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Jon Krosnick

Jon Krosnick

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Professional Experience:

Jon Krosnick received a B.A. degree in psychology from Harvard University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in social psychology from the University of Michigan.

Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 2004, Dr. Krosnick was professor of psychology and political science at Ohio State University, where he was a member of the OSU Political Psychology Program and co-directed the OSU Summer Institute in Political Psychology.

He has taught courses on survey methodology around the world at universities, for corporations, and for government agencies, including at IBM, Pfizer, the National Opinion Research Center, Total Research Corporation, the American Society of Trial Consultants, the Internal Revenue Service, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. General Accounting Office, the Office for National Statistics, London, UK, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Johannesburg. He has provided expert testimony in court and has served as an on-air election-night television commentator.

Dr. Krosnick has served as a consultant to such organizations as Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, the Office of Social Research at CBS, the News Division of ABC, the National Institutes of Health, Home Box Office, NASA, the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and the Urban Institute.

Research Interests:

Author of four books and more than 100 articles and chapters, Dr. Krosnick conducts research in three primary areas: (1) attitude formation, change, and effects, (2) the psychology of political behavior, and (3) the optimal design of questionnaires used for laboratory experiments and surveys, and survey research methodology more generally.

His attitude research has focused primarily on the notion of attitude strength, seeking to differentiate attitudes that are firmly crystallized and powerfully influential of thinking and action from attitudes that are flexible and inconsequential. Many of his studies in this area have focused on the amount of personal importance that an individual chooses to attach to an attitude. Dr. Krosnick’s studies have illuminated the origins of attitude importance (e.g., material self-interest and values) and the cognitive and behavioral consequences of importance in regulating attitude impact and attitude change processes.

Among the topics explored by Dr. Krosnick’s political psychology research are: how policy debates affect voters’ candidate preferences, how the news media shape which national problems citizens think are most important for the nation and shape how citizens evaluate the President’s job performance, how becoming very knowledgeable about and emotionally invested in a government policy issue (such as abortion or gun control) affects people’s political thinking and participation, how people’s political views change as they move through the life-cycle from early adulthood to old age, and how the order of candidates’ names on the ballot affect voting behavior.

His questionnaire design work has illuminated the cognitive and social processes that unfold between researcher and respondent when the latter are asked to answer questions, and his on-going review of 100 years worth of scholarly research on the topic has yielded a set of guidelines for the optimal design of questionnaires to maximize reliability and validity. His recent work in survey methodology has explored the impact of mode of data collection (e.g., face-to-face, telephone, Internet) on response accuracy and the impact of survey response rates on substantive results.


Dr. Krosnick's scholarship has been recognized with the AAPOR Award (the lifetime achievement award given by the American Association for Public Opinion Research), the Phillip Brickman Memorial Prize for Research in Social Psychology, the American Association for Public Opinion Research Student Paper Award, Midwest Political Science Association's Pi Sigma Alpha Award, the Erik Erikson Early Career Award for Excellence and Creativity in the Field of Political Psychology from the International Society of Political Psychology, a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the University of Wisconsin's Brittingham Visiting Scholar Position, and the American Political Science Association's Best Paper Award.

Personal Life:

In his spare time, Dr. Krosnick has fun with his wife, Professor Catherine Heaney, and their 23-year-old daughter, Alexandra, who is in a PhD program at Columbia University. He also plays drums with a contemporary jazz group called Charged Particles that has released two CD's internationally and tours across the U.S. and abroad.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Communication, Language
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Political Psychology
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

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Journal Articles:

  • Eaton, A. A., Visser, P. S., Krosnick, J. A., & Anand, S. (2009). Social power and attitude strength over the life cycle. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1646-1660.
  • Harder, J., & Krosnick, J. A. (2008). Why do people vote? A psychological analysis of the causes of voter turnout. Journal of Social Issues, 64, 525-549.
  • Holbrook, A. L., Berent, M. K., Krosnick, J. A., Visser, P. S., & Boninger, D. S. (2005). Attitude importance and the accumulation of attitude-relevant knowledge in memory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 749-769.
  • Holbrook, A. L., & Krosnick, J. A. (2010). Social desirability bias in voter turnout reports: Tests using the item count technique. Public Opinion Quarterly, 74, 37-67.
  • Pasek, J., Tahk, A., Lelkes, Y., Krosnick, J. A., Payne, K., Akhtar, O., & Tompson, T. (2009). Determinants of turnout and candidate choice in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election: Illuminating the impact of racial prejudice and other considerations. Public Opinion Quarterly, 73, 943-994.
  • Payne, B. K., Krosnick, J. A., Pasek, J., Lelkes, Y., Akhtar, O., & Tompson, T. (2010). Implicit and explicit prejudice in the 2008 American Presidential election. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 367-374.
  • Rabinowitz, J. L., Sears, D. O., Sidanius, J., & Krosnick, J. A. (2009). Why do white Americans oppose race-targeted policies? Clarifying the impact of symbolic racism. Political Psychology, 30, 805-828.
  • Visser, P. S., Krosnick, J. A., & Simmons, J. (2003). Distinguishing the cognitive and behavioral consequences of attitude importance and certainty: A new approach to testing the common-factor hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 118-141.

Other Publications:

  • Holbrook, A. L., & Krosnick, J. A. (2010). Operative and meta-attitudinal manifestations of attitude accessibility: Two different constructs, not two measures of the same construct. In J. P. Forgas, J. Cooper, & W. Crano (Eds.), Attitudes and attitude change.
  • Krosnick, J. A., Judd, C. M., & Wittenbrink, B. (2005). Attitude measurement. In D. Albarracín, B. T. Johnson, & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), Handbook of attitudes and attitude change. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Krosnick, J. A., & Presser, S. (in press). Questionnaire design. In J. D. Wright & P. V. Marsden (Eds.), Handbook of survey research (2nd ed.). West Yorkshire, England: Emerald Group.
  • Krosnick, J. A., Visser, P. S., & Harder, J. (2009). The psychological underpinnings of political behavior. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology. New York, NY: John Wiley.
  • Schneider, D., DeBell, M., & Krosnick, J. A. (in press). Using the American National Election Study surveys to test social psychological hypotheses. In K. Trzesniewski, M. B. Donnellan, & R. E. Lucas (Eds.), Obtaining and analyzing archival data: Methods and illustrations. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Courses Taught:

  • Cognitive Psychology and Survey Methods
  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Psychological Perspectives on Political Behavior
  • Questionnaire Design for Attitude Measurement
  • Research Methods in Social Psychology
  • Systematic Theory in Social Psychology
  • The Psychology of Mass Politics
  • The Psychology of Public Attitudes

Jon Krosnick
Departments of Communication, Political Science, and Psychology
432 McClatchy Hall
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305
United States of America

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