Jennifer Cryer, Ph.D. Candidate

Stanford University

Address: Department of Political Science, Stanford University, 616 Serra Street, Suite 100

City: Stanford, California - 94305

Country: United States

About Me:

I am a Ph.D. Candidate at Stanford University, in the Department of Political Science. I am also a 2015 National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellow, and a Stanford University E.D.G.E. Doctoral Fellow under the Vice Provost for Graduate Education. My work has been presented at APSA, MPSA, New Faces in Political Methodology, PRIEC, among others.My primary field of study is American politics, and I specialize, broadly, in political communication, political behavior, and computational social science.Some of my work focuses on race/ethnicity; the perception, and communication strategies, of minority candidates; and the behavior of minority voters. In my dissertation project, I draw upon structural topic modeling and text-as-data to assess candidate communication. I analyze the influence of candidate race, gender, and party on the messages used in campaigns. In addition, my work also examines whether constituent demographics affect campaign communication. This project incorporates analysis of many variants of campaign communication, using computational methods to identify them, and experimental designs to measure the effects of each message.After completing my undergraduate degrees I worked as a Judicial Research Fellow at the San Francisco Superior Court, where I analyzed factors affecting the initiation and conclusion of court cases. Prior to entering the graduate program at Stanford University, I worked as a research assistant for economists at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University Graduate School of Business.Over the years, I have participated in the recruitment of minority and female students for the Capital Fellows program, and for Stanford University. Most recently, I received funds from the Stanford University Vice Provost for Graduate Education to improve both the intellectual community and diversity, of the Social Sciences.

Research Interests

Political Communication

Race, Ethnicity and Politics

Political Psychology

Representation and Electoral Systems

Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior

Text as Data

Specific Areas of Interest

Computational Social Science

Big Data

Causal Inference

Topic Modeling

Geospatial Analysis

Countries of Interest

United States

My Research:

My dissertation analyzes the varying ways candidates may seek to modify voter perceptions of their character and positions. I argue that the considerations which shape tactical campaign communications extend beyond relaying owned issues and include stereotype management and district connection. Thus, this project includes analysis of all variants of campaign communication, using computational methods to identify them, and experimental designs to assess their efficacy.In my first project on candidate identity & strategic campaign messages using candidate website texts. This project, presented at MPSA and New Faces in Political Methodology in 2017, addressed the ways candidates may alter the messages they deliver to voters, and how this varies given candidate demographic identity and party affiliation.My second project, presented at APSA in 2018, tests the marginal effect of these candidate messages on improving vote choice and voter perceptions. Preliminary findings show that the demographic identity and party affiliation of a given candidate affect voter perceptions.In my third project, presented at APSA 2017, I seek to understand how candidates determine both what messages to deliver, and whether to target in-groups and out-groups with differing messages.

Media Appearances:

Newspaper Quotes:

(2019) FiveThirtyEight

Provided background on political campaign communication and news media behavior, specifically how underrepresented candidates are covered by journalists. Quote: "Jennifer Cryer, who is a Stanford Ph.D. candidate and studies how gender and race affect political campaigns, told me that research has found that women of color, in particular, are less likely to receive as much media coverage as their political counterparts — which might help explain why the media coverage of Harris, a woman of color, did not anticipate her bump in the polls. (As you can see in the chart, three of the four candidates who got a bigger polling bump than we’d expect from the amount of media coverage they received are the nonwhite candidates.)"