College of Arts and Sciences

School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs

ABD (All But Dissertation) Graduate Students


Ericka Christensen

Teaching Assistant

Research Interests:


Taewoo Kang

Research Assistant with Sociology
Wilson-Short 25, WSU Pullman

Research Interests: Political communication, political psychology/behavior, public policy, and research methods.


Audrey Mattoon

Teaching Assistant

Research Interests:


Lucas McMillan

Teaching Assistant
WSU Vancouver

Research Interests: Constitutional law and politics, judicial decision-making, and the relationship between the president and the federal judiciary.


Sanne Rijkhoff

Research Assistant, Division of Governmental Studies and Services
Curriculum Vittae
Bryan Hall 301B, WSU Pullman

Research Interests: While political cynicism is often assumed to reduce people’s involvement in politics, others suggest that cynicism may actually increase electoral support for certain types of parties, namely, those that are ideologically extreme. Why some cynics abstain from politics while others do not, however, is not well understood. My dissertation asks, “How do different types of cynicism influence levels of political participation?” In answering this question, I first propose a new definition of political cynicism as an enduring attitude towards politics based on the belief that politics, politicians or government are untrustworthy, immoral, dishonest, incompetent, self-interested and out of touch with citizens. Second, I develop and test a new measure of political cynicism that distinguishes it from related concepts such as distrust and skepticism. Third, I examine the relationship between the six dimensions of cynicism that I identified and various forms of political participation. Using qualitative and quantitative data, I identify distinct patterns of political behavior among different types of cynical citizens. In contrast to other scholars who have treated cynicism as synonymous with distrust, I find that cynicism is better understood as a separate and distinct attitude with corresponding behavior.
More broadly, my research is in the fields of political psychology and public opinion, though my interests extend to the study of multiple forms of political behavior. The context for the bulk of my research is the United States, though I do comparative research on Europe as well. My research is also interdisciplinary, drawing from political science and social psychology in order to better understand of the causes of political cynicism and its effects on political behavior.
My experiences in teaching have spanned alllevels of undergraduate coursework, ranging from introduction courses at the 100 level to advanced courses at the 400 level. I have been the primary instructor of record for two different campus-based courses and two online courses offered to undergraduates. Additionally, I have experience in designing and facilitating work groups (i.e. statistical labs). Topics I am particularly interested in teaching and developing include public opinion, political behavior, elections and media, statistics, methods, and European politics.





Jason Griffin

Teaching Assistant
Johnson Tower 226

Reasearch Interests:

Hayden Smith

Teaching Assistant
Johnson Tower 227, WSU Pullman

Research Interests: International relations and political psychology.


Haley Stevenson

Research Assistant
WSU Spokane

Research Interests:




Pip Cawley, M.A., M.A.

Teaching Assistant
Wilson-Short 23, WSU Pullman

Research Interests: Political Psychology,Hate Groups, Media, International Relations, Philosophy of Religionm and Philosophy of Film



School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, PO Box 644880, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4880 • 509-335-2544 • Contact Us