Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Poster

First Advisor

Schraufnagel, Scot D.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


This research explores what background characteristics are more closely associated with uncivil acts by members of Congress, while serving in Congress. Put differently, the research seeks to identify biographical attributes that predict uncivil member behavior. The time period of the study is the 45th (1877-78) through the 113th Congress (2013-14). Each implicated members is compared, randomly, with another member from their political party, their chamber, and their Congress, holding constant these factors as possible explanations for uncivil acts. Independent variables tested include: legal education and experience, judicial experience, state legislature experience, ideological alignment, congressional leadership, being the chair of a standing committee, and gender. The analysis suggests both leadership roles, state legislative experience, and gender associate with civility in the hypothesized manner. However, our test of legal background confirms the null hypothesis; there is no difference between those implicated and their matched pair.

Program Program

Research Rookies


1 poster




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type