Peter R. Licari

Social and Behavioral Scientist | PhD Candidate | Data Wrangler

I’m a behavioral social scientist and PhD candidate in American Politics and Political Methodology at the University of Florida. I received my Master's degree in Political Science from UF and my Bachelor's in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from The University of North Florida.

In my work, I research social behavior through the lens of advanced quantitative and qualitative inference. Broadly, I am interested in the socially relevant stuff going on between people’s ears (attitudes, biases, cognitions, etc.), how they’re conditioned by social, media, and political forces, and how this all influences people’s identities, the ways they act, and the things they believe. These topics often come up in my academic research as well as in my data visualizations, analyses, and other projects. I am passionate about investigating social behavior in ways that solves problems, garners new insights, and, hopefully, adds some good to the world.

Before I was anything else, I was a writer. I began writing seriously at 16 and have never really stopped. My work ranges from pieces of academic research to blog posts, to op-eds, analyses, and articles for a number of popular outlets. Looking back on my freelance days, where I'd write about topics as varied as the solar system, LiDAR technology, and the rules of the Olympic steeple chase, it's been a weird, wild, and windy road to now. Along the way, I've come to realize what drives me as an author, thinker, and analyst: Science, society, human behavior, data, and the stories they all lead us to tell.

I believe that one does not truly know something until they grapple with it, play with it, then try to teach it. I have been fortunate enough to teach during my time at UF. As an instructor, my biggest priorities are subject knowledge, enthusiasm, care for my students, and facilitation of learning. My passion for teaching extends to the digital realm as well. I'm also the creator of the Professor Politics YouTube channel, where I make short videos about society and the social sciences. The channel has amassed roughly 100 videos and 8,000 subscribers since I started it. I've got no plans to slow down anytime soon.

When I’m not working, I can usually be found training for my next road race, reading, relaxing with my wife, playing with my dog, Dude, and having oddly-productive one-sided conversations with my cat, Asia.