Shanto Iyengar

Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Shanto Iyengar was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is professor of political science, and director of the Political Communication Laboratory at Stanford University. Iyengar’s teaching and research address the role of mass media in democratic societies, the conduct and effects of political campaigns, and the psychology of voting. His current work investigates the polarization of news audiences in the United States and abroad. Iyengar’s research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Ford Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Norwegian Research Council, the Hewlett Foundation, and Google.

Iyengar is the author or coauthor of several books, including News That Matters (University of Chicago Press, 1987, 2011), Is Anyone Responsible? (University of Chicago Press, 1991), Explorations in Political Psychology (Duke University Press, 1995), The Media Game: American Politics in the Television Age (Macmillan, 1993), Going Negative (Free Press, 1995), and Media Politics: A Citizen’s Guide (Norton, 2011). Iyengar also writes frequently for and other media outlets.

Iyengar earned his PhD in political science from the University of Iowa and went on to complete two years of postdoctoral training in psychology at Yale University. He previously taught at UCLA, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Yale University.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Fear And Loathing In The Body Politic

by Shanto Iyengar, Neil Malhotravia Stanford Magazine
Friday, May 11, 2018

American politics has become significantly more polarized and contentious over the past three decades. At the level of elected officials, the political parties are so far apart on most issues that gridlock and inaction have replaced bargaining and compromise as standard practice.

News That Matters: Television and American Opinion

by Shanto Iyengarvia University of Chicago Press
Friday, October 1, 2010

Almost twenty-five years ago, Shanto Iyengar and Donald R. Kinder first documented a series of sophisticated and innovative experiments that unobtrusively altered the order and emphasis of news stories in selected television broadcasts.

PRIMARY COLORS: The Presidential Primary System

with Newt Gingrich, Shanto Iyengar, Nelson W. Polsbyvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, March 14, 2000

In the 2000 presidential campaign, Gore and Bush locked-up their nominations almost six months before their parties' conventions. The Democratic and Republican national conventions, formerly full of high-stakes drama as the party delegates chose their presidential tickets, are now little more than formalities. Is the presidential primary system in need of reform or is it working just fine? Does the front-loading of the primary season make it impossible for a dark horse candidate to build a campaign? Do the political parties have too much power in the process or not enough?