Mackenzie Israel-Trummel’s SSRC Covid-19 rapid-response research grant focused on advocacy on behalf of the incarcerated, who are among those groups most at risk during the pandemic. Here Israel-Trummel reports on the sources of empathy and advocacy for prison inmates through experiments in perspective-taking. She finds that, when people are prompted to imagine themselves or a loved one as a prisoner, empathy and (potentially) political action are more likely to follow.
Mackenzie Israel-Trummel is an assistant professor in the Department of Government at William & Mary where she studies issues of race and ethnic politics, political behavior, gender, and carceral state control. Previously, Israel-Trummel was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma and an affiliate faculty member in women and gender studies and Latinx studies from 2015 to 2020. While at OU she cofounded the Community Engagement + Experiments Lab and served on its faculty advisory board. She received a BA from Occidental College in politics with a minor in French literary studies and earned her PhD in 2015 from Stanford University where she wrote a dissertation on intersectional identities and political behavior. Her research currently examines one overarching question: How do marginalized groups fare under US democracy? She uses a number of quantitative methods—such as experiments and survey research—to answer her research questions. Israel-Trummel’s scholarship has been published in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Journal of Experimental Political Science, and PS: Political Science & Politics.