Courtney Johnson
Ph.D. Candidate • American Politics and Methodology

Major Field: American Politics

Minor Field: Methodology

Research Interests: My substantive research interests include tolerance, race, polarization, and identity. My methodological interests are experimental methods, survey research methodology, network analysis, econometric analysis, and causal inference.

Research Experience:

  • Survey Co-Lead, Colorado Political Climate Survey, American Politics Research Lab, University of Colorado.
    Fall 2020 and 2021.

  • Graduate Research Assistant for Professor Anand Sokhey, CU Boulder, May 2018-Present. Various Projects. 

  • Principal Investigator with Faculty Advisor Jennifer Wolak, CU Boulder, Fall 2019, "The Effect of Personalizing Messages on Partisan Political Tolerance"

  • Principal Investigator with Faculty Advisor Joshua Strayhorn, CU Boulder, Summer 2018-2019 "Elite Messaging and Public Support of the U.S. Supreme Court"​

Teaching Interests: My teaching interests include American politics, political psychology, political communication, public opinion, campaigns & elections, and political parties. I am also experienced and interested in teaching undergraduate methods courses, such as introductory research methods, advanced research methods, survey research methods, experimental methods, and network analysis.

Teaching Experience: 

  • Graduate Instructor (instructor of record), Survey Research Methods- PSCI 3155, CU Boulder, Fall 2020, Summer 2021, Fall 2021

  • Graduate Instructor (instructor of record), Quantitative Research Methods- PSCI 2075, CU Boulder, Summer 2020

  • Grader, Advanced Political Science Research Methods- PSCI 3075, CU Boulder, Spring 2020

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (with recitation), Quantitative Research Methods- PSCI 2075, CU Boulder, Fall 2018-Fall 2019

  • Grader, Scope and Methods of Political Science- PSCI 7075, CU Boulder, Fall 2019

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (with recitation), Introduction to American Government- PSCI 1101, CU Boulder, Fall 2017-Spring 2018, Spring 2021

Dissertation Title: "God, Guns, and Guts: Racial Priming and White Support for the Expression of Civil Liberties Amongst Black Americans"

Dissertation Committee: Anand Sokhey (Chair), Vanessa Baird, John Griffin

Dissertation Description:

In this dissertation, Courtney works to answer a question fundamental to the proper function of American democracy: is public support for the expression of civil liberties racialized? While much research on this aspect of tolerance has focused on tolerance toward an outgroup, little has considered tolerance toward Black Americans by white Americans. By focusing on support for protest, gun ownership, and religious expression, Courtney focuses on the causal relationship between race and tolerance, highlighting multiple mechanisms through which tolerance is racialized: white identity, negative stereotypes, and social influence. This piece provides a nuanced discussion of the state of racial intolerance in the United States and empirically tests how racial priming impacts the support for the expression of civil liberties. A series of 6 experiments are conducted to isolate the relationship between race and tolerance, and each causal mechanism is specifically tested by leveraging heterogeneous treatment effect tests. The strength of white identity, the extent to which the respondent holds beliefs regarding negative stereotypes, and the racial heterogeneity of the respondent's extended social network are each gathered. These heterogeneous treatment effect tests are novel within this literature and contribute to our understanding of race, tolerance, identity, stereotyping, and socialization, as well as the interaction between these elements.

Expected Defense Date: May 2022

Publications:

Courtney J. Nava, Josalyn Williams, and A.E. Sokhey. "Political Tolerance." Oxford Bibliographies. Forthcoming.

Papers Under Review:

  • Courtney J. Nava and Joshua Strayhorn. "Elite Messaging and Public Support for the U.S. Supreme Court." Under review.

  • Courtney J. Nava. "The Effect of Group Empathy on Partisan Intolerance, Affective Polarization, and Partisan Threat." To be submitted. 

  • Courtney J. Nava, Alexander Jensen, A.E. Sokhey, and Paul Djupe. "Intolerant Partisans: The Effect of Affective Polarization on Political Intolerance." To be submitted.

Awards:

  • Fellow, The LeRoy Keller Center for the Study of the First Amendment, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Fellow, American Politics Research Lab, Department of Political Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Political Science Department Large Grant. 2021. "God, Guns, and Guts: Racial Priming and White Support for the Expression of Civil Liberties Amongst Black Americans." 2021. $4800
  • Graduate Award, The LeRoy Keller Center for the Study of the First Amendment, “Elite Messaging and Public Support for the U.S. Supreme Court." 2019. $1000
  • Departmental Faculty-Grad Co-Authorship Grant, University of Colorado Boulder, “The Social Basis of Affective Polarization." 2018. $1000
  • Departmental Faculty-Grad Co-Authorship Grant, University of Colorado Boulder, “Elite Messaging and Public Support for the U.S. Supreme Court." 2018. $1000
  • PSCI Fall Graduate Research Grant. 2018. $200
  • First Place Winner, "Social Media's Impact on Affective Polarization", Graduate Student Poster Session, Department of Political Science, University of Colorado Boulder. 2017. $100
  • Scholarship for Academic Excellence, University of Iowa. 2016. $5000