My research is situated at the intersection of scholarship on race, gender, and political psychology.  I examine how attitudes about race and gender influence how the American public thinks and feels about politics, and how this, in turn, affects Americans’ political behavior.  I received my M.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida's Political Campaigning Program in 2011, and my B.A. in Political Studies from Westminster College in 2009.  

My dissertation, “Intersectional Stereotyping in Political Campaigns,” investigates how stereotypes at the intersection of race and gender influence support for black women candidates.  I argue that stereotypes associating black women with agentic traits (such as assertiveness, dominance, and anger) put black women at a disadvantage when they run for elected office. I hypothesize that members of racial and/or gender out-groups will penalize black women candidates when they receive campaign information consistent with these agentic stereotypes.  On the other hand, when voters receive information that counteracts these negative stereotypes (focusing on communal traits, such as collaboration and compassion) out-group members will evaluate black women candidates more favorably.  I utilize a mixed-method design, including a content analysis and several national survey experiments, to test my hypotheses.  My experimental results indicate that black women are stereotyped as being particularly assertive and, as a result, black women candidates are more likely to be penalized for acting in an assertive manner, compared to white women and black men.  This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the American Political Science Association’s Rita Mae Kelly Fund, and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ Dean’s Research Initiative at the University of Maryland.

Areas of Interest

  • Race, Ethnicity, and Politics
  • Gender and Politics
  • Political Psychology
  • Public Opinion


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Political Studies, Westminster College (Salt Lake City)
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Political Science, University of Florida

Research Topics

  • American Politics
  • Methodology
Tydings 5115
Government and Politics Department
hmhicks [at]