Partisan media contribute to misperceptions; not as simple as “echo chambers”

I have a new paper out, in collaboration with Brian Weeks and Rachel Neo, which argues that using partisan news sites can encourage users to adopt beliefs that are inconsistent with what they know about the evidence. The paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and an electronic version is available now:  An OSU press release summarizing the work is also available here:

Neo accepts Assistant Professor position at Hawaii

It gives me great pleasure to announce that my former advisee, Rachel Neo, has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the School of Communications at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Rachel plans to continue her work on online bandwagon effects. She will also expand her research program to include cross-national comparative work on how digital media influence political expression and public engagement. Congratulations, Rachel!

Congratulations, Dr. Finn

A heartfelt congratulations to my advisee Elizabeth Finn, who this morning defended her dissertation, “Negatively Disinhibited Online Communication: The Role of Visual Anonymity and Public Self-Awareness”. Elizabeth’s work demonstrates that there is a lot about anonymity that scholars still do not understand, and it suggests a promising path for moving the field forward. Her experiments show that being visible does not always promote “good” behavior, and suggests that we need a more nuanced understanding of what it means to feel accountable online.

Neo defends dissertation

Congratulations to Rachel Neo on defending her dissertation yesterday. Rachel’s work provocatively argues that individuals do not always accept online ratings at face value. When evaluating contentious content, in this case fact checking messages, the influence of ratings is contingent on users’ perceptions of the community of raters, users’ confidence in his or her judgment heuristics, the type of rating used (stars or “likes”), and more. It’s an exciting avenue of research, I look forward to seeing where she takes it next.

Selective exposure workshop in Israel

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in a workshop, “New Frontiers in Selective Exposure Research”, organized by Yariv Tsfati, Shira Dvir-Gvirsman, and Lilach Nir. There was an amazing group of scholars in attendance, the presentations were provocative, and the conversations lively. It was a great opportunity for Cornelia Mothes and I to get some feedback on our on-going collaboration.

Neo article published in IJPOR

Congratulations to my student Rachel Neo on the (electronic) publication of her sole-authored article, “Favoritism or Animosity? Examining How SNS Network Homogeneity Influences Vote Choice via Affective Mechanisms” in the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. As the title suggests, the paper examines how online social network composition shapes citizens’ feelings toward political candidates, and how this impacts vote choice. The work uses data collected as part of my NSF award. The article is available for download here:

DOI: 10.1093/ijpor/edv035

AEJMC Pol Comm Best Published Paper Award

My colleagues and I are honored to have our 2014 HCR paper named the best paper in political communication by the Political Communication Interest Group of the AEJMC.  If you’re curious, you can download a copy here.

Garrett, R. K., Gvirsman, S. D., Johnson, B. K., Tsfati, Y., Neo, R., & Dal, A. (2014). Implications of Pro- and Counterattitudinal Information Exposure for Affective Polarization. Human Communication Research, 40(3), 309-332. doi: 10.1111/hcre.12028