Sheffer, Lior


In Progress

Email Address



Comparative Politics


Public Policy


Peter Loewen

Sheffer, Lior


Foundations of Political Expertise: How Experience and Personality Shape the Decision Making of Political Elites


Lior Sheffer is a Political Science PhD student at the University of Toronto studying elite political behaviour. His research focuses on executive decision making: he looks at whether and how people who run for office differ from non-politicians when they solve problems and reason about the policy choices they have to make. He conducts behavioural experiments with incumbent politicians as participants, across different contexts and countries. He is especially interested in politicians’ risk-taking, and looks at how factors like experience and in-office accountability affect risk preferences and other features of decision making.

His broader substantive interests are comparative public policy, elections and campaigns, and legislative behaviour. Methodologically, he is interested in survey and field experiments, survey design, and large-scale data analysis. He is also interested in methods for eliciting spontaneous evaluations based on visual cues, in Bayesian models of belief formation, and in network analysis.


Loewen, Peter J., Kelly Hinton and Lior Sheffer. (2015). “Beauty Contests and Strategic Voting.” Electoral Studies, 38:38-45.

Sheffer, Lior, Peter J. Loewen, Stefaan Walgrave, Stuart Soroka, and Tamir Sheafer. (2017). “Non-Representative Representatives: An Experimental Study of the Decision Making of Elected Politicians.'” The American Political Science Review, forthcoming.

Sheffer, Lior and Peter J. Loewen. (2017). “Electoral Confidence, Overconfidence, and Risky Behaviour: Evidence From a Study With Elected Politicians.” Political Behavior, forthcoming.

Research Interests

Political psychology, comparative political behaviour, executive decision making, experiments with elites, risk-taking, legislative behaviour.

Previous Degrees

M.A., Public Policy and Government (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), B.Sc., Mathematics and Cognitive Sciences (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Teaching Experience

(Upcoming, Summer Semester 2017) Course instructor, Introduction to Political Psychology (POL300H)
2015, 2016 – Teaching Assistant, Decision Making and Strategy (GLA1005H)
2009, 2010 – Teaching Assistant, Public Finance for Public Policy M.A. (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)