See the calendar on the right for the full schedule.

Monday, September 17, 2018

“Can We All Just Get Along?” A Program of Research Directed Towards Overcoming Difference and Improving Race Relations in America

Just a reminder that our first COPS meeting will be held today in room 3116 from 3:00-4:00pm. Osei Appiah and I will be discussing our latest research on race and politics (with collaborators including Olivia Bullock, Katy Coduto, Jacob Long, and Dr. Amy Nathanson) and will be discussing future research opportunities for interested students!

See you this afternoon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Call for Papers -- relevant for COPS folks?


Celebrity and fame permeate political life. In the United States and internationally, well-known celebrities advocate for humanitarian causes and even run for political office; elected officials are often renowned for their personal style and social media presence; and the multi-national media and consumer products industries use famous people to increase profits and shape political discourse (to name just some examples). Given that the study of politics is centrally concerned with power, this Special Section aims to examine the power and politics of "celebrity." We therefore invite scholars to submit theoretical and empirical pieces that build on existing celebrity/celebrities and politics research or break new ground to explore the power of "celebrity" and interrogate the forces that produce and maintain it.

The list of possible paper topics for this Special Section might include, but is not limited to:
-     Theorizing the link between fame and political discourse and processes
-     The "celebritization" of the political sphere in historical perspective
-     The politics of celebrity in the sports and/or entertainment industries
-     Celebrities' impact on public opinion and voting behavior
-     Social movements and the mobilization of celebrity/celebrities
-     Methodological approaches to/challenges for celebrity research in political science

Editorial Information
Michael Bernhard, Editor-in-Chief
Daniel I. O'Neill, Associate Editor
Samantha Majic, Guest Editor

Submission Deadline: May 15th, 2018

See below for more information. Please direct additional questions about this Call for Papers to our editorial staff at

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Fake news

New study of fake news on Twitter. Discuss...

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

WaPo story reports on Nisbet and colleagues findings re: fake news and 2016 election

Check out the Washington Post's story on research by Erik Nisbet (and OSU Political Science Emeritus Professors Beck and Gunther) from the Comparative National Elections Project regarding the impact of fake news on the 2016 U.S. presidential election outcome.

Monday, April 02, 2018

COPS Tuesday April 3rd: Flagging Misinformation on Facebook

This week Shannon Poulsen and Kelly Garrett will be seeking feedback on their project feedback on flagging misinformation on Facebook. Shannon will present on this project, which is currently in data collection. Please come and offer your feedback!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Visiting Professors Bert Bakker & Gijs Schumacher (University of Amsterdam) Host Informal Research Talk April 2

Mark your calendar for April 2, as Bert Bakker & Gijs Schumacher from University of Amsterdam will be visiting OSU. Bert and Gijs work on various projects that assess the role of psychophysiological responses to political communication (particularly as related to emotion). They recently received a large ERC Grant and and, as part of this grant, are visiting several US Universities to network with likeminded colleagues.

Accordingly, Bert and Gijs would like to share some of the things they are working on, but to also hear about what it is that we are working on. This will be a pretty informal meeting which will take place on Monday, April 2 from 10-11am (location TBD). That will save time for individual discussions from 11am-12pm (if they are warranted). Light refreshments, including coffee, will be provided.

Bert and Gijs are also hiring a postdoc, which may be of interest to students on the market. Here is the job call:

See you there!

Monday, February 26, 2018

COPS on Tuesday: LaTeX

Join us tomorrow for Kyle Davis's workshop on LaTeX. LaTeX is a typesetting system used in some fields -- especially those heavy on statistical formuals -- for preparing research papers. From Kyle: "The workshop won't go step-by-step on how to write in LaTeX, but rather give resources and a sales-pitch for integrating some LaTeX into our workflow. This will then be broadened out to talk about workflow in academia. One place I have stored resources on LaTeX is on Github: 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

COPS in Prague

Congratulations to all the COPS members whose papers were accepted for presentation at the 2018 meeting of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Prague, Czech Republic. The overall acceptance rate for ICA was about 37%, so these accepted papers are an important accomplishment. Below I've posted all of the papers by COPS members in the Pol Comm division or that are otherwise explicitly related to political communication, but I know some of our members have also had papers accepted in other divisions and/or on non-political topics. (And, if I haven't listed your paper, drop me a note and I'll update this post.) Congrats to all, and see you in Prague in late May!

*Names in red are current OSU School of Communication graduate students.

Bond, R. M., & Sweitzer, M. D. (2018, May). Political homophily in a large-scale online communication network. Paper presented to the Political Communication division of the International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic.

Coronel, J. C., &; Poulsen, S. (2018, May). [Title redacted.] Paper presented to the Political Communication division of the International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic.

Dixon, G. & Hubner, A. (2018, May). Neutralizing political worldviews by communicating scientific agreement: A thought-listing study. Paper presented to the Environmental Communication division of the International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic.

Eveland, W. P., Jr., & Nathanson, A. I. (2018, May). The 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign as a context for parents to talk to their children about racism. Paper presented to the Political Communication division of the International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic.

Long, J.A., Jeong, M., & Lavis, S.M. (2018, May). Does political entertainment produce efficacious, engaged citizens? A mediation analysis using three-wave panel data. Paper accepted for presentation to the Political Communication division at the 2018 Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic.

Luong, K. N., Garrett, R. K., & Slater, M. D. (2018). Interpretative framing: A schema-dependent approach. Paper presented at the Political Communication division of the International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic.

Moore, R.M., Coronel, J. C., & Poulsen, S. (2018, May). Remembering political events together: Experimental evidence from the collaborative remembering paradigm. Paper presented to the Political Communication division of the International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic.

Nathanson, A. I., & Eveland, W. P., Jr. (2018, May). Parental mediation during the U.S. 2016 presidential election campaign. Paper presented to the Children and Media division of the International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic.

Nisbet, E. C., Garrett, R. K., Beck, P. A., & Gunther, R. (2018). Disinformation and voting: Evidence from the 2016 presidential election. Paper presented at the Political Communication division of the International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Socialization to Conferences for Political Communication

Next Tuesday's COPS meeting (12-1pm on Jan. 16th in 3136 Derby Hall) will be a discussion of academic and professional conferences and their divisions from the perspective of scholars in political communication. We'll talk both Communication and Political Science conferences, submission deadlines and formats (paper vs. abstract), divisions (when relevant), acceptance rates, and more. We'll talk not only about choosing a conference, but also what it's like and what to do when you're there. I expect that there will be differences in opinion about the relative value of various conferences, and the best strategies for submission and participation. So, come with questions and those of us with experience will spend an hour giving you an insiders view of conferences. Then, you can draw your own conclusions!

Monday, January 08, 2018

Spring Meeting Schedule

Come join the Communication Opinion and Political Science lab this spring!

Revived last fall, our lab shares research and discusses current topics in the field of political communication research.

Meetings will be held every other Tuesday at 12:00pm. All meetings will be in Derby Hall 3136 except for February 13th, where the meeting will be in Derby Hall 3150.
  • January 16
  • January 30
  • February 13 (in Derby Hall 3150)
  • February 27
  • March 6 (note that moves to two weeks in a row across Feb/Mar because of OSU spring break)
  • March 20 
  • April 3 
  • April 17

The subject and content of each meeting date will be shared as the semester develops.

We look forward to seeing everyone, new and old!

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!