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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Tessa Ditonto, PhD

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Dr. Ditonto is an assistant professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. Her research interests include gender and politics, political psychology, American politics, and voting behaviour. Specifically, her work focuses on perceptions of female political candidates, the role of stereotypes and prejudice in voter decision-making, and the effects of information and cognition on political behaviour.

She received her BA from the University of Michigan (2004) and her PhD from Rutgers University - New Brunswick (2013). She previously worked as an assistant professor at Iowa State University before joining SGIA in 2019. 

Research Interests

  • American Politics
  • Gender and politics
  • Political behaviour
  • Political psychology
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Women and politics

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Ditonto, Tessa & Andersen, David (Published). Beyond the Presidency, 2016: Women Candidates in Down-Ballot Races. In Politicking While Female: The Political Lives of Women. Bauer, Nichole LSU Press. 115-136.
  • Ditonto, Tessa (Accepted). Voting and Gender. In The Sage Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender. Nadal, Kevin Sage.
  • Ditonto, Tessa & Lau, Richard R. (2018). (Working Toward) Affective Transfer in the Real World. In The Feeling, Thinking Citizen: Essays in Honor of Milton Lodge. Lavine, Howard & Taber, Charles Routledge.
  • Ditonto, Tessa (2014). The 'Outsider' and the Presidency: Mediated Representations of Race and Gender in the 2008 Presidential Primaries. In Race and the Obama Phenomenon: The Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union. Daniel, G. Reginald & Williams, Hettie University of Mississippi Press.

Journal Article

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Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Politics & Society: Women and politics
  • Politics & Society: American Politics
  • Politics & Society: Voting behaviour, candidate evaluation, partisanship

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Barbara Lee Family Foundation grant for tracking of female gubernatorial candidates' campaigns
  • 2011: National Science Foundation Dissertation Research Improvement Grant