Thanks to the support of a Catalyst grant from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CiFAR), Evan Lieberman and Allison Harell are examining the effects of information about race disparities in COVID-related mortality on public opinion. They examine whether providing information about ethnic- and race-based disparities concerning the prevalence of infectious disease elicits a sense of urgency, and helps foster the types of attitudes and behaviors that contribute to a more thoroughgoing and effective response? Or whether such information causes some to believe that this is a problem that affects “them,” but not “us”, effectively reducing personal and collective urgency? The authors test these theories with a nationally representative study.

Ariel White and Mayya Komisarchik are working on a project about the US Supreme Court’s 2013 decision invalidating some parts of the Voting Rights Act. Advocates feared that these changes would do irreparable harm to minority voting rights and political participation, while the court majority argued that the protections were outdated and no longer needed. The research project collects administrative data on voting and election administration to see what has happened since the court’s decision.