Ryan, Noah

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Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    An Overview of Positive Economic Rights in American Political Thought
    (2022-01-01) Ryan, Noah
    Positive economic rights are entitlements an individual has for the state to provide for their basic needs. Though codified in international law, the existence of such rights remains deeply controversial in the United States. This thesis will explore the concept of positive economic rights throughout American history, beginning in the Colonial Period and ending with the recent revival of positive economic rights discourse since Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. The thesis will explore political literature related to positive rights, state duties to the poor, and positive liberty—a concept frequently invoked by advocates for positive economic rights. Through political literary analysis, I will argue that while the concept of state duties to the poor spans the full duration of American history, the framing of such duties in terms of individual rights is largely a product of the New Deal Era. The thesis will also explore arguments against positive economic rights, which began to intensify during the late 1960s. Though positive economic rights receded to the fringes of American discourse during the Reagan years, support for these rights appears to be making a comeback.
  • Publication
    Mask-wearing and Trustworthiness in a Modified Investment Game: A Pilot Study
    (2022-04-20) Ryan, Noah; Panganiban, Joselle; Velasquez, Sophia; Cook, Liam
    Since the early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic, face masks have emerged as a flashpoint of controversy in public discourse. While most Americans appreciate the public health importance of mask-wearing, some view masks as an unwanted imposition; some still, an affront to deep-seated values of individual liberty. In this paper, we present the results of an experiment aimed at assessing what effects, if any, face mask usage has on perceptions of an individual’s trustworthiness. While previous studies have used images of masked faces to elicit survey responses, this experiment used self-reported mask usage as a primer in a modified investment game to assess potential relations between mask usage and perceived trustworthiness. We find evidence to suggest individuals who report wearing masks more frequently are trusted more than individuals who report seldom wearing masks. Given the importance of trust between often-masked medical professionals and the public in the setting of infectious disease outbreaks, we believe the findings of this experiment may prove fruitful in elucidating the effects of personal protective equipment (PPE) usage on perceptions of trustworthiness.