Brian Krenz

User Experience Designer


Work at the Institute for Social Research

About This Work

Skills Applied
  • Survey research
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Scientific research
  • Conference presentations
Technology Used
  • Microsoft Office
  • NVivo
  • SPSS

I worked for many years in the Program for Research on Black Americans (PRBA) at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. At ISR, I participated in and led a wide-range of projects.

Quantitative Analysis and Surveys

I was heavily involved in the National Politics Study, a nationwide election survey led by ISR Director James S. Jackson that examines the opinions and demographics of five key racial and ethnic groups. My roles on this project ranged from questionnaire development and pilot testing to data cleaning, data analysis, and generating progress reports on study findings.

Another notable survey for which I helped with questionnaire development was the Survey of Retired NFL Players. That survey generated a great deal of national media attention for its finding that retired NFL players suffer from significantly higher rates of dementia-like symptoms than the general population. Indeed, the increased care with which concussions in the NFL are now being handled, arose in part because of this study.

Qualitative Analysis Focused on Depression

Beyond such quantitative studies, I engaged in qualitative research as well. One important study focused on Black men and depression. For that study we conducted focus groups in which Black men were asked to share their thoughts about depression. The focus groups produced an enormous amount of material. My role on that project primarily involved data coding and analysis.

Content Analysis and Presentation

I worked on another project with Dr. Michael Traugott. We examined news references to 2008 New Hampshire Democratic Primary polls. The goal was to see if references were to specific results of polls or to "the polls" more generally. I performed a content analysis of a few hundred news stories, seeking references to the primary and categorizing those references into various types.

I presented these preliminary findings at the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) Conference in Chicago in 2008.

My Research Paper, Presented at the ISPP Conference

ISPP Conference Logo

My most involved work at the Institute for Social Research was a personal research project on race, religion, and politics – specifically on a concept called religious threat. This research resulted in a paper, which I presented at the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) Conference in Paris in 2008. I conducted this research with Drs. Antoine Banks and James S. Jackson.