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Elizabeth Suhay

Assistant Professor of Government, American University School of Public Affairs

Liz Suhay specializes in the study of public opinion, political psychology, and political communication, all within the American context. She regularly teaches Introduction to U.S. Politics, Introduction to Political Research, & Capstone in Political Communication, among other courses.

Suhay's current research agenda falls into two main topic areas. The first is the study of what underlies political bias. Why do people with similar information and interests nevertheless hold different political beliefs and attitudes? These studies examine conformity to group norms as well as motivated reasoning, paying particular attention to the roles of social identity, emotion, and personality in these processes. The second research area focuses on how Americans explain inequality and difference (class, race, gender, sexual orientation), especially their belief that inequality/difference is innate and immutable. These projects examine in what ways such “causal attributions” influence—and are influenced by—political attitudes. She recently received a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation to support survey & experimental research on this topic, which will culminate in a book manuscript.

Suhay’s research articles have appeared in The American Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Behavior, among other journals. She is the co-editor, with James N. Druckman, of the March 2015 issue of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, "The Politics of Science: Political Values and the Production, Communication, and Reception of Scientific Knowledge."


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Government, American University