I am a political psychologist interested in attitudes and motivations around political engagement and gender identities in Western democracies. The goal of my research is to examine how biology (behavioral genetics and physiology) and the environment condition identity (gender, religiosity), dispositions (personality), and political orientations. To accomplish this task, I integrate theories, quantitative and mixed methods, and technologies from the social and biological sciences. While issues of gender, psychology, and genetics receive considerable scientific attention separately, disciplinary silos often inhibit the advancement of knowledge by failing to incorporate insights from related fields. Studying dispositions, state and trait effects as well as institutional and cultural contexts help uncover mechanisms at work in gender inequality across social and political life. My recent work demonstrates the importance of expanding our definitions and measurement of binary sex to continuous scales of gender identity and an emphasis on the intersectional nature and experiences of gender in political spaces.

A repository of my published work (in pre-print form) can be found here:


Friesen, Amanda, Aleksander Ksiazkiewicz, and Claire Gothreau. “Political Taste: Exploring How Perception of Bitter Substances May Reveal Risk Tolerance and Political Preferences.” Principle acceptance of registered report at Politics and the Life Sciences.

Ksiazkiewicz, Aleksander, and Amanda Friesen. “Slimy Worms or Sticky Kids: How Caregiving Tasks and Gender Identity Attenuate Disgust Response.” Forthcoming. Politics and the Life Sciences. Registered report:

Friesen, Amanda, Michael W. Gruszczynski, John Alford, and Kevin B. Smith. 2020. “Political Orientations Vary with Detection of Androstenone.” Politics and the Life Sciences.

Lewis, Andrew R., William Blake, Stephen T. Mockabee, and Amanda Friesen. 2020. “American Constitutional Faith and the Politics of Hermeneutics.” Politics & Religion 13 (1): 57-88.

Ksiazkiewicz, Aleksander, and Amanda Friesen. 2019. “The Higher Power of Religiosity over Personality on Political Ideology.” Political Behavior. Online first here.

Friesen, Amanda, Ryan Burge, and Kylee Britzman. 2019. “Digital Segregation: Gender, Occupation, and Access to Politics.” Social Science Computer Review. Online first: Pre-print here:

Djupe, Paul A., and Amanda Friesen. 2018. “Moralizing to the Choir: The Moral Foundations of American Clergy.” Social Science Quarterly 99 (2): 665-682. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12455.

Lakens, Daniël, Federico G. Adolfi, Casper J. Albers, Farid Anvari, Matthew A.J. Apps, Shlomo E. Argamon,… Amanda Friesen … Rolf A. Zwaan. 2018. “Justify Your Alpha.” Nature Human Behaviour. doi:10.1038/s41562-018-0311-x

Friesen, Amanda, Kevin B. Smith, John R. Hibbing. 2017. “Physiological Arousal and Self-Reported Valence for Erotic Images Correlate with Sexual Policy Preferences.”  International Journal of Public Opinion Research. 29 (3): 449-470.

Friesen, Amanda, and Paul A. Djupe. 2017. “Conscientious Women: The Dispositional Conditions of Institutional Treatment on Civic Involvement.” Politics & Gender 13 (1): 57-80.

Friesen, Amanda, and Matthew V. Hibbing. 2016. “The Effect of Personal Economic Values on Economic Policy Preferences.” Social Science Quarterly 97 (2): 325-337. doi: 10.1111/ssqu.12236.

Wagner, Michael W., Kristen D. Deppe, Carly M. Jacobs, Amanda Friesen, Kevin B. Smith, and John R. Hibbing. 2015. “Beyond Survey Self-Reports: Using Physiology to Tap Political Orientations.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research 27 (3): 303-317. doi:10.1093/ijpor/edu036.

Friesen, Amanda, and Aleksander Ksiazkiewicz. 2015. “Do Political Attitudes and Religiosity Share a Genetic Path?” Political Behavior 37 (4): 791-818.

Blake, William D., and Amanda Friesen. December 2013. “The Politics of Denying Communion to Catholic Elected Officials.” The Forum 11 (4): 671-682.

Friesen, Amanda. 2013. “Religion, Politics and the Social Capital of Children.”  Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 34 (3): 197-218.

Calfano, Brian R., Amanda Friesen, and Paul A. Djupe. 2013. “Mitigating Mormonism: Overcoming Religious Identity Challenges with Targeted Religious Appeals.” PS: Political Science & Politics 46(3): 562-568. Calfano, Friesen, Djupe 2013

Gruszczynski, Michael W., Amanda Balzer, Carly M. Jacobs, Kevin B. Smith, and John R. Hibbing. 2013. “The Physiology of Political Participation.” Political Behavior 35: 135-152. Gruz et al. 2013

Friesen, Amanda, and Michael W. Wagner. 2012. “Beyond the Three Bs: How American Christians Approach Faith and Politics.” Politics and Religion 5: 224-252. Friesen and Wagner 2012

Dodd, Michael, Amanda Balzer, Carly M. Jacobs, Michael W. Gruszczynski, Kevin B. Smith, and John R. Hibbing. March 5, 2012. “The Political Left Rolls with the Good; The Political Right Confronts the Bad: Physiology and Cognition in Politics.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London – Biological Sciences 1589. 640-649. PTRSB_Dodd et al_120123

Balzer, Amanda, and Carly M. Jacobs. 2011. “Gender and Physiological Effects in Connecting Disgust to Political Preferences.” Social Science Quarterly 92: 5. 1297-1313. Balzer and Jacobs 2011

Book Chapters

Friesen, Amanda. Forthcoming. “Religion, Personality, and Politics.” In Oxford Encyclopedia of Politics & Religion, Paul A. Djupe and Mark Rozell, eds. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ksiazkiewicz, Aleksander, and Amanda Friesen. 2017. “Genes and Politics,” in the Handbook of Biology and Politics. Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit (eds.), Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. Ksiazkiewicz and Friesen ch 6

Friesen, Amanda. 2017. “How American Women and Men Read the Bible.” In The Bible in American Life, Philip Goff, Arthur Farnsley, and Peter Theusen, eds. Oxford University Press.

Dissertation: Examining the Covariance of Religious and Political Beliefs within Individuals and Across Generations