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Dr. James C. Garand Kicks Off Three-Part Research Series

Distinguished Professor Lectures on Understanding Support for Government Spending and Taxes
Dr. James C. Garand Kicks Off Three-Part Research Series

Dr. James C. Garand, Emogene Pliner Distinguished Professor & Director of Graduate Studies in the LSU Department of Political Science

On January 26th, Political Science Professor Dr. James C. Garand kicked off the Honors College Research Series with his pilot study on how current methods of measuring the American public's opinions inaccurately reflect the public's opinions on government spending and taxation. 

According to Garand’s lecture, the problem comes from bias in the way survey questions are asked with greater focus on spending instead of taxation, without referencing the possible consequences that increasing spending may have on taxes or vice versa.  As part of his research, Garand reframed the survey questions to mention both spending and taxes with a significant percentage changing their responses in order to find a better way of determining the public’s opinion. 

"I was very pleased with how many people came, questions were great, and this was a blast,” said Garand, who is teaching a brand new Honors course this semester on Research Methods in the Social Sciences.  "I really enjoy talking about research just in general … and to see the engagement of students about this project is just very exciting."

Dr. Garand's study is the first of this semester's three Research Series events. The second event will be held this Thursday night from 7 — 8 p.m. in the West Laville Study as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Michael Pasquier presents "What Is a Grave?  What Cemeteries Can Tell Us About Life and Death in Louisiana."

The Honors Research Series showcases and promotes research in the LSU Honors College, demonstrating the processes of, stimulating conversation about, and contributing to a culture of research.  The Research Series continues through the spring semester, culminating in the annual LSU Honors College Thesis Colloquium, where Honors students step into the spotlight and share their current research with their peers, faculty mentors, and the greater Honors community.