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

ICA paper award

My coauthors and I were honored to receive the Top Faculty Paper Award from the ICA Political Communication Division for our paper, “Why Do Partisan Audience Participate? Perceived Public Opinion as the Mediating Mechanism”. A revised version of the paper has now also been accepted for publication at Communication Research.

Dvir-Gvirsman, S., Garrett, R. K., & Tsfati, Y. (In Press). Why Do Partisan Audience Participate? Perceived Public Opinion as the Mediating Mechanism. Communication Research.

Brian Weeks moving to U of Michigan

Congratulations to Brian Weeks, who has accepted a position in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan.  He will also have an appointment in the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research. Brian earned his PhD from the School of Communication at Ohio State University last year, and has spent the past year working with Homero Gil de Zúñiga at the University of Vienna.  Brian will be joining a terrific community of scholars, and will be continuing his work on affect and misperceptions.

Dr. Carnahan

Congratulations to Dustin Carnahan on successfully defending his dissertation today. Dustin has done some important work exploring the influence of motivated reasoning on selective exposure and its consequences. I look forward to seeing the work reach a wider audience. Next, it’s off to Michigan State’s Department of Communication.

Collaboration with Nisbet, Cooper garners media attention

Our paper challenging claims that conservatives are uniquely anti-science has received a fair amount of press this month. We demonstrate that both conservatives and liberals tend to be more skeptical of scientific claims that challenge views commonly associated with their ideology. In our study, conservatives tended to resist accurate scientific claims about climate change and evolution, while liberals questioned equally accurate claims about fracking and nuclear energy. Both groups also became less trusting of the scientific community after reading the evidence-based information.


The article, and our blog posts on the topic, have been covered by numerous outlets. Here are a few examples:

New Republic:

Science Magazine:

The Guardian:

Pacific Standard:

Huffington Post:

National Journal: