Casey Klofstad

Filmed 11/02/18

How Our Biology Influences Our Politics

Why are some societies free while others are not? Why are some countries paralyzed by violence while others are peaceful? Why is the gap between the rich and the poor astronomical in some parts of the globe, but less so in others? The answers to these fundamental questions are tied directly to how we govern and who we elect. As a result, a great deal of research has been conducted on voter behavior and the demographic characteristics of people who vote. Now, new research has begun to focus on how our biology also influences political behavior. Are there aspects of our biology that determine who we are more likely to support at the ballot box? Do those influence help us make better decisions?

Casey Klofstad is an associate professor, associate chair, and director of undergraduate studies in the political science department at the University of Miami. He studies how psychology, society, and biology influence human decision-making. His research has examined how casual conversations influence our civic participation, how voice pitch influences support for a candidate, and the political behavior of elected officials and immigrant voters. Klofstad’s work has appeared in numerous journal articles and he is frequently featured in national media coverage of electoral politics.