Jennifer L. Wessel

Assistant Professor, PsychologyUniversity of Maryland

Award Information

Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grants 2016

Assistant Professor, Psychology

Examining Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Political Cooperation to Counteract Polarization

This project addresses the need for cooperative behavior in Congress. Specifically, I focus on organizational structures/ policies that affect psychological processes that increase/ diminish cooperation. As part of an interdisciplinary team of psychologists and political scientists interested in identifying factors that increase such behavior, we focus on the organizational factors that affect (and are affected by) basic psychological processes (e.g., person's self-concept, gender norms) and cooperative behavior resulting from these processes. Long-form interviews with former members of Congress will be qualitatively analyzed, enabling us to pinpoint specific psychological barriers to cooperation and the institutional forces that contribute to those barriers.