Research

Members of the Political Communication Research Group are involved in various research projects. The following research projects are ongoing (alphabetically ordered):


Data-Driven Politics and Communication

This is the age of Big Data. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, until we fall asleep at night, our actions are recorded on mobile phone apps, websites, customer loyalty cards, and through our social media interactions. This data is used to develop algorithms that are subsequently used by private and political organisations to predict our attitudes, feelings, and behaviour. We study the impact of this change in both political and mediated communication. For example, in a NORFACE project, we study the intended and unintended consequences of data-driven election campaigns across Europe.

Team

Sophie Lecheler

Affiliates:

Sanne Kruikemeier (University of Amsterdam)

Rachel Gibsons (University of Manchester)

Kate Dommett (University of Sheffield)

Lukas Otto (University of Amsterdam)

Claes de Vreese (University of Amsterdam)

Jörg Matthes (University of Vienna)

Funding

NORFACE Governance 

 

Output

TBA


Emotions in Political Communication

In a number of studies, we examine the role emotions play in the political communication process. For example, which effects will emotional appeals in journalistic news have on political behavior, or how important are positive emotions during political campaigns? We also determine how to best measure trait and state emotions in mediated communication research. 

Team

Sophie Lecheler

Affiliates: 

Michael Bruter (London School of Economics) 

Sara Harrison (London School of Economics)

Output


Political Framing and Framing Effects

Framing describes the process through which journalists, elites, and citizens highlight certain aspects of an issue over others. In doing so, framing has substantial effects on how we form opinions and attitudes, and it can impact our behaviour. In this research area, we focus mostly on the effects framing can have on citizens. 

Team

Sophie Lecheler

Affiliates:

Claes de Vreese (University of Amsterdam)

Output


Fake News, Disinformation and Media Criticism

Everyone is talking about „Fake News“ - but, how useful is the concept in our research field? We suggest that fake news’ alludes to two dimensions of political communication: the fake news genre (i.e. the deliberate creation of pseudojournalistic disinformation) and the fake news label (i.e. the instrumentalization of the term to delegitimize news media). The project observes the theoretical implications of „Fake News“ for our field, the occurrence of the term in public debate, as well as its effects on citizens. 

Team

Jana Egelhofer

Sophie Lecheler

Affiliates:

Linda Bos (University of Amsterdam)

Output


Identity Motivated Reasoning

In times of populism and polarization, citizens’ identification with groups like their gender, rage, or age is increasingly important for understanding politics. So far, political communication research has predominantly focused on the impact of partisanship on opinion formation. This project takes this field one step further, widening our knowledge on the impact of group membership on political opinions and attitudes. 

Team


Immersive Journalism and News Production

Immersive journalistic production describes the use of digital technology to create new forms of journalistic storytelling, for example, through Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality. We study the impact of immersive journalistic production on news quality and diversity, as well as the possible emotional backfire effects of immersive technologies. 

Team

Affiliates:

Sanne Kruikemeier (University of Amsterdam)

Yael de Haan (Hogeschool Utrecht)

Output

TBA


Incivility in Politics and Media

Politics without conflict does not exist. In this sense, exchanges and debates - even heated ones - are essential for democracy, and social media can play a fundamental catalyst role. Yet, political disagreements often have a darker and nefarious side. More often than not, political discussions - especially on social media - are far from the deliberative ideal of a “good conflict”, where the engaged parties listen to each other, reasonably justify their positions, show mutual respect, and are willing to re-evaluate and eventually revise their initial preference. Quite contrary to the ideal of mutual respect, conflict in political communication today is increasingly perceived as “uncivil”, “nasty”, “mean”, “outrageous”, “filthy”, or “rude” - in a word, “toxic”.  In a number of research studies, we study the character and consequences of uncivil political talk in mediated democracies.

Team

Sophie Lecheler

Jana Egelhofer

Ming Boyer

Affiliates:

Lukas Otto (University of Amsterdam)

Alessandro Nai (University of Amsterdam)

Sanne Kruikemeier (University of Amsterdam)

Funding

Facebook Research: Content Governance Grant  

Output


Sourcing and Verification in Digital Political Journalism

Digitalization has changed how journalists produce news. By means of qualitative and quantitative research techniques with both journalists and citizens, we observe how exactly journalists today use online tools, for example to verify information and find reliable sources. We also study innovation in journalism, such as immersive journalism, Virtual Reality reporting, and augmented reality in journalism.

Team

Sophie Lecheler

Affiliates:

Sanne Kruikemeier (University of Amsterdam)

Yael de Haan (Hogeschool Utrecht)

Funding

Taskforce for Applied Research (SIA/NWO) 

Output