Scott Matthews

Associate Professor

SN 2047
Department of Political Science, Science Building
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 Canada

Telephone: (709) 864-3093
Email: scott[dot]matthews[at]mun[dot]ca


BA, MA (Simon Fraser); PhD (UBC)

Areas for Student Research Supervision

  • Elections, public opinion and voting behaviour
  • Political psychology
  • Political parties
  • Parties and elections in the US and Canada

Examples of Recent Courses Taught

3010 Empirical Methods in Political Science
3310 American Politics


Dr. 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 multiple 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 investments (or "policy tradeoffs"); economic inequality and electoral accountability;l and priming effects during election campaigns. Blog posts about his research on policy tradeoffs can be found at the Monkey Cage (The Washington Post) and the USAPP blog at the London School of Economics.

From 2017 to 2019, Dr. Matthews is an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) at the University of Mannheim (Mannheim, Germany). During the 2016-2017 academic year, Matthews held the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee).

From 2011 to 2016, Dr. Matthews was Director of the Canadian Opinion Research Archive in the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario). Prior to his arrival at Memorial in 2012, he was an Assistant Professor at Queen's University, where was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor (effective July 2012).

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

J. Scott Matthews and Mark Pickup. In Press. ‘Rational Learners or
Impervious Partisans?: Economic News and Partisan Bias in Economic
Perceptions.’ Canadian Journal of Political Science.

J. Scott Matthews. Forthcoming. ‘Issue Priming Revisited: Susceptible
Voters and Detectable Effects.’ British Journal of Political Science.
(Published online (“FirstView”): 18 July 2017.)

Alan Jacobs and J. Scott Matthews. 2017. "Policy Attitudes in Institutional Context: Rules, Uncertainty, and the Mass Politics of Public Investment." American Journal of Political Science 61-1: 194-207.

Timothy Hicks, Alan Jacobs, and J. Scott Matthews. 2016. ‘Inequality and Electoral Accountability: Class-Biased Economic Voting in Comparative Perspective.’ The Journal of Politics 78-4: 1076-1093.

Randy Besco, Bailey Gerrits, and J. Scott Matthews. 2016. ‘White Millionaires and Hockey Skates: Racial and Gendered Mediation in News Coverage of a Canadian Mayoral Election.’ International Journal of Communication 10: 4641-4660.

J. Scott Matthews and Amanda Bittner. 2015. ‘Newfoundland and Labrador Votes: An Account of the Determinants of Vote Choice in the 2011 Election.’ Canadian Political Science Review 9-2: 21-41.

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.

Reprinted in: Justin Fisher & Christopher Wlezien, eds. 2012. The UK General Election of 2010: Explaining the Outcome. New York, NY: Routledge.

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.

Reprinted (excerpt) in: Peter Russell, et al., eds. 2016. Essential Readings in Canadian Government and Politics, 2nd Edition. Toronto, ON: Emond Montgomery Publications.

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.


J. Scott Matthews and Denver McNeney. 2014. ‘“We like this”: The impact of news websites’ consensus information on political attitudes.’ In Alex Marland, Thierry Giasson, and Tamara Small, eds., Political Communication in Canada: Meet the Press and Tweet the Rest. 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 Federal Elections: Evidence from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.’ In Jerry White, Julie Peters, Dan Beavon and Peter Dinsdale, eds., Aboriginal Policy Research, Volume 10: Research Methods, Justice, Governance and Politics. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing.

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


J. Scott Matthews. 2015. ‘Horserace Journalism Under Stress?’. In Alex Marland and Thierry Giasson, eds., Canadian Election Analysis: Communication, Strategy and Democracy. Vancouver: UBC Press.

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

Allison Harell, Dimitrios Panagos, and J. Scott Matthews. 2009. Explaining Aboriginal Turnout in Federal Elections: Evidence from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Ottawa: Elections Canada.