Dr. Svenja Schäfer, M. A.

Foto: Svenja Schäfer

Universitätsassistentin (Post-Doc)

Main Research Areas and Interests

  • Digital media and effects for knowledge (perception)

  • User comments and effects for (perceived) social media dynamics
  • News avoidance and constructive news in times of crises

Svenja Schäfer is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Political Communication Research Group of the University of Vienna. Previously, she finished her PhD at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz where she worked as a Research Assistant between 2014 and 2020. Before, she studied in Mainz (M.A.) and Hannover (B.A.). 

Her research interest include digital news (news on social media, online news sites, partisan media) and their effects for actual and perceived knowledge, perceptions of social dynamics and polarization processes. Thereby, she applies a wide range of methods including experimental research, eye-tracking or physiological measurements as well as quantitative approaches.


Curriculum Vitae

Kolingasse 14, 1090 Wien
Zi. 6.61
T: +43-1-4277-49353
eFax: +43-1-4277-849353
eMail: svenja.schaefer@univie.ac.at

Recent Publications


  • Schäfer, S. (2022). Mediennutzung und metakognitive Urteile: die Rolle digitaler Nachrichten für die Wahrnehmung von Wissen. Digital Communication Research. doi.org/10.17174/dcr.v11.0

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Schäfer, S. (accepted). Incidental news exposure in digital media environments: A scoping review of recent research. Annals of the International Communication Association.
  • Schäfer, S., Aaldering, L., & Lecheler, S. (2022). „Give me a break!“: Prevalence and predictors of news avoidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mass Communication and Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2022.2125406
  • Schäfer, S., Greber, H., Sülflow, M. & Lecheler, S. (2022). A matter of perspective: An experimental study on potentials of constructive journalism for communication a crisis. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.https://doi.org/10.1177/10776990221095751
  • Denner, N., Schäfer, S., Schemer, C. (2022). Passionate hiking fan or loving parent? How personalized self-presentation in the media affects the perception of female and male politicians. International Journal of Communication, 16, 1778-1803. 
  • Schäfer, S., Müller, P., & Ziegele, M. (2022). The double-edged sword of online deliberation: How evidence-based user comments both decrease and increase discussion participation intentions on social media. New Media & Society. doi.org/10.1177/14614448211073059
  • Schäfer, S., Betakova, D., Aaldering, L., & Lecheler, S. (2022). Opting out of News:
    News avoidance during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Austria. MedienJournal, 45(3), 31-44. 10.24989/medienjournal.v45i3.2039
  • Schäfer, S., Sülflow, M., & Reiners, L. (2021). Hate Speech as an Indicator for the State of the Society: Effects of Hateful User Comments on Perceived Social Dynamics. Journal of Media Psychology, 1-12 doi.org/10.1027/1864-1105/a000294
  • Schemer, C., Masur, P., Geiß, S., Müller, P. & Schäfer, S. (2020) The impact of electronic media use on well-being: A longitudinal analysis of adolescents across nine years. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.https://doi.org/10.1093/jcmc/zmaa014 
  • Nagel, M.-T., Schäfer, S., Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia O., Schemer, C., Maurer, M., Molerov, D., Schmidt, S., Brückner, B. (2020). How Do University Students’ Web Search Behavior, Website Characteristics, and the Interaction of Both Influence Students’ Critical Online Reasoning? Frontiers in Education. DOI: 10.3389/feduc.2020.565062
  • Schäfer, S. (2020). Illusion of knowledge through Facebook news? Effects of snack news in a news feed on perceived knowledge, attitude strength, and willingness for discussions. Computers in Human Behavior. 103, S.1-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.08.031
  • Sülflow, M., Schäfer, S., & Winter, S. (2019). Selective Attention in the news feed: An eye- tracking study on the perception and selection of political news posts on Facebook. New Media & Society. 21(1), S.168-190. doi.org/10.1177/1461444818791520
  • Meier, A., & Schäfer, S. (2018). The positive side of social comparison on SNS: How envy can drive inspiration on Instagram. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 21(7), 411-417. doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2017.0708
  • Schäfer, S., Sülflow, M., & Müller, P. (2017). The special taste of snack news: An application of niche theory to understand the appeal of Facebook as a source for political news. First Monday, 22. doi: doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i4.7431
  • Geiß, S., & Schäfer, S. (2017). Any publicity or good publicity? A competitive test of visibility- and tonality-based media effects on voting behavior. Political Communication, 34(3), S.444-467. doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2016.1271068
  • Müller, P., Schneiders, P., & Schäfer, S. (2016). Appetizer or main dish? Explaining the use of Facebook news posts as a substitute for other news sources. Computers in Human Behavior, 65, 431-441. doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.09.003

Handbook Chapters & Encyclopedia Entries

  • Schemer, C., & Schäfer, S. (2019). Psychophysiologische Messungen. In T. Faas, O. Gabriel & J. Maier (Hrsg.)., Einstellungs- und Verhaltensforschung. Handbuch für Wissenschaft und Studium (S.681-698). Baden Baden: Nomos. doi.org/10.5771/9783845264899-681
  • Schemer, C., & Schäfer, S. (2019). Die Bedeutung der sozial-kognitiven Theorie für die Gesundheitskommunikation. In C. Rossmann & M. Hastall (Hrsg.), Handbuch Gesundheitskommunikation (S.321-333). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-10727-7_26
  • Müller, P., & Schäfer, S. (2017). Latent Mean (Comparison). In J. Matthes, R. Potter, & C. S. Davis (Hrsg.), The International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. doi.org/10.1002/9781118901731.iecrm0132

Contributions to Edited Volumes

  • Schäfer. S., Pittner, N., Magin, M. & Stark, B. (2015). Alles nur Marke? Eine experimentelle Untersuchung zur Qualitätsbewertung von Suchmaschinen-Trefferlisten aus der Nutzerperspektive. In S. Pagel (Hrsg.), Schnittstellen der Medienökonomie (S. 339- 357). Baden-Baden: Nomos. doi.org/10.5771/9783845264868-240