Gabriel Lenz

784 Barrows
(510) 575-9971
Office Hours: By appointment.
Gabriel Lenz's picture


Research Interests: 
Public Opinion
Political Psychology
Political Economy
Personal Statement: 


Gabriel Lenz's research focuses on voters’ ability to control their elected officials.  His aim is to further our understanding of when voters succeed in holding politicians accountable, when they fail, and how to help them avoid failures.  He has a recently published book with the University of Chicago Press and his articles appear or are forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Political Analysis,  Political Behavior, and Political Psychology.  His work draws on insights from social psychology and economics, and his research and teaching interests are in the areas of elections, public opinion, political psychology, and political economy. Although specializing in American democracy, he also conducts research on Canada, UK, Mexico, Netherlands, and Brazil. He has ongoing projects about improving voters' assessments of the performance of politicians, reducing the role of candidate appearance in elections, and measuring political corruption.



Follow the Leader?  How Voters Respond to Politicians' Performance and Policies. Published in 2012 by University of Chicago Press. For more information, see my website.



"Voter Learning in State Primary Elections" (with  Shigeo Hirano,  Maksim Pinkovskiy, and  James M. Snyder). In press at  AJPS.  |  Supporting materials

"Substituting the End for the Whole: Why Voters Respond Primarily to the Election-Year Economy" (with Andrew Healy). American Journal of Political Science 158, no. 1 (January 2014)  | Supporting materials | Press release | Berkeley blog

"Sources of Bias in Retrospective Decision-Making: Experimental Evidence on Voters' Limitations in Controlling Incumbents" (with Gregory A. Huber and Seth J. Hill). American Political Science Review 106, no. 4 (November 2012) | Appendices

"Using Mechanical Turk As a Subject Recruitment Tool for Experimental Research" (with Adam J. Berinsky and Gregory A. Huber).  Political Analysis 20, no. 3  (Summer 2012) | Supporting materials |  Coverage in  Science |  -- Winner of Editors' Choice for 2012

Mechanical Turk Tips and Resources: Code for experiments and surveys | Code for panels


"Looking the part: Television Leads Less Informed Citizens to Vote Based on Candidates' Appearance" (with Chappell Lawson). American Journal of Political Science 55, no. 3 (July 2011) | Supporting materials | Coverage in MIT News, Time, Boston Globe

"Looking Like a Winner: Candidate Appearance and Electoral Success in New Democracies" (with Chappell Lawson, Andy Baker, and Michael Myers). World Politics 62, no. 4 (October 2010) | Supporting materials | Coverage in MIT News, WSJ

"Learning and Opinion Change, Not Priming: Reconsidering the Evidence for the Priming Hypothesis" American Journal of Political Science 53, no. 4 (October 2009) | Supporting materials -- Winner of best article published in AJPS in 2009

"Exploiting a Rare Communication Shift to Document the Persuasive Power of the News Media" (with Jonathan Ladd). American Journal of Political Science 53, no. 2 (April 2009) | Supporting materials | Replicated in PA

"Reassessing the Role of Anxiety in Vote Choice" (with Jonathan Ladd). Political Pyschology 29, no. 2 (April 2008)

"The Consequences of Income Inequality for Redistributive Policy in the United States" In Kathryn N. Neckerman, ed., Social Inequality (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004)