Political Judgment and Decision-Making

Some of my research explores liberal-conservative differences in biased (motivated) reasoning and judgment. Whereas some research suggests that conservatives are more likely than liberals to engage in motivated reasoning processes, my work generally finds that liberals and conservatives are equally likely to do so, as people generally seek to defend their cherished values and beliefs (Collins, Crawford, & Brandt, 2017; Crawford, 2017; Crawford, Jussim, Cain, & Cohen, 2013), and that observed ideological differences in biases can be predicted by particular judgment contexts (Crawford, 2012; Crawford, Kay, & Duke, 2015; Crawford & Xhambazi, 2015).

Worldview Conflict and Prejudice

In contrast to some perspectives suggesting that conservatives are more prejudiced than liberals, my research finds equivalent levels of political prejudice and hostility among liberals and conservatives (Brandt, Reyna, Chambers, Crawford, & Wetherell, 2014; Crawford & Pilanski, 2014a; Crawford, Jussim, & Pilanski, 2014) because of the threat to one’s values and beliefs that politically dissimilar others represent (worldview conflict; e.g., Crawford, 2014).  My work has identified the ways in which different types of political beliefs influence political prejudice (Crawford, Brandt, Inbar, Chambers, & Motyl, 2017; Crawford, Mallinas, & Furman, 2015; Crawford, Modri, & Motyl, 2013), and I have applied these findings in the political domain to understand how prejudice is influenced by personality (Brandt, Chambers, Crawford, Wetherell, & Reyna, 2015), disgust sensitivity (Crawford, Inbar, & Maloney, 2014) and cognitive ability (Brandt & Crawford, 2016).

Improving Psychological Science

I have two streams of research aimed at improving psychological science. First, my colleagues and I have pointed out the ways in which researchers’ political beliefs can negatively impact their approach to psychological science, and have offered solutions to avoiding these influences (Crawford, Duarte, Haidt, Jussim, Stern, & Tetlock, 2015; Duarte, Crawford, Stern, Haidt, Jussim, & Tetlock, 2015; Jussim, Crawford, Anglin, Stevens, & Duarte, 2016). I have co-edited a new volume, with contributions from leading scholars, that explores how politics can influence social psychology research (The Politics of Social Psychology; Crawford & Jussim, 2018).

Second, I am interested in broader issues around better scientific practices, and quantifying and improving reproducibility rates in psychology research (e.g., Collins, Crawford, & Brandt, 2017; Crawford, Brandt, Inbar, & Mallinas, 2016; Crawford, Fournier, & Ruscio, in press).