Amanda Friesen

Canada Research Chair in Political Psychology

Tier 2 - 2023-01-01
Western University
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Research summary

Participating in politics and political discussions involves taking risks. Some people avoid it altogether, while others gather the psychological resources needed to participate in public life. But how do gender and social identities like race and ethnicity influence political engagement? As Canada Research Chair in Political Psychology, Dr. Amanda Friesen aims to understand the differences in risk tolerance between men and women and how this affects their political participation.

She and her research team are comparing political engagement to other risk-taking activities in order to design better deliberative spaces. They are also exploring how individuals respond during political and non-political conversations—including whether gender has an impact on the quality and content of these discussions—and measuring how they respond when social spaces become political. Friesen and her team are also trying to determine how a political candidate’s appearance and objectification influences how the public evaluates them.