See the calendar on the right for the full schedule.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Coronel, Poulsen and Sweitzer have forthcoming paper in Human Communication Research

COPS faculty member Jason Coronel and COPS Ph.D. students Shannon Poulsen and Matt Sweitzer have a new paper forthcoming in Human Communication Research titled "Investigating the generation and spread of numerical misinformation: A combined eye movement monitoring and social transmission approach." Across two studies, they examined the role of schemas in the creation of numerical misinformation and how it can spread via person-to-person communication. They found that individuals misremember numerical information in a manner consistent with their schemas and person-to-person transmission can exacerbate these memory errors. These studies highlight the mechanisms supporting the generation and spread of numerical misinformation and demonstrate the utility of a multi-method approach in the study of misinformation. Congrats Jason, Shannon, and Matt!

Monday, September 09, 2019

Jacob Long on Two Award-Winning Conference Papers

COPS Ph.D. student Jacob Long had a very successful summer, with two papers winning awards at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in Toronto. His sole-authored paper won the Chaffee-McLeod Top Student Paper award in the Communication Theory and Methodology division.

Long, J. A. (2019, August). An approach for measuring partisan segregation in political media consumption. Paper presented at the 102nd Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Mass Communication and Journalism, Toronto, ON.

And, a paper he co-authored was a Top 2 student paper in the Political Communication interest group (which has since been promoted to division status):

Jeong, M. S., Long, J. A., & Lavis, S. M. (2019, August). From political satire to political discussion: Satire talk as mediator and affinity for political humor as moderator. Paper presented at the 102nd Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Mass Communication and Journalism, Toronto, ON.

These -- in conjunction with multiple 2018 and 2019 publications (Communication Research and Mass Communication & Society) and more on the way (in Journal of Communication) -- are a great way to start the academic job search year. Congrats Jacob!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Conference Deadlines Approaching

Major conference deadlines are approaching as we head into fall. The Southern Political Science Association abstract deadline for the January 2020 meeting is Sept. 1st. The Midwest Political Science Association submission deadline is October 3rd for the April 2020 conference. The International Communication Association deadline for the May 2020 conference is November 1st. Finally, the American Association for Public Opinion Research submission deadline is November 8th for the May 2020 conference. In a few weeks we'll be having a "socialization" session in which we'll discuss these and other conferences you may wish to consider for your work, the value of conference participation, and some ideas for getting the most out of your participation. Senior COPS Ph.D. students Shannon Poulsen, Jacob Long, and Matt Sweitzer will serve as panelists on that COPS session.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Picture for bullock.181Congratulations to Ph.D. student Olivia Bullock, MA student Daniel Amill, and faculty Hillary Shulman and Graham Dixon, on their recent publication "Jargon as a barrier to effective science communication: Evidence from metacognition" in Public Understanding of Science. The paper addresses some of the unintended consequences of jargon use on people's acceptance of scientific technology. Basically, they found that when descriptions of technology included scientific jargon, people reported that the technologies in question seemed riskier, participants were more likely to argue against and refute the information provided, and reported less support of these technologies, than when jargon words were replaced with easier to understand terms. This experiment shows the effects of complicated language extend beyond misunderstanding, and can affect people's feelings towards the topic at hand. This can be especially problematic when the subject matter lends itself to jargon (as in the case of politics, health, and law). The implication is that if you want people to engage with complex subjects, create messages that are easy to process. You can access the paper here:
Picture for garrett.258
Congrats to Kelly Garrett on his paper recently published on social media and political misperceptions! The bottom line conclusion is that "social media can alter citizens' willingness to endorse falsehoods during an election, but that the effects are often small." You can view the paper in Web format here or hit Kelly up directly for a PDF copy.
Garrett, R. Kelly (2019). Social media's contribution to political misperceptions in U.S. Presidential elections. PLOS ONE, 14(3), e0213500. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0213500

Monday, April 29, 2019

Garrett & Bond receive award to analyze Facebook data

A research team that includes two School of Communication faculty is one of 12 inaugural recipients of the Social Media and Democracy Research grants from the Social Science Research Council and their partner Social Science One. Garrett will lead the team, which also includes Rob Bond, Ceren Budak (University of Michigan), Jason Jones (Stony Brook University), and Drew Margolin (Cornell University).

The award provides unprecedented access to anonymous data from Facebook on the sharing of online content. These data will be used to examine a variety of behaviors that could be harm people's understanding of science, politics and their community, notably including sharing inaccurate information.

A brief description of the project is here:

Other grantees are listed here:

And more details about the types of data to be analyzed are here:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Bond, Sweitzer publish paper on homophily in Reddit

Congratulations to Robert Bond and Matt Sweitzer for their recently released paper in Communication Research, "Political Homophily in a Large-Scale Online Communication Network." From the abstract:
As communication increasingly occurs in online environments, it is important to know the structure of such conversations in social networks. Here, we investigate patterns of conversation in online forums concerning politics, as well as patterns of cross-ideological interactions in forums that are not expressly political. First, we demonstrate a method for measuring the latent ideological preferences of more than 690,000 individuals using patterns of political commenting. Using this measure, we find that communication between ideologically dissimilar individuals becomes more common in periods of increased engagement with politics, that political homophily decreases as more individuals contribute to a conversation, and that forums dedicated to nonpolitical topics exhibit substantially less homophily than political forums. Theoretical implications for political communication on online platforms are discussed.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Election Modeling Talk through TDI

This talk may be of interest to some COPS members.

Title: “Forecasting U.S. elections using compartmental models of infection”
Authors: Alexandria Volkening (MBI, Ohio State University), Daniel F. Linder (Augusta University), Mason A. Porter (University of California, Los Angeles), and Grzegorz A. Rempala (Ohio State University)
Abstract: U.S. election prediction involves polling likely voters, making assumptions about voter turnout, and accounting for various features such as state demographics and voting history. While political elections in the United States are decided at the state level, errors in forecasting are correlated between states. With the goal of shedding light on the forecasting process and exploring how states influence each other, we develop a framework for forecasting elections in the U.S. from the perspective of dynamical systems. Through a simple approach that borrows ideas from epidemiology, we show how to combine a compartmental model with public polling data from HuffPost and RealClearPolitics to forecast gubernatorial, senatorial, and presidential elections at the state level. Our results for the 2012 and 2016 U.S. races are largely in agreement with those of popular pollsters, and we use our new model to explore how subjective choices about uncertainty impact results. We conclude by comparing our forecasts for the senatorial and gubernatorial races in the U.S. midterm elections of November 6, 2018, with those of popular pollsters.

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: