory, we claim that Internet voting lowers the cost of voting for certain voting demographics based upon race, age, and income. We further contend that this electoral advantage may crys...
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span style="font-size: 100%; font-family: Arial; color: #000000;" data-sheets-value="{"1":2,"2":"This research creates a theoretical framework for understanding the effect of Internet voting on the electorate. Based on standard Downsian rational choice voting theory, we claim that Internet voting lowers the cost of voting for certain voting demogra...
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Elections are sometimes seen as legitimizing institutions, promoting system-level support among citizens by allowing them to have input into the political process. However, prior research has found that this is less true among supporters of losing candidates, who often exhibit lower levels of political trust and satisfaction with democracy. We anal...
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Elections are sometimes seen as legitimizing institutions, promoting system-level support among citizens by providing them with input into the political process. However, prior research has found that is less true among the supporters of losing candidates, who often exhibit lower levels of political trust and satisfaction with democracy. We analyze...
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Although the decline in Americans' levels of political trust since the 1960s has been viewed with alarm by some scholars, others maintain that the trend reflects growing skepticism (rather than genuine cynicism) about government's capacity to deal effectively with important social problems – and that this development poses relatively little threat...
Article
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The state of research on media effects is one of the most notable embarrassments of modern social science. The pervasiveness of the mass media and their virtual monopoly over the presentation of many kinds of information must suggest to reasonable observers that what these media say and how they say it has enormous social and political consequences...
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This study is based on data from a three-wave telephone panel survey conducted during the 1998 governor's race in Florida. The evidence suggests that a considerable amount of issue-related learning (having to do with candidate policy stands and group endorsements) took place over the course of the general election campaign, though substantial diffe...
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Recent research has recognized that many people simultaneously hold positive and negative attitudes about important political issues. In this paper, we review the concept of attitudinal ambivalence and propose a survey-based measure of ambivalence adapted from the experimental literature. Extending our earlier work on abortion, analysis of a statew...
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This study reformulates the classic funnel of causality proposed in The American Voter. where The American Voter suggests that group aftiliation and values are equally influential in candidate choice, the foundational sociological literature suggest that values are derived from group aflliation, and therefore The American Voter has misconceptualize...
Chapter
Full-text available
Since the New Deal, issues relating to social welfare policy have created a divide in the United States. This divide has been a defining characteristic of party politics at both the elite (Sinclair 1978; Barrett and Cook 1991; Ansolabehere, Snyder, and Stewart 2001) and mass levels (Berelson, Lazarsfeld, and McPhee 1954; Campbell et al. 1960; more...
Chapter
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The essays in this volume and its companion, Ambivalence and the Structure of Political Opinion (Craig and Martinez 2005), add to a growing literature on the frequency, nature, and consequences of ambivalence in public opinion. It now seems clear, for example, that considerable proportions of the population do not necessarily possess a single “true...
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The purpose of this article is to present a sample from the panoply of formal theories on voting and elections to Statistical Science readers who have had limited exposure to such work. These abstract ideas provide a framework for understanding the context of the empirical articles that follow in this volume. The primary focus of this theoretical l...
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Is there a distinct "woman's perspective?" This paper argues that the answer is an emphatic yes. American National Election Study survey data are used to explore Republican and conservative women's attitudes concerning social spending issues and religiosity. Most of the previous gender gap research focuses on gender differences in attitudes by exam...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Researching and investigating the impact of social media use on political participation. This includes analyzing original survey material from Malaysia and The Philippines on Internet activities.