Institute for social research

ISR Update, the online complement to the ISR Sampler, designed to keep you up to date on all the latest news about ISR research, events, and people.

From the Director

James jackson  

Greetings as we start another busy academic year! As you know, ISR research has always been conducted in the public interest. But we also conduct research of great interest to the public. From the state of consumer confidence to how much housework men do, ISR studies and experts are among the most frequently cited in the world –discussed at the dinner table and around the water cooler as well as in Congress by policy-makers.

As you’ll notice in this issue, we are now making our research even more accessible through the addition of multimedia content featuring our scientists talking about their findings and the experience of working at ISR.

You’ll find other articles about ISR research, events and people on the ISR website and the website for the ISR Sampler. You can also find the latest ISR news – including stories about ISR research covered in the news – by following us on Facebook and Twitter. And tune in to watch videos about our work on YouTube as well. Let us know what you think, and have a wonderful fall!

Photo credit: Steve Kuzma



George alter  


Historian George Alter appointed Director of ISR Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Photo credit: U-M Photo Services



Demographer Albert Hermalin and sociologist Deborah Lowry uncover the surprising truth about women smokers in China.

Read the article and watch the video .

Research News

Research news  

It doesn’t take a village to raise a child after all.

Read the story and watch the video

Photo credit: Beverly Strassmann

Persuasive speech: How we, um, talk sways our listeners.

Read the story and listen to the podcast

Air pollution near schools hurts children’s health and academic success.

Read more.



Douvan Junior Scholars fund benefit concert Oct. 16 with William Bolcom & Joan Morris.

ISR Population Studies Center 50th Anniversary Celebration

ISR Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research 50th Anniversary


In the News


NPR and the Associated Press were among the news outlets covering a Census Bureau report on marriage and divorce trends. ISR's Pamela Smock, who directs the ISR Population Studies Center, commented on the rising median age of marriage: “People are no longer following some lockstep script about when it is time to get married,” she said.

Photo credit: U-M Photo Services

Richard Nisbett was quoted in ABC News coverage of a study showing that places with a Culture of Honor have higher accidental death rates. Nisbett’s classic book, “Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South,” was the first to explore the link between culture and aggression.

Michael Traugott was quoted in a New York Times analysis of why compromise is so difficult to achieve in Washington. Traugott predicts that debate about how to cut the federal deficit will go down to the wire, just as the debate about the debt ceiling.



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