Eli Pallrand


Project Title: Democracy and Intimacy: The Personalization of Politicians and the Psychology of Elections 

Project Description: In a democracy, voters often interact with their elected representatives —and those who seek their votes —not only as instruments of their will but as friends, family, even embodiments of their own identity. From pollsters asking who voters would rather drink with, to candidates attempting to imitate areas’ mannerisms on the campaign trail, the democratic process is never just about policy, but about people, often in apolitical terms. This project asks: what can we learn about the psychological function of elected representatives by looking at how they interact with their supporters? What do voters want from a representative? And, what kinds of desire and intimacy does electoral democracy require?

Most Important Accomplishment: Learning the crucial life skills that are cooking and baking.

Reflections on the College Scholar Program: The program has allowed me to combine my interests and make connections between disciplines in ways that no other major would have allowed, better supporting my intellectual journey.