Please direct questions about the following studies to one of the two principal investigators– Dr. Anondah Saide or Dr. Kevin McCaffree–via our contact form.
Scientific Worldview Foundations Study (in progress; TBA)
This study is in the methodological brainstorming stage, please check back later for more information.
Partisan Accuracy and Political Divisions Study (in progress, Summer 2021)
We are embarking on our most ambitious project yet— an extensive survey assessing peoples’ accuracy about a variety of hot-button topics including, abortion, immigration, gender, race, crime, and the economy. So much of our political discourse revolves around these topics—but how much do we really know about these issues and the views of our fellow Americans? How informed are the loudest, most politically confident voices? We will examine the prevalence of misconceptions across the political continuum, and in doing so, we hope to offer a means by which to improve the quality of our national discourse.
The study sample of 4,000 people will reflect the U.S. adult population in terms of educational attainment, gender, and age. Research reports will be released to the public for free during the summer of 2021 in collaboration with the Skeptic Research Center.
Civil Unrest and Presidential Election Study (completed; 2020)
Nine (9) research reports were released to the public between November 2020 and March 2021. Those reports were released in collaboration with the Skeptic Research Center as part of a larger mission of our research team to bring social science research to the public for free. Findings from this study are also presented in a forthcoming book chapter and a forthcoming article in Skeptic Magazine.
About the Study:
The purpose of SPAS (see below) was to discover which political issues most divide people, and also to discover how the most divided people see the world. In the current study, we sought to examine the same topics while accounting for the unprecedented level of social and economic unrest seen in 2020. In the current study we examined political and social attitudes as they relate to viewpoint intolerance and voting intentions, as well as, the George Floyd protests and the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Data are being collected in September 2020 and October 2020 via Qualtrics Survey Software and Qualtrics’ sample recruitment services. 1500 adults will fill out a 15-minute survey. The study sample will reflect the U.S. adult population in terms of educational attainment, gender, and age. We will be over-representing people of color in this sample to ensure that their attitudes, experiences, and perceptions are adequately assessed.
Social and Political Attitudes Study (completed; 2019)
Ten (10) research reports were released for free to the public between July 2020 and October 2020. The reports were released in collaboration with the Skeptic Research Center as part of a larger mission of our research team to bring social science research to the public for free. In addition to the research reports, we also summarized the findings in an article for Skeptic Magazine.
About the Study:
Scholars and pundits alike have noted an increasing degree of political polarization amongst the United States public, especially since the 2016 presidential election. However, there is considerable debate regarding the underlying causes of this polarization. To reconcile this debate, the SPAS incorporated measurements from psychology, sociology, and political science, to better understand the current political landscape. The purpose of this study was to discover which political issues most divide people, and also to discover how the most divided people see the world.
This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of North Texas. Data was collected in October 2019 via Qualtrics Survey Software and Qualtrics’ sample recruitment services. 731 adults filled out the 15 minute survey. The study sample is nationally representative—participants reflect the U.S. adult population in terms of educational attainment, ethnicity, gender, and household income.
Last Statements Study (completed; 2016)
This was a study of the last statements given by death-row inmates executed in Texas between 1982 and 2016. We were interested in the relationships between the emotional nature of the crime, race, and remorse in final statements. In order to generate hypotheses, we drew from “institutional anomie theory” and “strain theory,” in addition to existing research on racial differences in perceptions of police legitimacy. Read the publication here.