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Scott Matthews

Scott Matthews
Associate Professor & Graduate Cooridinator
Department of Political Science, Science Building
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 Canada
Phone:  (709) 864-3093
Email: scott[dot]matthews[at]mun[dot]ca

B.A., M.A. (Simon Fraser); Ph.D. (UBC)

Areas for Student Research Supervision
- Elections, public opinion and voting behaviour
- Political psychology
- Political parties
- Parties and elections in the U.S. and Canada

Examples of Recent Courses Taught
-American Politics
-Political Behaviour
-Empirical Methods in Political Science


Scott Matthews specializes in the study of elections, voting and public opinion in Canada and the United States. He is broadly interested in the psychology of political learning and attitude change in diverse domains of political behaviour. While Matthews has written on diverse topics, at present, his on-going research is focused on: the role of uncertainty in support for costly public goods (or “policy tradeoffs”); economic inequality and electoral accountability; priming effects during election campaigns; and limits on partisan bias in political perception.

Matthews is also Director of the Canadian Opinion Research Archive ( and Adjunct Professor in the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University. Prior to his arrival at Memorial in 2012, he was an Assistant Professor at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario), where he was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor (effective July, 2012).

For the most current information about Matthews’ research -- including his C.V. and a complete listing of his published and unpublished work -- see his page here: 

Select Publications

Articles (print journals)
Alan Jacobs and J. Scott Matthews. Forthcoming. ‘Policy Attitudes in Institutional Context: Rules, Uncertainty, and the Mass Politics of Public Investment.’ American Journal of Political Science.

Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, J. Scott Matthews and Janet Hiebert. 2013. ‘The Courts/Parliament Trade-off: Canadian Attitudes on Judicial Influence in Public Policy.’ Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 51-3: 377-397.

J. Scott Matthews, Mark Pickup, and Fred Cutler. 2012. ‘The Mediated Horserace: Campaign Polls and Poll Reporting.’ Canadian Journal of Political Science 45-2: 261-287.

Alan Jacobs and J. Scott Matthews. 2012. ‘Why Do Citizens Discount the Future? Public Opinion and the Timing of Policy Consequences.’ British Journal of Political Science 42-4: 903-935.

Mark Pickup, J. Scott Matthews, Will Jennings, Robert Ford, and Stephen Fisher. 2011. ‘Why did the polls overestimate Lib Dem support? Sources of Polling Error in the 2010 British General Election.’ Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 21-2: 179-209.

J. Scott Matthews and Richard Johnston. 2010. ‘The Campaign Dynamics of Economic Voting.’ Electoral Studies 29: 13-24.

J. Scott Matthews and Lynda Erickson. 2008. ‘Welfare State Structures and the Structure of Welfare State Support: Attitudes Towards Social Spending in Canada, 1993-2000.’ European Journal of Political Research 47: 411-435.

Richard Johnston, J. Scott Matthews and Amanda Bittner. 2007. ‘Turnout and the Party System in Canada, 1988-2004.’ Electoral Studies 26: 735-745.

J. Scott Matthews. 2005. ‘The Political Foundations of Support for Same-Sex Marriage in Canada.’ Canadian Journal of Political Science 38-4: 841-866.

J. Scott Matthews and Lynda Erickson. 2005. ‘Public Opinion and Social Citizenship in Canada.’ Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 42-4: 373-401.

Fred Cutler and J. Scott Matthews. 2005. ‘The Challenge of Municipal Voting: Vancouver 2002.’ Canadian Journal of Political Science 38-2: 359-383.

Chapters (peer-reviewed)
J. Scott Matthews and Denver McNeney. 2014. ‘“We like this”: The impact of news websites’ consensus information on political attitudes.’ In Thierry Giasson, Alex Marland, and Tamara Small, eds., Political Communication in Canada. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

J. Scott Matthews, Matthew Mendelsohn and Randy Besco. 2013. ‘Regionalism in Political Attitudes, 1993 to 2010.’ In Matthew Mendelsohn, Joshua Hjartarson and James Pearce, eds., Canada: The State of the Federation 2010 - Shifting Power: The New Ontario and What it Means for Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.

J. Scott Matthews. 2013. ‘When Partisans are Attacked: Motivated Reasoning and the New Party System.’ In Amanda Bittner and Royce Koop, eds., Parties, Elections and the Future of Canadian Politics. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Allison Harell, Dimitrios Panagos, and J. Scott Matthews. 2011. ‘Explaining Aboriginal Turnout in Canada.’ In Aboriginal Policy Research, Volume 10: Research Methods, Justice, Governance and Politics, eds. Jerry White, Julie Peters, Dan Beavon and Peter Dinsdale. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing.

J. Scott Matthews. 2010. ‘Enlightenment, Equalization or What? Campaigns, Learning and the Economy in Canadian Elections.’ In Voting Behaviour in Canada, edited by Laura Stephenson and Cameron Anderson. Vancouver: UBC Press.


Other publications (reports, open-source journal articles)
Amanda Bittner and J. Scott Matthews. Forthcoming. ‘Newfoundland and Labrador Votes: An Account of the Determinants of Vote Choice in the 2011 Election.’ Canadian Political Science Review.

J. Scott Matthews and Matthew Mendelsohn. 2010. The New Ontario: The Shifting Attitudes of Ontarians toward the Federation. Toronto: Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation.