Understanding the Psychology of Political Communication: How Media and Campaigns Shape Public Perceptions and Knowledge

In a recently published book chapter, my colleague Lauren Feldman and I review the major areas of research on how media and campaigns influence public judgments and knowledge.  We also discuss research on the factors shaping public trust in government and perceptions of media bias. Below are details on the chapter and a link to the edited volume.  The volume  is well worth owning.  You can download a PDF of the chapter on political communication here.


Nisbet, M.C. & Feldman, L. (2010 ). The Social Psychology of Political Communication. In D. Hook, B. Franks and M. Bauer (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Communication. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

CHAPTER CONTENTS

I. Introduction

II. Political Communication, the Media, and Public Perceptions

a. Agenda-Setting: Shaping Public Priorities

b. Priming: Why the News Focus Matters

c. Framing: Defining Meaning and Solutions

d. Side Bar: Framing and the Debate Over Climate Change

III. Knowledge, Civic Engagement, and the News Media

a. Learning Across Types of Media.

b. Political Deliberation and Social Interactions.

IV. Public Evaluations of the Political System and the News Media

a. Media Trust and Perceptions of Bias.

b. Side Bar: Perceptions of Media Bias: The Arab-Israeli Conflict.

V. Conclusion

Countries with more butter have happier citizens

Butter supply and life satisfaction are linked – but by causation or correlation?

Image: Carey Tilden/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0
Strange Maps
  • Haiti and other countries with low butter supply report low life satisfaction.
  • The reverse is true for countries like Germany, which score high in both categories.
  • As the graph below shows, a curious pattern emerges across the globe. But is it causation or correlation?
Keep reading Show less

One-third of all slavery is visible from space

Advances in satellite imagery are shining a light.

Boyd et al., 2018
Technology & Innovation
  • Today, there are 40.3 million slaves on the planet, more than the number of people living in Canada.
  • Slavery can be hard to find, but it commonly occurs in several key industries like fishing and mining.
  • Using satellite data, researchers and activists are using crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence to identify sites where slavery is taking place.
Keep reading Show less

Will Hunt (explorer) – into the Earth: the mysteries and meanings of underground spaces

The catacombs of Paris. Secret graffiti beneath NYC. The hidden cities of Cappadocia. Writer and explorer Will Hunt is your philosophical tour guide to what lies beneath.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "The surface of the earth is where we're rational . . . Part of us dreads the chaos, and part of us is always attracted to it."
  • "There were these things hanging from the ceiling…long strands of bacteria called "snotsicles"… But at our feet was a natural stream that had been running through Brooklyn forever."
  • "It's…about death. Undergoing a death. We're going into the other world and then retreating to the surface… changed in some way."
Keep reading Show less