Samuel Jens

Hello and welcome,

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stony Brook University. My dissertation measures risk aversion of elected officials in the US Congress using speeches (text) from the Congressional Record. My committee is chaired by Professor Ryan Vander Wielen and includes Professor Michael Peress and Professor Stanley Feldman.

The first chapter of my dissertation presents a methods-based approach for measuring traits of legislators using text/speech data. My second and third chapters examine how risk aversion influences the progressive ambition of House members and their legislative styles, respectively.

Outside of school, I enjoy biking, camping, and GT3/4 racing.

Thank you for visiting my personal website! You may find my current CV at the top of the page. You may reach me via email at samuel [dot] jens [@] stonybrook [dot] edu.


  • American Politics
  • Legislative Behavior
  • Political Psychology
  • Research Methods


Stony Brook University
2018 - present
Ph.D. American Politics and Political Psychology
Stony Brook University
2017 - 2018
M.A. Political Science
College of William and Mary
2013 - 2017
B.A. Psychology (Honors) and Government

Research in Progress

Risk Aversion and Party Relation in the U.S. Congress 2022, working research
Ryan Vander Wielen and Samuel Jens
Their Economic Pain, Our Emotional Gain: Can Schadenfreude Motivate Responses to Redistributive Policies? 2021, under review
H. Hannah Nam, Samuel Jens, and Yanna Krupnikov

Blog Posts

Ideas that Interest Me: Both Curricular and Extracurricular
Presidential Rankings and Skowronek's (1993) Regimes
Simulating Ideal Points for Shotts (2003) in R
Web Scraping Congressional Leaders' Press Releases with R
The Relationship between Qualifying Position and Final Position in the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe