Hood College Department of Political Science and Global Studies

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    Understanding the Concept of Race and Racial Discrimination in Latin America
    (2024-04-25) Axel S. Barahona Perez; Dr. Paige Eager; Hood College Department of Political Science; Hood College Departamental Honors
    Latin America ranks highest in the world in markers of socio-economic inequality, as well as in the negative effects that inequality has on other realms of life, such as access to basic services, access to education and professional opportunities, political influence, and, in many countries, unfair treatment by police and the justice system. These factors of inequality affect the lives of millions of people in Latin America, mainly indigenous and Afro-descendant people. Thus, it is evident that discrimination and racism are a constituent part of the Latin American region. However, many Latin American countries have declared themselves as post-racial because of the multi-racial and multi-cultural characteristics of their population, arguing that racism and racial discrimination are not present in their body politics and society. This narrative is the result of the concept of mestizaje, the mixing of races, that was imposed on the populations during colonial times, and in the post-colonial period. The concepts of mestizaje and racial democracy were utilized by Latin American Elites as tools for the nation-building process of the newly formed nations. Consequently, after political and social processes of integration into Latin American society and identity, the concepts of race and racial discrimination are not considered social issues, and there is a denial regarding the existence of racism and discrimination in the Latin American region by the general public and governments.
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    The Kurdish Question: Assessing the Plausibility of Statehood
    (2017-05) Scarborough, Claire; Eager, Paige; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    The state is the most important political entity on the global stage today. There are over two hundred states in the world today, most whom are members of the United Nations. They come in all shapes and sizes of populations and territories, as well as different forms of government. Statehood grants a country legitimacy under international law, the capacity to enter into diplomatic and economic relations with foreign states, and the ability to participate in the global economy and other institutions. Even so, statehood is an exclusive privilege: who has the right to statehood is a constant subject of debate. From the East fringe of the Taurus Mountains in Turkey to the western peaks of the Zagros, spanning the borderlands of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran, lies the land of the Kurds. Today, the Kurdish people number between 25 to 30 million, making them the largest nation without a state to call their own. For the better part of a century, they have been denied their ethnic identity, treated as outsiders by their Arab countrymen and heretics in spite being predominantly Sunni Muslims. They have been persecuted, played as pawns against their states by outside powers, and then left for dead once their strategic and politic utility expired. There is no country that looks out for the welfare of the Kurds, and so they have made dozens of calls for secession. Though a Kurdish state would protect the integrity of the Kurdish people and their human rights, the creation of a Kurdish state brings with it as many challenges as solutions.
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    The Legality of Drones and Lethal Automatous Weapon Systems: Is Skynet a viable possibility for the future?
    (2016-05) Oakes, Kyle Leif; Eager, Paige; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    The purpose of this paper is to look at the interplay between the current legal aspects of modernized warfare and the military industrial complex. Through analyzing the current and historical legal documents of various international organizations, specifically those of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and national governing bodies, clarification pertaining to the legality of these systems can be found. Furthermore, by looking at corporate information relating to research and development as well as the overall global defense industry legal norms relating to modern military techniques and practices can be found. This paper will not focus on the morality and ethical questions of utilizing autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons systems; rather, it will look purely at the legality of them based on usage trends over the last couple decades. Through the study of current conflicts and warfare, this paper will show that the utilization of armed drones do in fact fall under the laws of armed conflict, whereas the ambiguity of lethal autonomous weapon systems cause them to fall outside the purview of international humanitarian law for the time being. Since these systems do not fall under the laws of armed conflict, it is necessary for the international community to create new sets of laws and regulations prior to the mass implementation of lethal autonomous weapon systems, as a means to break the trend of reactionary laws.
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    Renewing the Energy Debate: How Campaign Framing Influences Environmental Attitudes
    (2023-04-28) Nagel, Madelyn; Robinson, Carin; Eager, Paige; Kindahl, Eric; Hood College Political Science and Global Studies; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Public opinion is an increasingly powerful source that shapes the world around us, particularly in a democracy. Therefore, it is critical that the public is informed and educated about current events and issues to make informed decisions. The technique of framing can influence people’s attitudes toward the environment, energy sustainability, and willingness to take pro-environmental action. In this paper, I examine how framing effects can shape public opinion on the environment, with a focus on renewable energy. How does framing affect environmental attitudes? How does framing affect hypothetical candidates' support? Using an experimental survey, I tested three framing conditions (economic, moral, and social) carefully crafted from keywords/phrases from the 2020 Democratic and Republican Party Platforms. The most effective way to discuss the environment is through an economic frame. In comparison, when discussing the environment in a political or electoral context, a social frame had the most effect. This study suggests that business leaders, activists, or community organizations should consider using an economic frame when addressing the environment. While a social frame would be most effective in an electoral or political context.
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    Perceptions of Treatment-Based Drug Policy: A Case Study in Maryland
    (2023-04-28) Madore, Brynn; Robinson, Carin; Tucker-Worgs, Tamelyn; Shurn, Robert; Hood College Political Science and Global Studies; Hood College Departmental Honors
    A “failure,” “incomplete,” “lacking,” “ineffective,” “crooked,” these are just some of the ways people describe the United States’ current drug policies. Many states focus on the incarceration-based model, prosecuting individuals for the simple possession of drugs, despite experts saying the current approach has failed to reduce drug use and sales in our society (Bowers and Abrahamson, 2020). In contrast, many studies suggest a treatment-based approach would yield better outcomes, reduce prison populations, and improve communities (Kilmer et. al, 2012). In this paper, I examine opinions held by elites working in the drug policy arena and compare them with opinions held by the mass public when it comes to policy in the state of Maryland. Do citizens favor treatment-based or incarceration-based approaches? Does the Not in my Backyard phenomenon shape attitudes? Relying on 12 in-depth elite interviews and an online survey of Maryland citizens, I find similarities in elite and mass opinion that indicate treatment-based approaches are perceived as viable options, however concerns remain as to how this change may affect localities and whether the issue is salient enough for changes to be implemented in the first place. The findings are relevant to research studying public opinion and drug policy in the U.S.
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    When Art Goes Viral: Exploring the Political Circumstances of the New Artistic Condition
    (2018-04-23) Montez, John; Zaki, Hoda; Wold, Wayne; Hood College Political Science and Hood College Music; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Vaporwave is a phenomenon which continually defies academic classification. By some, it is considered an internet-based microgenre. Some generously call it a new artistic movement, and with good reason. Having both a visual and musical component, Vaporwave is undeniably artistic. However, for those who create and consume Vaporwave regularly, there is no ambiguity. Vaporwave is an internet meme. Memes can be understood in two ways. The first, as units of culture. As Richard Dawkins puts it, “​Memes​ (discrete units of knowledge, gossip, jokes and so on) are to culture what genes are to life. Just as biological evolution is driven by the survival of the fittest genes in the gene pool, cultural evolution may be driven by the most successful ​memes​” (Dawkins 1976, 189-201). In this understanding of memes as cultural units, it is of no surprise that one might consider individual works of art to be memetic. Surely the works of the great masters survive in our cultural consciousness like strong genes in the gene pool.
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    Investigating Perceptions of Poverty - A Comparative Study of How Culture Influences Defining Poverty in Ikanga, Tanzania and Peaks Island, United States of America
    (2018-05) Smith, Sophie J.; Eager, Paige; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    One often understands poverty as an issue of economics. At least, this is the existing assumption in many Western nations. And yet, when examining historical definitions of poverty, it becomes readily apparent that definitions and interpretations of poverty widely differ across geographic regions. In Arabic tradition, for example, poverty is regarded as the “inability of an individual to satisfy his own basic needs and the needs of his dependents”, and can be expressed through only being able to afford millet-bread and when an individual is forced to sell the decoration items on his sword (the equivalent in today’s standards would be to sell non-essential material belongings). Australian approaches to poverty differ quite strongly, as poverty is considered an immoveable marker, and nationally has established ‘a definition of poverty so austere as, we believe, to make it unchallengeable. No one can seriously argue that those we define as being poor are not so”. The European Union, by contrast, regards poverty as a relative concept that can exhibit different characteristics depending on culture and location. This paper seeks to explore whether culture plays a role in influencing perceptions of poverty by comparing perceptions of poverty in two different communities.
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    Gender Specific Patterns of Spending Remittances and their Implications for Development: Evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina
    (2017-05) Golemac, Angela; Eager, Paige; Hood College Economics and Business Administration, and Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Remittances are an important tool to combat poverty and stimulate local development. They are an important part of today’s global economy and for some developing countries com- prise a significant percent of GDP. Remittances in Bosnia’s economy were equivalent to 11 percent of GDP in 2013. One out of every twenty households receives remittances. Prior lit- erature demonstrates that gender influences the spending remittances. Women tend to spend remittances more on food and education while men on consumer goods. This paper examines how gender determines remittance expenditures in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Using the World Bank’s LSMS household survey data from 2004, I develop an IV regression and Tobit model, using the share of household receiving remittances and wealth index as instrumental variables. I also used a probit model to examine determinants of receiving remittances. The results confirm the prior literature: women spend more on education, food, and overall consumption, while men spend more on durable goods, health, and cable subscriptions. These results indicate that females receiving remittances do more to help maximize positive benefits of remittances on the development in Bosnia.
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    Communication is Key: Analyzing the Lack of Foreign Language Education in the United States
    (2016-05) Emory, Lydia; Eager, Paige; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Our world is currently home to three and four thousand different languages, with the average American only knowing one: English. Despite the fact that the successes of United States is based in part on the influx of immigrants from all regions of the globe, the inherent push for assimilation and the adoption of English has inhibited second and third generation Americans from practicing their native tongue. Generations of the current US populace lack the opportunity to learn foreign languages, as the necessary educational opportunities to learn a foreign language are substandard in many states. Where is the intrinsic human desire for global communication among the American people, especially those moving forward in the 21st century? Why is there minimal interest from Americans to learn foreign languages and cultures? Why is an emphasis on foreign language education not initiated for American students at a young age, where language retention has been scientifically proven to be higher? Is it America’s geographical positioning and its global influence leading others to learn English that contribute to the shortage of bilingual Americans? The focus of this paper will analyze from various standpoints as to why Americans are not receiving the proper foreign language education necessary to function and thrive within an ever increasingly globalized society. It will assert that the lack of foreign language education negatively affects the United States from both a national security and economic standpoint. Lastly, it will examine the innate benefits of knowing two or more languages and how the improved implementation of foreign language education within the United States can benefit the individual as well as the entirety of the country.
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    Investigating Perceptions of Poverty: A Comparative Study of How Culture Influences Defining Poverty in Ikanga, Tanzania and Peaks Island, United States of America
    (2018-05) Smith, Sophie J.; Eager, Paige; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    One often understands poverty as an issue of economics. At least, this is the existing assumption in many Western nations. And yet, when examining historical definitions of poverty, it becomes readily apparent that definitions and interpretations of poverty widely differ across geographic regions. In Arabic tradition, for example, poverty is regarded as the “inability of an individual to satisfy his own basic needs and the needs of his dependents”, and can be expressed through only being able to afford millet-bread and when an individual is forced to sell the decoration items on his sword (the equivalent in today’s standards would be to sell non-essential material belongings). Australian approaches to poverty differ quite strongly, as poverty is considered an immoveable marker, and nationally has established ‘a definition of poverty so austere as, we believe, to make it unchallengeable. No one can seriously argue that those we define as being poor are not so”. The European Union, by contrast, regards poverty as a relative concept that can exhibit different characteristics depending on culture and location. This paper seeks to explore whether culture plays a role in influencing perceptions of poverty by comparing perceptions of poverty in two different communities. The first community is located in a small village in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, called Ikanga, and was comprised of approximately three hundred residents. The second community is located on a small island off the coast of Maine (United States of America) called Peaks Island, and had approximately 800 permanent residents. Both of these locations were chosen for their relative isolation and similar populations sizes, and were asked the exact same questions. Perceptions of poverty can significantly impact how a nation addresses poverty through policy and law. However, many international organizations simply address poverty through its own relative perspective. This paper demonstrates the multi-dimensional nature of poverty, and ultimately questions current methods of approaching poverty alleviation in a trans-national manner.
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    Interactive Dissent: The Politics of Video Games
    (2016) Cramer, Daniel; Robinson, Carin; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
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    Anti-Muslim Rhetoric in the American Media: Sustaining a Culture of Fear
    (2017-04) Hassaine, Phoebe; Robinson, Carin; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Islamophobia is a concept that has been instilled in society by means of historical reinforcement of stereotypes surrounding Islam and Muslims. This has consequently created a pervasive fear of “terrorism” that has consumed the United States prior to 9/11 and, especially, after the event. Coincidentally, this sensationalized hysteria exploded right after the perpetration of 9/11, evident in a poll conducted on the night of the 9/11 attacks which found that 58% of Americans were “somewhat” or “very” worried that a member of their family might become a terrorist attack victim. The British think tank, Runnymede Trust, lists eight characteristics of Islamophobia that identify the assumptions Westerners make about Islam.
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    Acquisition or Theft: Civil Asset Forfeiture in Pennsylvania
    (2017-04) Reese, Ben; Tucker-Worgs, Tamelyn; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    On a drive through the streets of Philadelphia, PA, Nasir Geiger had just cashed his paycheck which netted him $580 cash in his pocket. Leaving the bank, Nasir was flagged down by police under suspicion of drug dealing. Then the police searched his vehicle but did not find any drugs or anything illegal. Despite this, the Philadelphia police seized his vehicle and his $580 cash under pretenses that Nasir was using his car to commit crimes. It did not matter Nasir had just cashed his paycheck or that he had a clean criminal record, he was booked in jailed. It did not even matter that he did not have drugs in his vehicle or that he was not a drug user or dealer. Following his arrest, Nasir was released and charges were never filed. Nevertheless, he was released to walk home penniless. Despite never having been convicted of a crime, Nasir was legally stripped of his pay and vehicle he required for work. Nasir's $8,400 is only one small part of a $5 billion a year business of civil asset forfeiture (Ingraham). Furthermore, only a few miles down the road, outside Philadelphia city limits, civil asset forfeiture is almost unheard of. Philadelphia, PAhas the largest incidence of civil asset forfeiture in the entire country. The city has double the amount of money seized in civil asset forfeiture cases as Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY combined, even though both are larger cities (Forbes). This practice of civil asset forfeiture has stemmed from the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs consists of many criminal justice policies and public health programs that treat drug addiction and drug sales as a criminal justice issue. The War on Drugs has been plagued by decades with racial disparities. The vast array of racial disparities found in the criminal justice system are found when examining civil asset forfeiture. When examining civil asset forfeiture in one state, like Pennsylvania, it becomes clear that civil seizures are more prevalent in urban communities of color. In Pennsylvania, the rural, mostly white, conservative, and working class areas, tend to have few civil seizures, but the more racially diverse urban centers have huge amounts of civil asset forfeiture.
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    Does Hood Vote? : A Case Study of Political Knowledge and Voting on the Hood College Campus
    (2022-12-12) Malizia, Isabel; Tucker-Worgs, Tamelyn; Robinson, Carin; Course, Didier; Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Case study done on Hood College campus to answer my research question: Are college students knowledgeable about the voting process? Also, to what extent do they attribute their voting education to their college institutions? Study is conducted through mixed methods: first, a self-reported survey rating “I” statements about voter knowledge and then rating statements about the College in relation to civic engagement. Then, in-depth interviews were conducted to select students. Findings were that students at Hood consider themselves to be educated on the voting processes and consider Hood College to be a resource in their voter education. However, the information being received to them may be misinformation. This is a study of attitudes not behavior.
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    Exploring the Legal Parameters of the Crime of Genocide and Analyzing the Efficacy of the Application of the Genocide Convention
    (2022-05-21) Iftikhar, Maryam; Eager, Paige; Global Studies; Departmental Honors
    Genocide is often considered the height of atrocity; the worst example of what humanity can inflict on each other. After the adoption and ratification of the Genocide Convention by the United Nations in 1948 in the aftermath of the Holocaust during WWII, the international community presented a unified commitment to prevent and punish further occurrences of genocide. However, the legal definition of the crime of genocide, while comprehensive and multifaceted, has notably fallen short when invoked in rare instances by the international community, as observed in the cases of the Cambodian Genocide, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICRT), the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the current ICJ case reviewing the persecution of the Rohingya ethnic group by the state of Myanmar. There is a pressing need to critically analyze the efficacy of the Application of the Genocide Convention and explore various amendments to the legal definition of genocide, in order to bolster and reinforce the international community’s duty to prevent and punish crimes of genocide as they occur, in all capacities. By reviewing literature from prominent international legal scholars and human rights activists, an expanded definition of genocide and preventive framework can be developed, which can serve to encompass and persecute the span of genocidal crimes occurring around the globe today, effectively curbing wide-scale exterminations of marginalized communities before they occur, as the Genocide Convention was intended to do. 
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    A Ride on the Trump Train: Using Affective Intelligence Theory to Understand how Source Cues Effect Emotional Responses to Policy Positions
    (2022-04-29) Jakubowski, Shea; Robinson, Carin; Political Science
    To what effect does Donald Trump have on emotions and opinion formation? Emotions have been shown to strongly influence an individual's thoughts, actions, and evaluation. Elite cues have been increasingly used by the masses to make and form judgements on political issues, which can influence how an individual reacts, emotionally, to a situation. The theory of Affective Intelligence proposes that the emotions of anger, anxiety (fear) and enthusiasm predict how an individual will act in a political situation. Using this theory, and these emotions, I conduct a survey with an experimental manipulation to examine how people react differently, emotionally to a quote that is attributed to Donald Trump, versus when it is attributed to a politician. I find that Trump has little effect on overall emotional responses, which I attribute to his lack of current formal political power. Yet, I do find some support for my hypothesis that stronger partisans will feel more strongly towards a quote than weaker partisans on one single quote, which I attribute to a secondary source cue in the quote.
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    An Analysis of the Effectiveness of HUD Assisted Housing in its Mission to Decrease Wealth Disparities
    (2022-04-24) Rowles, Ashlee; Tucker-Worgs, Tamelyn; Hood College Department of Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    This research project is focused on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and its effectiveness through both a political approach and an economic context. The Housing Choice Voucher Program comes most usually in two forms, one being a housing voucher participants used to find affordable housing in the private market, and the other form being public housing projects which are low-cost residential neighborhoods funded by the policy and located within housing authorities. Both are federally funded yet locally managed initiatives that provide low rent affordable housing for residents who qualify. Ideally, this “safety net” catches families unable to afford market rate rental housing or mortgages, giving them opportunities for economic upward mobility. My research shows that when using a multidimensional approach that includes wraparound services, Section 8 housing assistance can create a truly transformative experience for program participates. My research project employs case study analysis to understand why particular section 8 initiatives utilize this multi-dimensional approach to better support their residents, and why others solely offer the reduction of housing costs without any other accompanying support. The difference between these processes of tackling poverty has a different impact, and the limitations of some section 8 initiatives result in less effective support for their residents, overall community, and their own mission of aiding participants to become self-sufficient. With this disparity of support and aid, this research project will focus on what jurisdictions within six different locally managed Section 8 programs are most commonly accompanying this more supportive and impactful iteration of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program to better understand possible inequalities within the service of this policy.
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    Western Colonization and Its Impact on Female Migrant Workers: The Study of Labor Management of Domestic Migrant Workers from Indonesia and the Philippines
    (2021-05-26) English, Marhaennia; Eager, Paige; Boyd, Ann; Campion, Corey; Hood College Department of Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Indonesia and the Philippines are two countries of origin for labor migration. These countries share similar historical roots; however, female Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are often more successful than Indonesian female migrant workers (PMI). This research paper will explore and compare how the legacies of colonization affect migrant workers from Indonesia and the Philippines. I will explore cultural colonialism by the Spanish and the Americans in the Philippines in comparison with the Dutch in Indonesia. The majority of female migrant workers are employed in the service industry; thus, this paper will focus on female domestic workers. Furthermore, this paper will also explore the degree to which Dutch, Spanish, and American colonialism influenced gender relations in Indonesia and the Philippines. I will analyze how perceptions of women have continuing influences upon the social status and progress of female domestic workers. Lastly, this paper will compare how the legacies of colonization affect labor management for female domestic migrant workers by examining policies which focus on women’s empowerment and agency prior to leaving the sending country for their overseas placement. Another critical aspect of the research focuses on the efficacy of the workers’ legal protections both in the receiving and sending countries.
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    Can Elites Persuade Elites?: The Effect of Partisan Elite Cues on Attitudes Towards Black Lives Matter and Environmental Policy Among State-level Democratic Committee Members
    (2021-04-26) Duff, Kimberly; Robinson, Carin; Eager, Paige; Goldenbach, Alan; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Research shows that elite cues influence citizen attitudes toward issues and policies, but it is relatively unknown if elite cues influence elites. Through an experimental survey of 102 Democratic Central Committee members in Maryland, I find that elites can be influenced by ideological cues with limited effects. A progressive Democrat cue elicits a more moderate response whereas a moderate Democrat cue elicits a more progressive response. Through the lens of social identity, I infer that there are intraparty in-group and out-group categorizations within the Democratic Party that exist between moderates and progressives, and I test the theory through an experimental survey with ideological cue attributions. I find high support for the Black Lives Matter movement and relatively low support for policy efforts to defund the police. I further find that there is a gender gap on the experimental effects of cue taking across racial and environmental issues. Finally, my findings suggest the Democratic Party should use moderate frames, voices, or attributions when attempting to advance a progressive agenda.
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    Saliency of the Coronavirus and its Impact on Charitable Giving
    (2021-04) Murphey, Sarah; Tucker-Worgs, Tamelyn; Robinson, Carin; Cacciola, Jaime; Hood College Political Science; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Previous research has shown emotions can significantly influence whether someone will donate to an organization. Furthermore, proximity and personal experience affect philanthropic behavior. Also, if media make consumers feel sympathetic, they are more likely to become philanthropic. This phenomenon is called sympathy bias. It is unknown, however, if this theory will pertain to philanthropic behavior during the coronavirus. To understand the factors that affect contemporary individual philanthropy, I conducted a survey experiment with over 140 participants to determine what influences individual giving. Each participant was randomly assigned either an emotionally charged article covering the coronavirus, a statistical article covering the coronavirus, or no article and then presented with a hypothetical scenario where they can decide to donate money to a coronavirus research organization. I find participants given either article were significantly more likely to donate money than those in the control group. Additionally, the influence of ideology was minimized in those conditions. This research contributes to the literature by examining how different media frames of the coronavirus affect philanthropic giving.