Course Details

When and where do we meet?

Class Time: Wednesdays, 2:30-5PM1
Class Location: Bellamy 113

Who is the instructor?

Instructor: Matthew Pietryka (you can call me Matt)
Pronouns: he/him
Office: BEL 561
Office Hours: I will be available Fridays 11AM-Noon, but you can visit my office whenever the door is open. You may alternatively schedule a virtual meeting using this link

What is the course about?

This course examines social influence: how our political attitudes and actions are shaped by the people around us. Though the material will be most relevant for students of political behavior, the material will also be useful for people who wish to take interdependence seriously in their theories and analysis, regardless of the substantiate application.

What are the course objectives?

The course has three objectives:

  1. The first goal of the course is to understand the distinct set of substantive questions that social influence helps explain and the theoretic approaches that scholars use to address these questions. We will see how these approaches are applied to a range of substantive topics including attitude formation, political participation, and the acquisition of political information—and misinformation.
  2. In addition to these substantive considerations, a second goal of the course is to understand the methods that scholars use to study social influence. While we will consider readings that trace the development of the field over time, the emphasis will be on recent quantitative work. The material will emphasize the ways that methodological conventions inform both the questions researchers ask and the answers they receive. To accomplish this goal, students will learn about survey methods for collecting network data and network science methods of analysis.
  3. The third goal of the course will be to increase students’ overall level of professionalism. We will accomplish this goal, in part, by periodic discussions of a variety of relevant topics for carrying out and describing political science research—in writing and oral presentations.



Students’ grades for the course are comprised of four sets of assessments, each weighted equally:


Each weekly meeting will be spent discussing and critically evaluating the assigned readings. Students’ participation grades hinge on their contribution to each discussion. After each class, I will assign each student a participation grade using a three-point scale: Students will earn a \(\checkmark+\) if they demonstrate an understanding of how these readings build upon, reinforce, or contradict material from earlier in the course; a \(\checkmark\) grade if they demonstrate an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these readings, and a \(\checkmark-\) if they do not participate or their participation does not demonstrate understanding of all assigned readings.

PRESENTATIONS (\(\times 2\)):

Over the course of the semester, each student will present two of the assigned readings to the class. Each presentation should be designed to mimic an excellent conference presentation. Additional details will be available on Canvas.

INTRODUCTION MEMOS (\(\times 3\)):

Over the course of the semester, each student will write three memos designed to look like the introduction to an original research manuscript. Each memo should briefly describe a research problem and propose a research design that can help address the problem. Optionally, each student may write an additional, fourth memo to replace their lowest score. Additional details will be available on Canvas.

PEER REVIEWS (\(\times 2\)):

Over the course of the semester, each student will write two responses to recent research. Each response should mimic the form of an anonymous peer review. Each review should be thorough, helpful, and polite. Additional details will be available on Canvas.


The final letter grade will be assigned according to the standard table:

Percentage Grade
93-100% A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C-
67-69 D+
63-66 D
60-62 D-
00-59 F


Course Policies


I am happy to modify due dates as long as you receive my permission prior to the original deadline. If circumstances make it impossible to receive advanced permission, please reach out to explain these circumstances.

When you email me to request an extension, please propose a new due date that works better for your needs. I will grant extensions wherever it is feasible for me to do so—as long as you complete most course assignments on time and are otherwise keeping up with the course material.

Late work is not accepted in this course, unless you receive my permission prior to the deadline.


In this class, consistent with state law and university policy, you may not make recordings of classroom activities without the permission of the instructor. This policy applies to both audio and video recordings.


Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advance notice.



Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.

Please note: Modifications to this policy have been made to accommodate the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, see this memo that has been distributed to all faculty and instructional staff regarding the 2020-2021 academic year.


The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University’s expectations for the integrity of students’ academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to “…be honest and truthful and… [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University.” (For more details see the FSU Academic Honor Policy and procedures for addressing alleged violations.)


Your academic success is a top priority for Florida State University. University resources to help you succeed include tutoring centers, computer labs, counseling and health services, and services for designated groups, such as veterans and students with disabilities. The following information is not exhaustive, so please check with your advisor or the Dean of Students office to learn more.


Please use this step-by-step guide to resolving academic problems to begin the process of communicating with your instructor to resolve any confusion or difficulty you may be having in the course. Detailed information on FSU’s grievance procedure, including special instructions for students enrolled in an FSU branch campus, is maintained on the General Bulletin’s Academic Integrity & Grievances webpage. Out-of-state distance learning students should review the Office of Distance Learning Complaint Resolution page for additional procedures.


Florida State University (FSU) values diversity and inclusion; we are committed to a climate of mutual respect and full participation. Our goal is to create learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive, and welcoming. FSU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities in a manner that is consistent with academic standards of the course while empowering the student to meet integral requirements of the course.

To receive academic accommodations, a student:

  1. must register with and provide documentation to the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS);
  2. must provide a letter from OAS to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type; and,
  3. should communicate with the instructor, as needed, to discuss recommended accommodations. A request for a meeting may be initiated by the student or the instructor.

Please note that instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodations to a student until appropriate verification from the Office of Accessibility Services has been provided.

This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.

For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the

Office of Accessibility Services (Tallahassee Campus) 874 Traditions Way 108 Student Services Building Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167 (850) 644-9566 (voice) (850) 644-8504 (TDD)

Student Accessibility Services (Panama City Campus) Office of Student Affairs 4750 Collegiate Drive 2nd Floor Barron Building (Room 215) Florida State University Panama City Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 770-2172 (office) (866) 693-7872 (toll free) Email:


Various centers and programs are available to assist students with navigating stressors that might impact academic success. These include the following:

Victim Advocate Program University Center A, Room 4100, (850) 644-7161, Available 24/7/365, Office Hours: M-F 8-5

University Counseling Center Askew Student Life Center, 2nd Floor, 942 Learning Way (850) 644-8255

University Health Services Health and Wellness Center, (850) 644-6230


On-campus tutoring and writing assistance are available for many courses at Florida State University. For more information, visit the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Tutoring Services’ comprehensive list of on-campus tutoring options - see the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Tutoring Services’ website or contact High-quality tutoring is available by appointment and on a walk-in basis. These services are offered by tutors trained to encourage the highest level of individual academic success while upholding personal academic integrity.



WEEK 1 (JANUARY 11): Overview and Applications of Social Network Analysis

  • Professionalization Topic: Writing Introductions

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Chapter 16 from Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. FitzGerald The Craft of Research, Fourth Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2016).
    • Chapter 7 from Bernard R. Berelson, Paul F. Lazarsfeld, and William N. McPhee Voting: A Study of Opinion Formation in a Presidential Campaign (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954).
    • Robert Huckfeldt “Networks, Contexts, and the Combinatorial Dynamics of Democratic Politics,” Political Psychology 35 (February 2014): 43–68,
  • Background Readings:2

    • Betsy Sinclair “Network Structure and Social Outcomes: Network Analysis for Social Science,” in Computational Social Science, ed. R. Michael Alvarez, First (Cambridge University Press, 2016), 121–39,
    • Stephen P. Borgatti, Ajay Mehra, Daniel J. Brass, and Giuseppe Labianca “Network Analysis in the Social Sciences,” Science 323, no. 5916 (February 2009): 892–95,

WEEK 2 (JANUARY 18): The promise and pitfalls of interdependence

  • Professionalization Topic: Presentations

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Mark Granovetter “Threshold Models of Collective Behavior,” American Journal of Sociology 83, no. 6 (1978): 1420–43.
    • W. Brian Arthur “Positive Feedbacks in the Economy,” Scientific American 262, no. 2 (1990): 92–99.
    • Matthew J. Salganik and Duncan J. Watts “Leading the Herd Astray: An Experimental Study of Self-fulfilling Prophecies in an Artificial Cultural Market,” Social Psychology Quarterly 71, no. 4 (December 2008): 338–55,
    • James H. Fowler, Michael T. Heaney, David W. Nickerson, John F. Padgett, and Betsy Sinclair “Causality in Political Networks,” American Politics Research 39, no. 2 (March 2011): 437–80,
    • Jake M. Hofman, Amit Sharma, and Duncan J. Watts “Prediction and Explanation in Social Systems,” Science 355, no. 6324 (February 2017): 486–88,
  • Background Readings:

    • Duncan J. Watts Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer (Crown Publishing Group, 2011).
    • Cosma Rohilla Shalizi and Andrew C. Thomas “Homophily and Contagion Are Generically Confounded in Observational Social Network Studies,” Sociological Methods & Research 40, no. 2 (May 2011): 211–39,

WEEK 3 (JANUARY 25): Homophily

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and James M. Cook “Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks,” Annual Review of Sociology 27 (January 2001): 415–44.
    • Gueorgi Kossinets and Duncan J. Watts “Origins of Homophily in an Evolving Social Network,” American Journal of Sociology 115, no. 2 (September 2009): 405–50,
    • William Minozzi, Hyunjin Song, David M. J. Lazer, Michael A. Neblo, and Katherine Ognyanova “The Incidental Pundit: Who Talks Politics with Whom, and Why?” American Journal of Political Science 64, no. 1 (2020): 135–51,
    • John Barry Ryan and Yanna Krupnikov, eds. “Bubbles of Involvement,” in The Other Divide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 111–34,
  • Background Readings:

    • Hans Noel and Brendan Nyhan “The Unfriending Problem: The Consequences of Homophily in Friendship Retention for Causal Estimates of Social Influence,” Social Networks 33, no. 3 (July 2011): 211–18,
    • Pablo Barberá, John T. Jost, Jonathan Nagler, Joshua A. Tucker, and Richard Bonneau “Tweeting From Left to Right: Is Online Political Communication More Than an Echo Chamber?” Psychological Science 26, no. 10 (October 2015): 1531–42,
    • Gregory A. Huber and Neil Malhotra “Political Homophily in Social Relationships: Evidence from Online Dating Behavior,” The Journal of Politics 79, no. 1 (October 2016): 269–83,
    • Ross Butters and Christopher Hare “Polarized Networks? New Evidence on American VotersPolitical Discussion Networks,” Political Behavior 44, no. 3 (September 2022): 1079–1103,

WEEK 4 (FEBRUARY 01): Social and Physical Distance

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Edward O. Laumann “The Social Structure of Religious and Ethnoreligious Groups in a Metropolitan Community,” American Sociological Review 34, no. 2 (1969): 182–97,
    • Jonathan Mummolo and Clayton Nall “Why Partisans Do Not Sort: The Constraints on Political Segregation,” The Journal of Politics 79, no. 1 (October 2016): 45–59,
    • James G. Gimpel, Nathan Lovin, Bryant Moy, and Andrew Reeves “The Urban in American Political Behavior,” Political Behavior 42, no. 4 (December 2020): 1343–68,
    • Jacob R. Brown and Ryan D. Enos “The Measurement of Partisan Sorting for 180 Million Voters,” Nature Human Behaviour 5, no. 8 (August 2021): 998–1008,
    • Andrew Gelman and Yotam Margalit “Social Penumbras Predict Political Attitudes,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 6 (February 2021): e2019375118,
  • Background Readings:

    • Brady Baybeck and Robert Huckfeldt “Urban Contexts, Spatially Dispersed Networks, and the Diffusion of Political Information,” Political Geography 21, no. 2 (February 2002): 195–220,
    • Ryan D. Enos The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
    • Thomas A. DiPrete, Andrew Gelman, Tyler McCormick, Julien Teitler, and Tian Zheng “Segregation in Social Networks Based on Acquaintanceship and Trust,” American Journal of Sociology 116, no. 4 (January 2011): 1234–83,
    • Todd Makse, Scott Minkoff, and Anand Sokhey Politics on Display: Yard Signs and the Politicization of Social Spaces (Oxford University Press, 2019).


WEEK 5 (FEBRUARY 08): Diffusion

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • James Coleman, Elihu Katz, and Herbert Menzel “The Diffusion of an Innovation Among Physicians,” Sociometry 20, no. 4 (1957): 253–70,
    • Mark S. Granovetter “The Strength of Weak Ties,” American Journal of Sociology 78, no. 6 (1973): 1360–80.
    • Damon Centola and Michael Macy “Complex Contagions and the Weakness of Long Ties,” American Journal of Sociology 113, no. 3 (November 2007): 702–34,
    • Samara Klar and Yotam Shmargad “The Effect of Network Structure on Preference Formation,” The Journal of Politics 79, no. 2 (January 2017): 717–21,
    • James E. Alt, Amalie Jensen, Horacio Larreguy, David D. Lassen, and John Marshall “Diffusing Political Concerns: How Unemployment Information Passed Between Social Ties Influences Danish Voters,” The Journal of Politics 84, no. 1 (January 2022): 383–404,
  • Background Readings:

    • JEFFREY Travers and STANLEY Milgram “An Experimental Study of the Small World Problem**The Study Was Carried Out While Both Authors Were at Harvard University, and Was Financed by Grants from the Milton Fund and from the Harvard Laboratory of Social Relations. Mr. Joseph Gerver Provided Invaluable Assistance in Summarizing and Criticizing the Mathematical Work Discussed in This Paper.” in Social Networks, ed. Samuel Leinhardt (Academic Press, 1977), 179–97,
    • Peter Sheridan Dodds, Roby Muhamad, and Duncan J. Watts “An Experimental Study of Search in Global Social Networks,” Science 301, no. 5634 (August 2003): 827–29,
    • Eytan Bakshy, Itamar Rosenn, Cameron Marlow, and Lada Adamic “The Role of Social Networks in Information Diffusion,” in Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW ’12 (New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery, 2012), 519–28,
    • Karthik Rajkumar, Guillaume Saint-Jacques, Iavor Bojinov, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Sinan Aral “A Causal Test of the Strength of Weak Ties,” Science 377, no. 6612 (September 2022): 1304–10,

WEEK 6 (FEBRUARY 15): Acquiring & Evaluating Political Information

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Samara Klar “Partisanship in a Social Setting,” American Journal of Political Science 58, no. 3 (July 2014): 687–704,
    • James N. Druckman, Matthew S. Levendusky, and Audrey McLain “No Need to Watch: How the Effects of Partisan Media Can Spread via Interpersonal Discussions,” American Journal of Political Science 62, no. 1 (2018): 99–112,
    • Taylor N. Carlson “Through the Grapevine: Informational Consequences of Interpersonal Political Communication,” American Political Science Review 113, no. 2 (May 2019): 325–39,
    • Michael Macy, Sebastian Deri, Alexander Ruch, and Natalie Tong “Opinion Cascades and the Unpredictability of Partisan Polarization,” Science Advances 5, no. 8 (August 2019): eaax0754,
  • Background Readings:

    • Elihu Katz “The Two-Step Flow of Communication: An Up-To-Date Report on an Hypothesis,” The Public Opinion Quarterly 21, no. 1 (April 1957): 61–78,
    • Anthony Downs An Economic Theory of Democracy (New York: Harper and Row, 1957).
    • John Barry Ryan “Social Networks as a Shortcut to Correct Voting,” American Journal of Political Science 55, no. 4 (October 2011): 753–66,
    • Paul Djupe, Scott McClurg, and Anand Edward Sokhey “The Political Consequences of Gender in Social Networks,” British Journal of Political Science 48, no. 3 (July 2018): 637–58,
    • Yanna Krupnikov, Kerri Milita, John Barry Ryan, and Elizabeth C. Connors “How Gender Affects the Efficacy of Discussion as an Information Shortcut,” Political Science Research and Methods 8, no. 2 (April 2020): 268–84,

WEEK 7 (FEBRUARY 22): Perceptions 1: Dyads

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Jaime E. Settle and Taylor N. Carlson, eds. “The 4D Framework of Political Discussion,” in What Goes Without Saying: Navigating Political Discussion in America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 20–43,
    • Jaime E. Settle and Taylor N. Carlson, eds. “Detection: Mapping the Political Landscape (Stage 1),” in What Goes Without Saying: Navigating Political Discussion in America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 77–108,
    • Noam Titelman and Benjamin E. Lauderdale “Can Citizens Guess How Other Citizens Voted Based on Demographic Characteristics?” Political Science Research and Methods, September 2021, 1–21,
    • Robert Huckfeldt “The Social Communication of Political Expertise,” American Journal of Political Science 45, no. 2 (2001): 425–38,
    • Sharad Goel, Winter Mason, and Duncan J. Watts “Real and Perceived Attitude Agreement in Social Networks,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 99, no. 4 (October 2010): 611–21,
  • Background Readings:

    • Jaime E. Settle, ed. “Judging the Other Side,” in Frenemies: How Social Media Polarizes America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 197–234,
    • William P. Eveland, Hyunjin Song, Myiah J. Hutchens, and Lindsey Clark Levitan “Not Being Accurate Is Not Quite the Same as Being Inaccurate: Variations in Reported (in)Accuracy of Perceptions of Political Views of Network Members Due to Uncertainty,” Communication Methods and Measures 13, no. 4 (October 2019): 305–11,
    • Hyunjin Song and Jaeho Cho “Assessing (In)accuracy and Biases in Self-reported Measures of Exposure to Disagreement: Evidence from Linkage Analysis Using Digital Trace Data,” Communication Methods and Measures 15, no. 3 (July 2021): 190–210,

WEEK 8 (MARCH 01): Perceptions 2: Groups

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Rachel Hartman et al. “Interventions to Reduce Partisan Animosity,” Nature Human Behaviour 6, no. 9 (September 2022): 1194–1205,
    • Douglas J. Ahler and Gaurav Sood “Typecast: A Routine Mental Shortcut Causes Party Stereotyping,” Political Behavior, February 2022,
    • James N. Druckman, Samara Klar, Yanna Krupnikov, Matthew Levendusky, and John Barry Ryan “(Mis-)Estimating Affective Polarization,” The Journal of Politics, June 2021, 715603,
    • Jonathan Homola, Jon C. Rogowski, Betsy Sinclair, Michelle Torres, Patrick D. Tucker, and Steven W. Webster “Through the Ideology of the Beholder: How Ideology Shapes Perceptions of Partisan Groups,” Political Science Research and Methods, February 2022, 1–18,
    • Elizabeth Mitchell Elder and Neil A. O’brian “Social Groups as the Source of Political Belief Systems: Fresh Evidence on an Old Theory,” American Political Science Review 116, no. 4 (November 2022): 1407–24,
    • Kristina Lerman, Xiaoran Yan, and Xin-Zeng Wu “The "Majority Illusion" in Social Networks,” PLOS ONE 11, no. 2 (February 2016): e0147617,
  • Background Readings:


WEEK 9 (MARCH 08): Socialization

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Peer Review Assignment 1
    • M. Kent Jennings and Gregory B. Markus “Partisan Orientations over the Long Haul: Results from the Three-Wave Political Socialization Panel Study,” American Political Science Review 78, no. 4 (December 1984): 1000–1018,
    • Tali Mendelberg, Katherine T. McCabe, and Adam Thal “College Socialization and the Economic Views of Affluent Americans,” American Journal of Political Science 61, no. 3 (2017): 606–23,
    • Shanto Iyengar, Tobias Konitzer, and Kent Tedin “The Home as a Political Fortress: Family Agreement in an Era of Polarization,” The Journal of Politics 80, no. 4 (September 2018): 1326–38,
    • Randall Akee, William Copeland, John B. Holbein, and Emilia Simeonova “Human Capital and Voting Behavior Across Generations: Evidence from an Income Intervention,” American Political Science Review 114, no. 2 (May 2020): 609–16,
  • Background Readings:

    • Kent L. Tedin “The Influence of Parents on the Political Attitudes of Adolescents,” American Political Science Review 68, no. 4 (December 1974): 1579–92,
    • Jennifer Fitzgerald and K. Amber Curtis “Partisan Discord in the Family and Political Engagement: A Comparative Behavioral Analysis,” The Journal of Politics 74, no. 1 (January 2012): 129–41,
    • Noam Lupu and Leonid Peisakhin “The Legacy of Political Violence Across Generations,” American Journal of Political Science 61, no. 4 (October 2017): 836–51,
    • Jens Olav Dahlgaard “Trickle-Up Political Socialization: The Causal Effect on Turnout of Parenting a Newly Enfranchised Voter,” American Political Science Review 112, no. 3 (August 2018): 698–705,

WEEK 10 (MARCH 15): Spring Break

(no class)

WEEK 11 (MARCH 22): Collective action

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Robert Huckfeldt and John Sprague “Political Parties and Electoral Mobilization: Political Structure, Social Structure, and the Party Canvass,” The American Political Science Review 86, no. 1 (March 1992): 70,
    • David W. Nickerson “Is Voting Contagious? Evidence from Two Field Experiments,” American Political Science Review 102, no. 1 (February 2008): 49–57,
    • James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis “Cooperative Behavior Cascades in Human Social Networks,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, no. 12 (March 2010): 5334–38,
    • Jennifer M. Larson and Janet I. Lewis “Ethnic Networks,” American Journal of Political Science 61, no. 2 (April 2017): 350–64,
  • Background Readings:

    • David A. Siegel “Social Networks and Collective Action,” American Journal of Political Science 53, no. 1 (January 2009): 122–38,
    • David A. Siegel “Social Networks and the Mass Media,” American Political Science Review 107, no. 04 (November 2013): 786–805,
    • Cesi Cruz, Julien Labonne, and Pablo Querubín “Politician Family Networks and Electoral Outcomes: Evidence from the Philippines,” American Economic Review 107, no. 10 (October 2017): 3006–37,
    • Romain Ferrali, Guy Grossman, Melina R. Platas, and Jonathan Rodden “It Takes a Village: Peer Effects and Externalities in Technology Adoption,” American Journal of Political Science 64, no. 3 (2020): 536–53,
    • Betsy Sinclair, Margaret McConnell, and Donald P. Green “Detecting Spillover Effects: Design and Analysis of Multilevel Experiments,” American Journal of Political Science 56, no. 4 (October 2012): 1055–69,

WEEK 12 (MARCH 29): Norms

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Jessica M. Nolan, P. Wesley Schultz, Robert B. Cialdini, Noah J. Goldstein, and Vladas Griskevicius “Normative Social Influence Is Underdetected,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 34, no. 7 (July 2008): 913–23,
    • Ada W. Finifter “The Friendship Group as a Protective Environment for Political Deviants,” The American Political Science Review 68, no. 2 (1974): 607–25,
    • Ernst Fehr and Simon Gächter “Altruistic Punishment in Humans,” Nature 415, no. 6868 (January 2002): 137–40,
    • Nathaniel Rabb, Jake Bowers, David Glick, Kevin H. Wilson, and David Yokum “The Influence of Social Norms Varies with ‘Others’ Groups: Evidence from COVID-19 Vaccination Intentions,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119, no. 29 (July 2022): e2118770119,
    • Allison P. Anoll “What Makes a Good Neighbor? Race, Place, and Norms of Political Participation,” American Political Science Review 112, no. 3 (May 2018),
  • Background Readings:

    • Robert B. Cialdini and Melanie R. Trost “Social Influence: Social Norms, Conformity and Compliance,” in The Handbook of Social Psychology, Vols. 1-2, 4th Ed (New York, NY, US: McGraw-Hill, 1998), 151–92.
    • Robert B. Cialdini and Noah J. Goldstein “Social Influence: Compliance and Conformity,” Annual Review of Psychology 55, no. 1 (January 2004): 591–621,
    • Alex Moehring, Avinash Collis, Kiran Garimella, M. Amin Rahimian, Sinan Aral, and Dean Eckles “Providing Normative Information Increases Intentions to Accept a COVID-19 Vaccine,” Nature Communications 14, no. 1 (January 2023): 126,


WEEK 13 (APRIL 05): Effects of Difference on Tolerance

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Erik Santoro and David E. Broockman “The Promise and Pitfalls of Cross-Partisan Conversations for Reducing Affective Polarization: Evidence from Randomized Experiments,” Science Advances 8, no. 25 (June 2022): eabn5515,
    • Diana C. Mutz and Jeffery J. Mondak “The Workplace as a Context for Cross-Cutting Political Discourse,” The Journal of Politics 68, no. 1 (February 2006): 140–55,
    • Joshua L. Kalla and David E. Broockman “Reducing Exclusionary Attitudes Through Interpersonal Conversation: Evidence from Three Field Experiments,” American Political Science Review 114, no. 2 (May 2020): 410–25,
    • Emily Kubin, Curtis Puryear, Chelsea Schein, and Kurt Gray “Personal Experiences Bridge Moral and Political Divides Better Than Facts,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 6 (February 2021): e2008389118,
  • Background Readings:

    • Diana Carole Mutz Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative Versus Participatory Democracy (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

WEEK 14 (APRIL 12): Effects of Difference on Attitude Intensity

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Peer Review Assignment 2
    • Lindsey Clark Levitan and Penny S. Visser “Social Network Composition and Attitude Strength: Exploring the Dynamics Within Newly Formed Social Networks,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45, no. 5 (September 2009): 1057–67,
    • Stefano Balietti, Lise Getoor, Daniel G. Goldstein, and Duncan J. Watts “Reducing Opinion Polarization: Effects of Exposure to Similar People with Differing Political Views,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 52 (December 2021): e2112552118,
    • Christopher A. Bail et al. “Exposure to Opposing Views on Social Media Can Increase Political Polarization,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115, no. 37 (September 2018): 9216–21,
    • Casey A. Klofstad, Anand Edward Sokhey, and Scott D. McClurg “Disagreeing about Disagreement: How Conflict in Social Networks Affects Political Behavior,” American Journal of Political Science 57, no. 1 (January 2013): 120–34,
  • Background Readings:

    • Logan Strother, Spencer Piston, Ezra Golberstein, Sarah E. Gollust, and Daniel Eisenberg “College Roommates Have a Modest but Significant Influence on Each Other’s Political Ideology,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, no. 2 (January 2021),
    • R. Robert Huckfeldt, Paul E. Johnson, and John D. Sprague Political Disagreement: The Survival of Diverse Opinions Within Communication Networks (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
    • Matthew S. Levendusky and Dominik A. Stecula We Need to Talk: How Cross-Party Dialogue Reduces Affective Polarization, Elements in Experimental Political Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021),

WEEK 15 (APRIL 19): Effects of Difference on Participation

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Diana C. Mutz “The Consequences of Cross-Cutting Networks for Political Participation,” American Journal of Political Science 46, no. 4 (2002): 838–55,
    • Robert Huckfeldt, Jeanette Morehouse Mendez, and Tracy Osborn “Disagreement, Ambivalence, and Engagement: The Political Consequences of Heterogeneous Networks,” Political Psychology 25, no. 1 (February 2004): 65–95,
    • Jacob R. Brown, Ryan D. Enos, James Feigenbaum, and Soumyajit Mazumder “Childhood Cross-Ethnic Exposure Predicts Political Behavior Seven Decades Later: Evidence from Linked Administrative Data,” Science Advances 7, no. 24 (June 2021): eabe8432,
    • Florian Foos and Eline A. de Rooij “All in the Family: Partisan Disagreement and Electoral Mobilization in Intimate Networks,” American Journal of Political Science 61, no. 2 (2017): 289–304,
  • Background Readings:

WEEK 16 (APRIL 26): Deliberation and Collective Knowledge

  • Professionalization Topic: TBD

  • Readings to Discuss:

    • Michael A. Neblo, Kevin M. Esterling, Ryan P. Kennedy, David M. J. Lazer, and Anand E. Sokhey “Who Wants To Deliberate?” American Political Science Review 104, no. 3 (August 2010): 566–83,
    • Christopher F. Karpowitz, Tali Mendelberg, and Lee Shaker “Gender Inequality in Deliberative Participation,” American Political Science Review 106, no. 3 (2012): 533–47.
    • T. K. Ahn, Robert Huckfeldt, Alexander K. Mayer, and John Barry Ryan “Expertise and Bias in Political Communication Networks,” American Journal of Political Science 57, no. 2 (April 2013): 357–73,
    • Joshua Becker, Ethan Porter, and Damon Centola “The Wisdom of Partisan Crowds,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116, no. 22 (May 2019): 10717–22,
    • James Fishkin, Alice Siu, Larry Diamond, and Norman Bradburn “Is Deliberation an Antidote to Extreme Partisan Polarization? Reflections on America in One Room,” American Political Science Review 115, no. 4 (November 2021): 1464–81,
  • Background Readings:

    • Adam F. Simon and Tracy Sulkin “Discussion’s Impact on Political Allocations: An Experimental Approach,” Political Analysis 10, no. 4 (November 2002): 403–12,
    • William Minozzi, Michael A. Neblo, Kevin M. Esterling, and David M. J. Lazer “Field Experiment Evidence of Substantive, Attributional, and Behavioral Persuasion by Members of Congress in Online Town Halls,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, no. 13 (March 2015): 3937–42,
    • Ryan Kennedy et al. “Demographics and (Equal?) Voice: Assessing Participation in Online Deliberative Sessions,” Political Studies 69, no. 1 (February 2021): 66–88,

Syllabus Changes

(I will note any revisions to the syllabus here)

  1. All times and dates in the syllabus and other course material correspond to Tallahassee’s Eastern Time Zone↩︎

  2. We will not discuss background readings in class. I have added them to provide you with optional, additional information that will put the assigned readings in better perspective.↩︎