To what extent do neural responses to political media correlate with behavioral outcomes, like campaign giving or voting? This was the question we sought to answer with 2016 Rita Allen Foundation Media Impact Fellow Jason Sherwin. Together we designed a study using live media coverage of the 2016 Democratic party primary debates, gathering data with electroencephalogram (EEG) and quick-response surveys. We then performed a moment-by-moment analysis of the debate footage, coding for production elements and debate content. Preliminary results suggest that neural response to the speech of individual candidates can be predictive of support outcomes.   

THE NEUROSCIENCE OF DECISION MAKING IN 2016