Sheri Martin Chen

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Doctoral Candidate
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Research Areas

Comparative Politics
Social and Political Psychology


I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa and am spending the academic year in Guangzhou, China (Sun Yat-sen University) as a Confucius Institute Joint Phd Program fellow. I am a native of Kansas, and have spent time on the West Coast and five years abroad in mainland China and Taiwan. I am highly proficient in Mandarin; my studies began in 2001 and include intensive study at the Princeton-in-Beijing program and for a year with Inter-University Program (affiliated with California–Berkeley). I completed my master's coursework and thesis in Chinese and continue to use my language skills for research.

My research fields are Comparative Politics and Social and Political Psychology, my training includes courses in the Psychology department of UI in addition to courses in the Political Science department. My third field is American Politics. My research interests include several areas where social psychology and political science intersect, including the study of political attitudes, the effects of culture, values and morality on political attitudes, media effects, and perception of government responsiveness. My dissertation project examines public support for the government using theories of attitude formation and change from social-psychology. In terms of methodology, I'm interested in using experimental methods, such as priming tasks and Implicit Attitude Tests, to supplement and extend survey-based research. I'm also interested in cross-national experimentation as a valuable avenue for comparison. 


University of Kansas, BA in English and Italian, 2001
Johns Hopkins University SAIS, MA in International Relations, 2008
PhD: Political Science (anticipated 2015)


  • Confucius Institute Joint Research Ph.D Fellow (2014)
  • T. Anne Cleary International Dissertation Research Award recipient (2014)
  • Fellow, International Summer School for China Studies (CSSS), Harvard-Yenching Institute and Modern China Studies of Nanjing University
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship, advanced Chinese language study (2003, 2004)


  • T. Anne Cleary Fellowship for International Dissertation Research (2014)
  • Center for Asian and Pacific Studies Dissertation Research Grant (2014)
  • Stanley Foundation International Research Award (2012)


  • 2014 Martin, Sheri. "Framing and the Moderating Influence of Collectivism: an Experiment in China. " Poster presented at the annual meeting of NYU-CESS Experimental Political Science Conference.
  • 2013 Martin, Sheri. "Framing and the Moderating Influence of Collectivism: an Experiment in China. " Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association.
  • 2011 Tang, Wenfang, Sheri Martin. "The Limitations of the Internet in Promoting Democracy." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association


  • Tang, Wenfang, Zhang, Yang and Martin, Sheri. 2014. “Revolution Postponed: The Limitation of the Internet in Promoting Democracy in China,” in Shan Wei and Yang Lijun, eds., The Rising Civil Society and State-Society Relations in China. New Jersey, London and Singapore: World Scientific (forthcoming).

Working Papers

  • "Do Collectivist Social Values Lessen the Impact of Liberal News? A Media Framing Experiment in China.”

Dissertation Title

Working title: Is the Reservoir of Political Support Democratic? Cross-national Experiments on Political Support in China and the US

Dissertation Chair

Wenfang Tang

Dissertation Committee

Vicki Hesli-Claypool, William Reisinger, Andrew Todd, Caroline Tolbert