All Publications

  • Advances in transparency and reproducibility in the social sciences. Social science research Freese, J., Rauf, T., Voelkel, J. G. 2022; 107: 102770


    Worries about a "credibility crisis" besieging science have ignited interest in research transparency and reproducibility as ways of restoring trust in published research. For quantitative social science, advances in transparency and reproducibility can be seen as a set of developments whose trajectory predates the recent alarm. We discuss several of these developments, including preregistration, data-sharing, formal infrastructure in the form of resources and policies, open access to research, and specificity regarding research contributions. We also discuss the spillovers of this predominantly quantitative effort towards transparency for qualitative research. We conclude by emphasizing the importance of mutual accountability for effective science, the essential role of openness for this accountability, and the importance of scholarly inclusiveness in figuring out the best ways for openness to be accomplished in practice.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2022.102770

    View details for PubMedID 36058608

  • Belief in the Utility of Cross-Partisan Empathy Reduces Partisan Animosity and Facilitates Political Persuasion. Psychological science Santos, L. A., Voelkel, J. G., Willer, R., Zaki, J. 2022: 9567976221098594


    In polarized political environments, partisans tend to deploy empathy parochially, furthering division. We propose that belief in the usefulness of cross-partisan empathy-striving to understand other people with whom one disagrees politically-promotes out-group empathy and has powerful ramifications for both intra- and interpersonal processes. Across four studies (total N = 4,748), we examined these predictions in online and college samples using surveys, social-network analysis, preregistered experiments, and natural-language processing. Believing that cross-partisan empathy is useful is associated with less partisan division and politically diverse friendship networks (Studies 1 and 2). When prompted to believe that empathy is a political resource-versus a political weakness-people become less affectively polarized (Study 3) and communicate in ways that decrease out-partisans' animosity and attitudinal polarization (Study 4). These findings demonstrate that belief in cross-partisan empathy impacts not only individuals' own attitudes and behaviors but also the attitudes of those they communicate with.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/09567976221098594

    View details for PubMedID 36041234

  • Changing Americans' Attitudes about Immigration: Using Moral Framing to Bolster Factual Arguments ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE Voelkel, J. G., Malik, M., Redekopp, C., Willer, R. 2022; 700 (1): 73-85
  • Pragmatic bias impedes women's access to political leadership. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Corbett, C., Voelkel, J. G., Cooper, M., Willer, R. 1800; 119 (6)


    Progress toward gender equality is thwarted by the underrepresentation of women in political leadership, even as most Americans report they would vote for women candidates. Here, we hypothesize that women candidates are often disadvantaged by pragmatic bias, a tendency to withhold support for members of groups for whom success is perceived to be difficult or impossible to achieve. Across six studies (N = 7,895), we test whether pragmatic bias impedes women's access to a highly significant political leadership position-the US presidency. In two surveys, 2020 Democratic primary voters perceived women candidates to be less electable, and these beliefs were correlated with lower intentions to vote for women candidates (Studies 1 and 2). Voters identified many reasons women would be less electable than men, including others' unwillingness to vote for women, biased media coverage, and higher requirements to prove themselves. We next tested interventions to reduce pragmatic bias. Merely correcting misperceptions of Americans' reported readiness for a woman president did not increase intentions to vote for a woman (Study 3). However, across three experiments (including one preregistered on a nationally representative sample), presenting evidence that women earn as much support as men in US general elections increased Democratic primary voters' intentions to vote for women presidential candidates, an effect driven by heightened perceptions of these candidates' electability (Studies 4 to 6). These findings highlight that social change efforts can be thwarted by people's sense of what is possible, but this may be overcome by credibly signaling others' willingness to act collectively.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2112616119

    View details for PubMedID 35105805

  • Inclusion reduces political prejudice JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Voelkel, J. G., Ren, D., Brandt, M. J. 2021; 95
  • A Tutorial on Conducting and Interpreting a Bayesian ANOVA in JASP ANNEE PSYCHOLOGIQUE van den Bergh, D., Van Doorn, J., Marsman, M., Draws, T., Van Kesteren, E., Derks, K., Dablander, F., Gronau, Q. F., Kucharsk, S., Gupta, A., Sarafoglou, A., Voelkel, J. G., Stefan, A., Ly, A., Hinne, M., Matzke, D., Wagenmakers, E. 2020; 120 (1): 73–96
  • The JASP guidelines for conducting and reporting a Bayesian analysis. Psychonomic bulletin & review van Doorn, J. n., van den Bergh, D. n., Böhm, U. n., Dablander, F. n., Derks, K. n., Draws, T. n., Etz, A. n., Evans, N. J., Gronau, Q. F., Haaf, J. M., Hinne, M. n., Kucharský, Š. n., Ly, A. n., Marsman, M. n., Matzke, D. n., Gupta, A. R., Sarafoglou, A. n., Stefan, A. n., Voelkel, J. G., Wagenmakers, E. J. 2020


    Despite the increasing popularity of Bayesian inference in empirical research, few practical guidelines provide detailed recommendations for how to apply Bayesian procedures and interpret the results. Here we offer specific guidelines for four different stages of Bayesian statistical reasoning in a research setting: planning the analysis, executing the analysis, interpreting the results, and reporting the results. The guidelines for each stage are illustrated with a running example. Although the guidelines are geared towards analyses performed with the open-source statistical software JASP, most guidelines extend to Bayesian inference in general.

    View details for DOI 10.3758/s13423-020-01798-5

    View details for PubMedID 33037582

  • The Effect of Ideological Identification on the Endorsement of Moral Values Depends on the Target Group PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Voelkel, J. G., Brandt, M. J. 2019; 45 (6): 851–63
  • Morally Reframed Arguments Can Affect Support for Political Candidates SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE Voelkel, J. G., Feinberg, M. 2018; 9 (8): 917–24
  • I know that I know nothing: Can puncturing the illusion of explanatory depth overcome the relationship between attitudinal dissimilarity and prejudice? Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology Voelkel, J. G., Brandt, M. J., Colombo, M. 2018; 3 (1): 56-78