Ray Block, Jr.

Ray Block, Jr.

Michael D. Rich Distinguished Chair for Countering Truth Decay; Senior Political Scientist


Ray Block Jr. (he/him) is the inaugural Michael D. Rich Distinguished Chair for Countering Truth Decay, and a senior political scientist at RAND. The chair was established in honor of Rich, RAND's former president and CEO, who initiated RAND's Truth Decay work and made it an integral part of RAND's mission. Block will advance the Truth Decay agenda, develop new research streams, and expand the impact and reach of this research.

Block is also the Laurence and Lynn Brown-McCourtney Endowed Career Professor at Penn State University’s McCourtney Institute for Democracy. He holds associate professorships in Penn State's the Political Science and African American Studies departments.

His research focuses on racial, ethnic, and gender group politics, voting behavior, and public opinion in the United States. He is especially interested in how non-dominant demographic groups (e.g., women, racial and ethnic minorities) translate their policy preferences and psychological attachments into political action and with what consequences. Block has extensive experience teaching both substantive and methodological courses and has received several teaching nominations and awards. He is also passionate about civic involvement and has engaged in multiple departmental, disciplinary, and public-facing programs that promote a more equitable and inclusive environment for underrepresented groups.

Block holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the Ohio State University, and B.A. degrees in philosophy and political science from Howard University.


Ph.D. in political science, Ohio State University; B.A. in philosophy, Howard University; B.A. in political science, Howard University

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Laurence and Lynn Brown-McCourtney Endowed Career Professor, Penn State University's McCourtney Institute for Democracy; Member of the Executive Council for the National Conference of Black Political Scientists

Selected Work

  • Matthew Simonson, Ray Block Jr. , James N. Druckman, Katherine Ognyanova, and David Lazer, Black Networks Matter, Cambridge University Press, 2024
  • Emilia V. Ezrina, PhD, Huamei Dong, PhD, Ray Block Jr, PhD, and Robert P. Lennon, MD, JD, "Preferred Information Source Correlates to Preferred Information Source Correlates to COVID-19 Risk Misperception," HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice, 7(2), 2023
  • Ray Block Jr., Matt Golder, and Sona N. Golder, "Evaluating Claims of Intersectionality," The Journal of Politics, 85(3), 2023 (forthcoming)
  • Ray Block Jr., The Identity-to-Politics Link and the APSR’s Research on Voting Rights., American Political Science Review, 2022
  • Ray Block Jr., Michael Burnham, Kayla Kahn, Rachel Peng, Jeremy Seeman, and Christopher Seto., "Perceived Risk, Political Polarization, and the Willingness to Follow COVID-19 Mitigation Guidelines," Social Science & Medicine, 305(July), 2022
  • Ray Block Jr, Charles Crabtree, John B. Holbein, and J. Quin Monson, "Are Americans Less Likely to Reply to Emails from Black People Relative to White People?" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(52), 2021

Authored by Ray Block, Jr.

  • Content Type
  • Topic
  • Region
  • Date
1 Results