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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Author: aetoy

ICRG publishes “Perceiving Immigrants as a Threat: A Motivational Approach to False Consensus”

In the new article “Perceiving Immigrants as a Threat: A Motivational Approach to False Consensus” in the journal Communication Research, the International Communication Research Group explores perceived threat of immigration as a motivational factor that mediates the relation between political ideology and false consensus, an overestimation of the frequency of one’s beliefs. Study results, show that conservatives are more sensitive to outgroup threat and thus are more likely to overestimate public consensus for their attitudes on immigration than their ideological counterparts.

Abstract: False consensus, or biased projection of one’s opinion onto others, has repeatedly been described by political communication scholars as a derivative of selective exposure to attitude-consistent information. This study proposes a distinctive approach to understanding the phenomenon by suggesting “perceived threat” as a motivational factor that contributes to self-serving estimates of public opinion. Based on a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, we test a path model in which political ideology relates to false consensus regarding the issue of immigration through cognitive assessments of communication environment and perceived immigration threat. Results suggest that the relationship between cognition and false consensus may not be direct but instead works through motivational factors when one perceives threat, and that conservatives are more sensitive to outgroup threat and thus are more likely to overestimate public consensus for their attitudes on immigration than their ideological counterparts. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Full citation: Gill H, Rojas H. Perceiving Immigrants as a Threat: A Motivational Approach to False Consensus. Communication Research. September 2021. doi:10.1177/00936502211043699

Access the article: https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/BBQKK9WMK5GAY3FPDBFK/full

CAMER publishes “Twitter as research data: Tools, costs, skill sets, and lessons learned”

In the new article “Twitter as research data: Tools, costs, skill sets, and lessons learned” in the journal Politics and the Life Sciences, the Computational Approaches and Message Effects Research (CAMER) group evaluates Twitter data collection tools in terms of costs, training, and data quality as a means to introduce Twitter data as a research tool

Abstract: Scholars increasingly use Twitter data to study the life sciences and politics. However, Twitter data collection tools often pose challenges for scholars who are unfamiliar with their operation. Equally important, although many tools indicate that they offer representative samples of the full Twitter archive, little is known about whether the samples are indeed representative of the targeted population of tweets. This article evaluates such tools in terms of costs, training, and data quality as a means to introduce Twitter data as a research tool. Further, using an analysis of COVID-19 and moral foundations theory as an example, we compared the distributions of moral discussions from two commonly used tools for accessing Twitter data (Twitter’s standard APIs and third-party access) to the ground truth, the Twitter full archive. Our results highlight the importance of assessing the comparability of data sources to improve confidence in findings based on Twitter data. We also review the major new features of Twitter’s API version 2.

Full citation: Chen, K., Duan, Z., & Yang, S. (2021). Twitter as research data: Tools, costs, skill sets, and lessons learned. Politics and the Life Sciences, 1-17. doi:10.1017/pls.2021.19

Access the article: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/politics-and-the-life-sciences/article/twitter-as-research-data-tools-costs-skillsets-and-lessons-learned/6B31D18C5E2F9B8F9C0301BFB05F1C27

New publication “Social Media, Messaging Apps, and Affective Polarization in the United States and Japan” from ICRG

In the new article “The Contexts of Political Participation: The Communication Mediation Model Under Varying Structural Conditions of the Public Sphere” in the International Journal of Press/Politics, the International Communication Research Group examines the communication mediation model in 17 countries with varying levels of political freedom and digital infrastructure. Results show how these factors condition voting and protest behaviors.

Abstract: This study explores how emerging media platforms (i.e., social media and messaging apps) contribute to affective political polarization. We rely on cross-national data (USA and Japan), which allows us to explore the broader implications of how emerging media platforms contribute to political polarization in different cultural contexts. The results are very consistent; social media news use is positively related to affective polarization while messaging apps are negatively related in the USA and Japan. In addition, in the USA, the association of messaging app news and affective polarization is amplified by partisanship strength.

Full citation: Sangwon Lee, Hernando Rojas & Masahiro Yamamoto (2021) Social Media, Messaging Apps, and Affective Polarization in the United States and Japan, Mass Communication and Society, DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2021.1953534

Access the article: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15205436.2021.1953534

New from ICRG “The Contexts of Political Participation: The Communication Mediation Model Under Varying Structural Conditions of the Public Sphere”

In the new article “The Contexts of Political Participation: The Communication Mediation Model Under Varying Structural Conditions of the Public Sphere” in the International Journal of Press/Politics, the International Communication Research Group examines the communication mediation model in 17 countries with varying levels of political freedom and digital infrastructure. Results show how these factors condition voting and protest behaviors.

Abstract:The communication mediation model asserts that the effects of news use on political participation are mostly indirect, mediated through discussion. Recent research has shown that this mediation process is stronger in countries where freedom of the press and expression are also greater. Relying on data collected during election cycles in seventeen countries between 2013 and 2018, we examine how additional country-level factors, including political freedom and digital infrastructure, moderate the indirect relationship between news use and political participation via political talk. Results provide evidence that these factors condition both outcomes, but in different ways. For protest, two of three country-level indices moderate individual-level variation in the pathway between political talk and protest. For voting, two of three country-level indices moderate aggregate-level variation in the pathway between news use and political talk. Results are discussed in light of their implications for the communication mediation model and comparative political communication research.

Full citation: Borah P, Barnidge M, Rojas H. The Contexts of Political Participation: The Communication Mediation Model Under Varying Structural Conditions of the Public Sphere. The International Journal of Press/Politics. July 2021. doi:10.1177/19401612211029466

Access the article: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/19401612211029466

SMAD group publishes “Resonant Moments in Media Events: Discursive Shifts, Agenda Control, and Twitter Dynamics”

In the new article “Resonant Moments in Media Events: Discursive Shifts, Agenda Control, and Twitter Dynamics in the First Clinton-Trump Debate” in the Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media, the Social Media and Democracy (SMAD) group found key differences in social media discourse about the two candidates during the first 2016 U.S. presidential debate. Continue reading

HITS publishes “Effect of an eHealth Intervention on Older Adults’ Quality of Life, Independence, and Health-Related Outcomes”

In the new article “Effect of an eHealth Intervention on Older Adults’ Quality of Life, Independence, and Health-Related Outcomes: A Randomized Clinical Trial” in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the Health Information Technology Studies (HITS) group studied the effectiveness of an eHealth intervention designed to improve quality of life for older adults. Continue reading

Yang Co-Investigator on Two New Grants to Study Vaccine Hesitancy

Computational Approaches and Message Effects Research (CAMER) group faculty leader Sijia Yang is a co-investigator on two new grants. The grants will fund projects researching vaccine hesitancy

The first grant is funded by the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research through the Clinical and Community Outcomes Research Pilot Awards mechanism.

Promoting COVID Vaccine Acceptance for Safety Net Providers and Patients in Wisconsin
Susan Passmore, PhD, School of Medicine and Public Health
Academic Collaborators: Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, SoE & SMPH; Sijia Yang, L&S
UW Program Partners: Collaborative Center for Health Equity
Community Collaborators: Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (Stephanie Harrison, Sashikala Gregory)

Abstract: As the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed, we find ourselves in a context of greatly exacerbated mistrust of science, health professionals and the government and, in turn, the likeness of vaccine rejection, especially among underserved populations who disproportionately suffer from high COVID-19 prevalence, hospitalization and death rates. The goals of this study are to (1) develop a stakeholder engagement plan and messaging strategies toolkit to increase health care providers’ ability to promote a COVID vaccine to patients under initial distribution conditions; (2) conduct a mixed-method exploration (focus groups & survey) to identify promising patient beliefs and message themes regarding COVID-19 prevention and vaccine uptake to improve vaccine acceptability among patients for use by FQHC leadership and providers; and (3) assess the effectiveness of messaging through a survey-based message evaluation experiment.

The second grant is funded by the CDC through UW-Madison Preventive Research Center for the implementation of CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine confidence strategy.

Connecting Behavioral Science to COVID-19 Vaccine Demand Network
Dr. Susan Passmore, Collaborative Center for Health Equity
Collaborators: Dr. Malia Jones, UW Applied Population Laboratory and Dear Pandemic, Dr. Andy Garbacz, Department of Educational Psychology, and Dr. Sijia Yang, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Description: The goal is to identify key behavioral insights that will inform effective solutions to increase confidence in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, and ultimately uptake.

As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out, high uptake of the vaccines is necessary to reduce the burden of disease and control the pandemic. To ensure high uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, communities need to have:

1) Sufficient confidence in the vaccines
2) Healthcare professionals who administer vaccines
3) The public health system that authorizes/approves, recommends, and monitors vaccines.

Promoting confidence in vaccines will require more than messages. With this project we will seek to build trust and confidence among Wisconsin’s rural families with children. We are collaborating with partners that have considerable relationship and reach in the rural communities, including: Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Programs (SWCAP), the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (WPHCA), and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Immunization Program. Dear, Pandemic, is an additional collaborator that produces accessible, credible, and timely information about COVID-19, vaccines, and vaccination.

Working in close collaboration with our community partners, we will use existing data to co-design messages to be used in social media, community education, and a provider toolkit.

The budget allocated from these two grants combined will allow Yang to hire a 12-month RA and support graduate and undergraduate students during the summer months through funded student hourly positions. There is also a research budget to develop, test, and implement effective message interventions to address vaccine hesitancy in Wisconsin, especially in rural communities.

SMAD group publishes “Death Across the News Spectrum: A Time Series Analysis of Partisan Coverage Following Mass Shootings in the U.S.”

In the new article “Death Across the News Spectrum: A Time Series Analysis of Partisan Coverage Following Mass Shootings in the U.S.” in the International Journal of Communication, the Social Media and Democracy (SMAD) group analyzed news coverage following mass shooting events. Continue reading

New from ICRG “What Motivates People to Correct Misinformation? Examining the Effects of Third-person Perceptions”

In the new article “What Motivates People to Correct Misinformation? Examining the Effects of Third-person Perceptions and Perceived Norms” in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, the International Communication Research Group relates the third-person perception (TPP) and perceived norms, with people’s intentions to correct misinformation online.

Abstract:Studies have suggested that rumors may ultimately be “self-corrected” by online crowds. Following the previous literature, we explored how two perceptual factors, including the third-person perception (TPP) and perceived norms, predict people’s intentions to correct misinformation online. Our findings show that people’s corrective intentions are positively associated with both factors. While previous scholarship typically understands corrective actions as outward behaviors that identify “other people” as the subjects of correction, our study reveals that TPP and perceived norms also associate with misinformation spreader’s intentions to self-correct. Implications of these findings to the literature of corrective actions and misinformation are discussed.

Full citation: Alex Zhi-Xiong Koo, Min-Hsin Su, Sangwon Lee, So-Yun Ahn & Hernando Rojas (2021) What Motivates People to Correct Misinformation? Examining the Effects of Third-person Perceptions and Perceived Norms, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 65:1, 111-134, DOI: 10.1080/08838151.2021.1903896

Access the article: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08838151.2021.1903896