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Posted on February 10th, 2023 in Alumni, Announcements, Article, Community Engagement, Faculty, Media, Publication, Student/Alumni, Students by David E. Hoegberg

Throughout his political career Donald Trump has utilized name-calling when referring to his opponents. Scholarly research, however, has yet to examine the effect that this type of incivility has on individuals’ evaluations of both the attacker (i.e., the person using name-calling) and the victim. Aaron Dusso, Associate Professor of Political Science in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, and Sydnee Perkins, an undergraduate political science major who graduated in 2020, have co-authored an article published in the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties. Based on their research into the effects of incivility in contemporary political discourse, “Crooked Hillary and Sleepy Joe: Name-Calling’s Backfire Effect on Candidate Evaluations,” aims to fill this gap by testing the effect of name-calling through the implementation of a national survey experiment. They test the effect of name-calling on candidate evaluations by randomly inserting a pejorative in front of a fictitious candidate’s name in a news story. Their findings indicate that name-calling often backfires. Respondents who saw the pejorative tend to rate the attacker lower. Their findings also show an odd partisan symmetry in how respondents rate this behavior by their co-partisans, i.e., both Republicans and Democrats punish Democratic candidates that use name-calling but ignore Republicans’ use of it. To learn more, click on the link in the article’s title.