Philip D. Waggoner

Welcome! My name is Philip Waggoner and I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and a Faculty Affiliate at the Social Science Research Methods Center (SSRMC) at the College of William & Mary.

My research explores how and why people make decisions at the mass and elite levels of American politics. At the intersection of behavior and institutions, I use a variety of statistical techniques, experimental methods, and interactive data visualization to explore questions related to public policy making, trust in automation, and political representation. My research has been supported by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Mason University, the William A. Steiger Fund for Legislative Studies and the Centennial Center of the American Political Science Association.

I received my Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Houston, an M.P.A. from the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado, Denver, and a B.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University. For more information, see my CV.



I also enjoy writing R packages and am an occasional contributor at R-Bloggers. I am an author and the active maintainer of the ssrmc package, which complements the data and work of the SSRMC at William & Mary. In addition, I have released: rIP (with Ryan Kennedy and Scott Clifford) for validating IP addresses to address fraud in online surveys; hhi for calculation and visualization of Herfindahl-Hirschman Index scores; purging to address mediation effects among independent variables; and for fun, mlbstats, which is a player metrics calculator for a host of statistics from base-running and batting, to fielding and pitching. Several of my other projects and packages in process are available at my GitHub. Send any bug catches my way, either directly or by opening a ticket at GitHub. Enjoy!

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

                    PDF | Replication Materials | GitHub Repo

                 PDF | Appendix

Manuscripts Under Review

  • "Measuring Aggregate Policy Priorities of the U.S. House of Representatives"
  • "Tracing IP Addresses and Detecting Responses from Server Farms in Online Surveys" (with Ryan Kennedy and Scott Clifford)
  • "The Impact of Personality on Issue Specialization in Congress."
  • "A Simple Method for Purging Mediation Effects"
  • "The Role of Personality in Trust in Public Policy Automation" (with Ryan Kennedy).

Manuscripts in Preparation & Working Papers (Selected)

  • "The Shape of and Solutions to the MTurk Quality Crisis." (with Scott Clifford, Ryan Kennedy, Tyler Burleigh, and Ryan Jewell)
  • "Explaining the Impact of Cosponsorship in Congress" (with Carol Ann Downes).
  • "Issue Ownership, Trespassing and Policy Representation"
  • "Trust in Public Policy Algorithms." (with Ryan Kennedy and Matthew Ward)
  • "Adapting Neural Networks to Explain Legislative Productivity." (with Juntao Wang)
  • An Introductory Guide to LaTeX.

Dormant Projects (Selected)
  • "Structure, Conduct, and Performance in Congress."
  • "The Ideological Dynamics of Presidential Foreign Policy Rhetoric." (with Matthew Ward)
  • "Subnational Issue Ownership." (with Boris Shor)