Book presentation “Party Systems in Young Democracies”

Presentation of Edalina Rodrigues Sanches’ book recently published in Routledge “Party Systems in Young Democracies”.

Edalina’s book is her PhD thesis, defended in ICS, and it was presented by Ignacio Lago and Marina Costa Lobo



REP – Representativeness of Social Partners and the Impact of Economic Governance

PI: Raquel Rego


The REP project aims to understand the conditions and implications of the representativeness of social partners in economic governance. In democratic societies, social partners play a fundamental regulatory role of the labour market, representativeness providing them legitimacy to be consulted and to negotiate. However, representativeness is enveloped in a puzzle and scarce research tends to restrict representativeness to a membership rate and to focus on one side of labour relations, trade unions. Assuming that representativeness is a multifaceted concept, the REP project will,  for the first time, combine membership representativeness with composition and opinion congruence between representatives and represented. Also, the REP project will focus on both trade unions and employers’ associations, having into account their different collective interests. In brief, the REP project intends to contribute to a more informed decision-making process, more transparent and trustful organisations, and fairer labour relations.

Ignacio Lago and Javier Astudillo “It’s not me, It’s you: The electoral effects of intra-party democracy”

Ignacio Lago presented his and Javier’s paper on electoral effects on intra-party democracy. Here’s the abstract:

“In this paper the foundations of existing research regarding the effects of intra-party democracy on candidates’ electoral strength are revisited. We argue that primary effects entail the interdependence of party procedures for candidate selection. The conventional use of a binary dummy capturing whether candidates are selected by primary or by other methods has two negative consequences. First, it leads to a biased estimate of the effect of primaries on candidate strength. Second, it does not reveal whether the mechanism accounting for the primary effect is related to the primary-selected candidates, to the candidates not selected by primary, or both at the same time. Using original aggregated data from seven parties and 282 regional elections in Canada, Germany and Spain, and individual data from 62 pre-election polls in Germany and Spain, we found no evidence that, other things equal, primary-selected candidates are stronger than those selected by other procedures. However, there is evidence of a penalty for those parties not selecting candidates by primary when the rival does, in particular when the primary elections are less divisive and the temporal proximity between the primary and the general election is closer.”IMG-20180525-WA0000


HATE: Streams of hate and untruth? Using online news comments, posts and tweets to investigate attitudes and the prevalence of hate and untruth in political debates

PI: Susana Salgado

Co-PI: Jorge Vala


Hundreds of millions of comments, posts and tweets are left everyday by people all over the world, but many of them are polarized and uncivil, clearly stretching freedom of speech and often putting democratic political debate into question. This research addresses this pressing political and social issue and the impact of technology on society in different countries, through a comparative and innovative multi-methods and interdisciplinary approach. ​

Scope and Meanings of the Intergroup Time Bias in Racialised Social Relations

PI: Cicero Roberto Pereira 

Co-PI: Jorge Vala


Is it possible that people invest their time differently when they assess and make decisions about outgroup and ingroup members? If they do, which psychological variables are associated with this discrimination in the use of time? Importantly, what are the consequences of this discrimination regarding social inclusion?

Recently, we started a research line about the time people invest when forming impressions (1). Examining the problem from the perspective of intergroup relations (2, 3), and considering time as a socially valued resource (4, 5). We found that white participants spent more time judging white people than black people, which indicates a bias in time spent judging members of the ingroup and the outgroup. We called this effect “Intergroup Time Bias” (ITB), a psychological phenomenon characterized by the motivation to invest more time in evaluating and making decisions about ingroup than outgroup members. That is, the ITB is a form of implicit discrimination against black people.

The study of the meaning and consequences of ITB represents an innovation in social psychology. In fact, time as a socially valued resource has not yet been the object of in-depth study by social psychologists. Overcoming this gap is socially relevant because the ITB can have dramatic social consequences in diverse social life domains.
Thus, we propose to carry out eight studies to achieve the following objectives:

a) To determine whether ITB occurs in other social judgments besides impression formation (1). So, we will analyse ITB in medical diagnosis and in schools. In the medical context, we will study the time that physicians invest in the diagnosis of white and black patients, and elderly and middle aged people. In the school context, we will study whether teachers also invest more time when evaluating black and white students.
b) To analyse the psychosocial mechanisms underlying ITB. Specifically, the role of the aversion felt by white people towards black people as a mediator of the ITB effect. This hypothesis stems from previous studies (6) on aversive racism. The hypothesis that mediation due to aversion only occurs when threat perception is activated will tested. In addition, a further study will analyse if the ITB is associated with depleting effects of spontaneous prejudice suppression (7).

These studies will be conducted by an ICSUL research team of specialists in the fields of discrimination, prejudice, and cognitive processes. The researchers involved are Cicero Pereira, the project coordinator, who specialises in intergroup relations and experimental and comparative research methods; Jorge Vala, who specialises in racism, intergroup relations and social norms; and Rui Costa-Lopes, who specializes in social norms and implicit prejudice. FP-UL: Leonel Garcia-Marques specialises in social cognition and decision-making processes. CIS\IUL: Miguel Ramos specialises in well-being minority groups. FM/ISA-UL: Paulo Nicola, specialist in studies about public health in minorities