Nicholas Nicoletti Humanities Political Science Headshot
Dr.
Nicholas
Nicoletti
Associate Professor of Political Science

Biography

Dr. Nicoletti received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) in August of 2013. His research focuses on the interaction between domestic politics and international relations. He also conducts research analyzing the effects of moral reasoning on political behavior. Dr. Nicoletti's dissertation was entitled Politicizing War: Information, Democracy, and Public Opinion. This project had two goals: (1) to explore if citizens can make better decisions by solving a stylized formal model that makes normatively favorable assumptions; and (2) to develop a novel theory of citizen belief formation over war that combines both rational expectations and elite opinions models.

This project is based on a model of citizens’ belief formulation about conflict and the incumbent’s reelection during a wartime election. Belief formation is modeled as a function of two distinct signals; the first is from an unbiased but possibly inaccurate actor (I call the media). The second is from an informed but biased actor (I call the opposition). The model suggests the existence of equilibria where biased signals are dominant. A primary finding is the possibility that citizens choose to elect the opposition party, which subsequently ends an otherwise successful war campaign. Dr. Nicoletti's other research interests include interstate conflict, public policy, public opinion, direct democracy, game theory, experimental political science, moral psychology, and causal inference.