Psychology • Philosophy

I am a returning Learning Assistant for the pedagogy class that all first-time LAs are required to take. I have previously been an LA for Developmental Psychology. I volunteer as a Crisis Counselor at Crisis Text Line. I also intern with Health Promotions at Wardenburg Health Center, where I am conducting interviews and focus groups to learn about students’ relationships with physical activity on CU’s campus. After graduating with a bachelors in Psychology, I will apply to earn a MSW and go on to practice clinical social work. I want to specialize in trauma survivors and resiliency strategies. I hope to help foster resiliency in those who have experienced trauma, especially domestic traumas and veterans.

This research explores the impact of economic and political beliefs on levels of support for police. Previous literature suggests that people evaluate the police, not by their own experiences with the police, but by how they perceive the police treat people like them. This suggests that people may evaluate the police based on economic and political beliefs. This research examines whether support for Obama makes people less supportive of police and whether beliefs that the past year’s economy was good makes people more supportive of police. We analyzed data from a nationally representative survey, the 2016 CCES (n=1,000) and used STATA to run bivariate and multivariate regressions. We found support for the police is relatively high and predicted by support for Obama. Those who dislike Obama are likely to believe the economy has been bad and support the police more. Surprisingly, those who believe that the economy has been poor tend to support the police more. However, controlling for levels of support for Obama, perceptions about the economy no longer relate to support for the police. This indicates that the unexpected combination of beliefs of a poor economy and high police support may be explained by an anti-Obama political bias. In the future, we would like to review the impact of other factors, such as experiences with the police, relate to police support. We will also explore racial group consciousness and the idea of linked fate. 

Research Faculty Mentor:

Dr. Vanessa Baird, Associate Professor
Political Science