See the calendar on the right for the full schedule.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Journal issue focuses on the "post-truth" era

If you're interested in misinformation, you may want to check out the December 2017 issue of the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.  Stephan Lewandowsky and colleagues wrote the lead article, "Beyond Misinformation", and invited several other scholars across a range of fields to comment on their work.  The result is a collection of 11 articles by 19 authors dealing with the question of how we "understand and cope with the 'post-truth' era". In my response, "The 'Echo Chamber' Distraction", I argue that we need to focus less on "echo chambers" and more on disinformation campaigns. Audiences aren't as fragmented as many people seem to think, but efforts to spread politically motivated falsehoods are evolving rapidly.

For the next 50 days, access to the article is free using this link:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Why is Satire So Liberal? by Poulsen and colleagues

Congratulations to COPS member Shannon Poulsen for the publication of “Psychology, Political Ideology, and Humor Appreciation: Why Is Satire So Liberal?” She contributed to the piece during her undergraduate studies, co-authoring the paper with Dr. Dannagal Young, Dr. Ben Bagozzi, Abigail Goldring, and Erin Drouin. The study, published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture, explores whether the appreciation and comprehension of ironic and exaggerative humor corresponds with one’s political ideology. The authors find that conservatives have a lower appreciation of both types of humor. Psychological traits, such as need for cognition and need for closure, moderate the appreciation and comprehension of the various humor types. The paper can be accessed here:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

If you're attending the National Communication Association conference this week, be sure to attend the "Half COPS" session that will include presentations by three COPS members: Dr. Robert Bond, Matt Sweitzer, and Dr. Hillary Shulman:

Bias, Prejudice, and Public Opinion: New Insights through Novel Methods and Texts \
Sponsor: Political Communication Division
Fri, 11/17: 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Sheraton Room: Houston B - Third Floor (Conference Center)
These competitively selected papers in Political Communication use novel methods, or apply traditional methods to novel texts, to provide news insights into bias, prejudice, and public opinion.

Social contagion in attitudes about prejudice

Members of the same household share similar social attitudes, but the source of the similarity in attitudes may be attributed to many processes, including through interpersonal communication. Identifying the effects of peer attitude change on an individual's attitudes as distinct from selection processes is difficult. This study uses data from a randomized controlled trial to identify contagion in attitude change about antitransgender prejudice. During a face-to-face canvassing experiment, registered voters who answered the door were exposed to either a message encouraging active perspective taking intended to reduce transphobia or a recycling message. Here, I show that the messages delivered to one household member are likely to reduce antitransgender prejudice in the other members of the household as well. This finding suggests that door-to-door canvassing messages intended to effect attitude change are likely to be socially transmitted. 


Robert Bond, Ohio State University  - Contact Me 

Survey of Surveys: A Content Analysis of the Language Complexity of Public Opinion Polls

Past research (authors, 20XX) revealed a positive relationship between language difficulty in public opinion questions and self-reports of accessible experiences. Guided by feelings-as-information theory (FIT), it was discovered that as experiences were rendered more difficult due to complex language, survey respondents reported less political interest, lower political knowledge, and less sophisticated opinions than those who had an easy accessibility experience. Based on these findings, the purpose of this content analysis is to examine how language complexity appears in ten, high-quality polling firms surveys during the 2016 election cycle. For this analysis, each question (N = 8,091) was analyzed using the Flesch Reading Ease scale, the same measure used in prior research. Results indicate that language complexity varied systematically by polling firm, target sample location and size, survey date, and topic. By linking these findings to FIT, we contend that this variability should differentially, and systematically, affect participants experiences while taking the poll. Because these experiences have been found to affect survey outcomes in important ways, language complexity ought to be considered when drafting opinion questions. At a time when polling accuracy is being called into question, this line of research is highly relevant for researchers and pollsters alike. 


Matthew D. Sweitzer, Ohio State University  - Contact Me 


Hillary C. Shulman, Ohio State University  - Contact Me 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Garrett at Colloquium on Friday

For those who aren't out of town attending the NCA conference, Kelly Garrett will be giving a talk on Friday during colloquium that will be of interest to COPS members.

Social media and the U.S. Presidential Election

In the wake of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, controversy about the role of social media in the political process has been intense.  These technologies have been blamed for promoting disinformation and incivility, contributing to political polarization, and creating echo chambers.  This talk will bring empirical evidence to bear on these sometimes hyperbolic claims. Using three-wave panel data collected from representative samples of Americans in 2012 and 2016, I examine evidence of both the harms and benefits of social media, paying particular attention to the role of Facebook.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

New Research from Chip, Osei, and Paul Beck

New work by Drs. William Eveland, Osei Appiah, and Paul Beck appearing in the journal Social Networks modified the often-used name generation technique and, through this modification, found that people’s social networks are more diverse than previously considered. Their article entitled “Americans are more exposed to difference than we think: Capturing hidden exposure to political and racial difference” is free to download here until the end of the year. Congrats on this Derby Hall collaboration!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Upcoming Conference: The 2016 U.S Presidential Election: Tumult at home, retreat abroad?

The Mershon Center for International Security Studies is hosting a conference on the 2016 U.S Presidential Election at OSU on November 3rd and 4th. 

The conference provides the opportunity to attend political communication presentations led by prominent scholars from varying universities. In addition to hearing from visiting scholars, our very own Kelly Garrett and Erik Nisbet will be speaking.

The schedule, complete with the titles of the presentations and a list of scholars, is listed here:

Registration is required for the conference, so don't forget to say you're going!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Congrats to Hillary and Matt!

Check out this forthcoming (already available online!) article by COPS folks Dr. Hillary Shulman and Ph.D. student Matt Sweitzer in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology. The paper, "Varying Metacognition through Public Opinion Questions: How Language Can Affect Political Engagement," found was that when you ask students political survey questions using very simple language (using easy words and avoiding political jargon where possible), students report liking politics more and report being confident in their political abilities. This has implications for greater engagement of otherwise disengaged citizens in our democracy, and is part of an expanding program of research Hillary and Matt are working on. Check out this in press paper here:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Former COPS Member Interviews Biden, Kasich

Former COPS member and OSU Ph.D. Dr. Lindsay Hoffman is interviewing Joe Biden and John Kasich today. Watch the live stream at 1pm:

Joe Biden & John Kasich, Bridging the Divides

Join Joe Biden and John Kasich for a conversation on divides facing the nation. In partnership with the Biden Institute, the Center for Political Communication presents a special National Agenda “As We Stand | Divided” program featuring the former Vice President and Gov. Kasich of Ohio. They will discuss how to bridge the many political and partisan divides that exist in Washington, DC, today.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

COPS Mini Retreat

Members of the COPS group attended a mini-retreat, organized by Dr. Hillary Shulman, during OSU's fall break this past Thursday. 

The mini-retreat contained long-form presentations and a high-density panel, during which graduate students and faculty members shared projects at various points of completion. Presenters elicited feedback on a range of topics including identifying the most compelling framing of complete pieces, how to code complex qualitative data, how to frame a piece for communication journals, and how to build a comprehensive research plan for future job talks.

The retreat also featured small-group discussions. One discussion focused on in-progress study ideas for members to bounce off others with different expertise and to also seek potential collaboration. The other small-group discussion concerned the future of political communication studies.

The itinerary of the mini-retreat is listed below.

Long form presentations: approx 20 minutes with 10 minutes of questions
9:00-9:30: Robert Bond, faculty
9:30-10:00: Jacob Long, graduate student

High-density panel: approximately 5 minutes, 15 minutes of feedback
10:00-10:20: Olivia Bullock, graduate student
10:20-10:40: Matt Sweitzer, graduate student
10:40-11:00: Daniel Sude, graduate student

Lunch (featuring delicious pizza)

Small group discussions:
11:45-12:15: In-progress study ideas, brainstorming excercises
12:15-12:45: The future of political communication- what is the next big idea? Next hurdle for the discipline to tackle? Areas of opportunity?

Recap: Closing thoughts
12:45-1:00: Ending thoughts and group picture.

PhD student Olivia Bullock presenting during the high-density panel

PhD student Daniel Sude sharing the variables used in his past studies

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Garrett on The Conversation

Check out Dr. Kelly Garrett's new piece that just appeared on The Conversation about how people make decisions about the truth of information. The piece references work done in collaboration with former OSU School of Communication PhD student Brian Weeks. Read it here:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cooper & Nisbet on Climate Change Documentaries and "Edutainment"

Check out OSU Ph.D. student Kaatie Cooper and Dr. Erik Nisbet's chapter on climate change documentaries and edutainment programs.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Morey Dissertation Study Appears in Political Communication

Dr. Alyssa Morey (University at Albany, Department of Communication), a former OSU School of Communication Ph.D. student and COPS member, recently published an interesting paper based on her OSU dissertation in the journal Political Communication. The study, which evaluated learning of negative and positive TV ads, employed innovative electroencephalography (EEG) recordings ("brain waves" to the uninitiated), may be of some interest to current COPS members. You can check the study out here:

Monday, September 25, 2017

Katherine Cramer to Visit OSU, Deliver Lecture on the Politics of Resentment

Katherine Cramer, a Professor and Director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will visit OSU on Wednesday, September 27 to deliver a lecture on her recent, highly publicized book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott WalkerDuring her lecture, Dr. Cramer will discuss the nature of current right-wing populism in the United States, drawing on her extensive examination of rural voters in Wisconsin. The talk, held from noon to 1:30 p.m. in room 165 of Thompson Library, is hosted by the Democracy Studies Program and is open to the public. Please plan to attend and join many members of the COPS group there!

Rockin' Politics

If you're interested in considering the role that music may play in politics, check out the talk next week over at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies on "Rockin' the Free World: How the Rock and Roll Revolution Changed America and the Free World."

Friday, September 22, 2017

Former COPS members doing neat things!

Former OSU School of Communication doctoral student and COPS member Dr. Lindsay Hoffman is Associate Professor at the University of Delaware and also the Associate Director of the UD Center for Political Communication. You might find this video interesting as one of many in a speaker series Lindsay runs dealing with understanding and addressing difference in our society.