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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Author: aetoy

CAMER publishes new article “How Climate Movement Actors and News Media Frame Climate Change and Strike: Evidence from Analyzing Twitter and News Media Discourse from 2018 to 2021”

In the new article “How Climate Movement Actors and News Media Frame Climate Change and Strike: Evidence from Analyzing Twitter and News Media Discourse from 2018 to 2021” in The International Journal of Press and Politics, the Computational Approaches and Message Effects Research group used a comprehensive Twitter dataset to investigate how the climate movement is framed on Twitter and they analyze the evolution of frames over time against the backdrop of critical events.

Abstract:

Twitter enables an online public sphere for social movement actors, news organizations, and others to frame climate change and the climate movement. In this paper, we analyze five million English tweets posted from 2018 to 2021 demonstrating how peaks in Twitter activity relate to key events and how the framing of the climate strike discourse has evolved over the past three years. We also collected over 30,000 news articles from major news sources in English-speaking countries (Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom) to demonstrate how climate movement actors and media differ in their framing of this issue, attention to policy solutions, attribution of blame, and efforts to mobilize citizens to act on this issue. News outlets tend to report on global politicians’ (in)action toward climate policy, the consequences of climate change, and industry’s response to the climate crisis. Differently, climate movement actors on Twitter advocate for political actions and policy changes as well as addressing the social justice issues surrounding climate change. We also revealed that conversations around the climate movement on Twitter are highly politicized, with a substantial number of tweets targeting politicians, partisans, and country actors. These findings contribute to our understanding of how people use social media to frame political issues and collective action, in comparison to the traditional mainstream news outlets.

Full citation: Chen K, Molder AL, Duan Z, et al. How Climate Movement Actors and News Media Frame Climate Change and Strike: Evidence from Analyzing Twitter and News Media Discourse from 2018 to 2021. The International Journal of Press/Politics. June 2022. doi:10.1177/19401612221106405

Access the article: https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/G2NAZJM6NYFXDEPK2VCE/full

New article from CAMER “Textual and pictorial enhancement of cannabis warning labels: An Online experiment among at-risk U.S. young adults”

In the new article “Textual and pictorial enhancement of cannabis warning labels: An Online experiment among at-risk U.S. young adults” in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the Computational Approaches and Message Effects Research group examines whether enhanced cannabis warning labels (CWLs) outperform those currently required in the U.S. in improving recall of health risks, emotional responses, and perceived message effectiveness among at-risk young adults.

Abstract:

Background

This study experimentally examines whether enhanced cannabis warning labels (CWLs) outperform those currently required in the U.S. in improving recall of health risks, emotional responses, and perceived message effectiveness among at-risk young adults.

Method

We conducted an online national survey-based experiment in October 2020. Young adults aged 18–26 years old and at-risk for cannabis use (N = 523) were randomly assigned in an online experiment, to view either currently required CWLs in California with small font and a composite health risk statement, or enhanced single-theme CWLs with varying textual and pictorial components. We performed linear regression analyses to compare the enhanced with existing CWLs on information recall, negative emotions, and perceived message effectiveness. Furthermore, information recall and negative emotions were examined as parallel mediators to better understand the mechanisms underlying effective textual and pictorial enhancement of CWLs.

Results

Compared with currently required CWLs in California, both textually (b = 0.30, p = .011) and pictorially (b = 0.59, p < .001) enhanced CWLs increased recall accuracy. Pictorially enhanced CWLs outperformed their text-only counterparts (b = 0.28, p = .019) in improving information recall. Only pictorially enhanced CWLs improved perceived message effectiveness (b = 0.31, p = .008), which was mediated by negative emotions but not by information recall.

Conclusions

Given rapid expansion of the cannabis industry and declining perception of harm, currently required CWLs in the U.S. such as California’s, would benefit from redesign to improve public understanding of health risks and to prevent youth use.

Full citation: Sang Jung Kim, Matt Minich, Arina Tveleneva, Jiaying Liu, Alisa A. Padon, Lynn D. Silver, Sijia Yang, Textual and pictorial enhancement of cannabis warning labels: An Online experiment among at-risk U.S. young adults, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 237, 1 August 2022.

Access the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871622002575

New publication “Algorithmic Agents in the Hybrid Media System: Social Bots, Selective Amplification, and Partisan News about COVID-19” from CAMER

In the new article “Algorithmic Agents in the Hybrid Media System: Social Bots, Selective Amplification, and Partisan News about COVID-19” in the journal Human Communication Research, the Computational Approaches and Message Effects Research group employed bot detection techniques, structural topic modeling, and time series analysis to characterize the temporal associations between the topics Twitter bots tend to amplify and subsequent news coverage across the partisan spectrum.

Abstract: Social bots, or algorithmic agents that amplify certain viewpoints and interact with selected actors on social media, may influence online discussion, news attention, or even public opinion through coordinated action. Previous research has documented the presence of bot activities and developed detection algorithms. Yet, how social bots influence attention dynamics of the hybrid media system remains understudied. Leveraging a large collection of both tweets (N = 1,657,551) and news stories (N = 50,356) about the early COVID-19 pandemic, we employed bot detection techniques, structural topic modeling, and time series analysis to characterize the temporal associations between the topics Twitter bots tend to amplify and subsequent news coverage across the partisan spectrum. We found that bots represented 8.98% of total accounts, selectively promoted certain topics and predicted coverage aligned with partisan narratives. Our macro-level longitudinal description highlights the role of bots as algorithmic communicators and invites future research to explain micro-level causal mechanisms.

Full citation: Zening Duan, Jianing Li, Josephine Lukito, Kai-Cheng Yang, Fan Chen, Dhavan V Shah, Sijia Yang, Algorithmic Agents in the Hybrid Media System: Social Bots, Selective Amplification, and Partisan News about COVID-19, Human Communication Research, 2022;, hqac012, https://doi.org/10.1093/hcr/hqac012

Access the article: https://academic.oup.com/hcr/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/hcr/hqac012/6587151

CBB researchers give a talk to Ford’s Global Communications Team

Communication, Brain and Behavior (CBB) lab faculty leader Chris Cascio and Matt Minich gave a talk to Ford’s Global Communications Team about the neuroscience behind persuasion and influence.

The talk was an opportunity for researchers and industry to learn from each other about the ways we approach communications and the issues we face in a quickly evolving technology and digital media environment.

CBB faculty leader Chris Cascio elected vice chair of ICA Communication Science & Biology group

Communication, Brain and Behavior (CBB) lab faculty leader assistant professor Chris Cascio has been elected as vice chair of the International Communication Association’s Communication Science & Biology interest group. The election saw 26% voter turnout. Fellow leadership elected include student and early career representative Shelby Wilcox of Michigan State University and international liasion Ralf Schmaelzle of Michigan State University

See all election results here.

News article featuring CBB researchers in Bloomberg Businessweek

A new article in Bloomberg Businessweek by Sarah McBride “What My Brain Scan Revealed About the Science of Persuasion” features Communication, Brain and Behavior (CBB) Lab leader Chris Cascio and PhD student Matt Minich. In the article, the author speaks with Cascio and Minich about the neuroscience behind persuasive messages and what areas of the brain are critical to changing people’s minds.

Read the full article here.

UW Team Publishes “Polarization Over Vaccination: Ideological Differences in Twitter Expression About COVID-19”

New article “Polarization Over Vaccination: Ideological Differences in Twitter Expression About COVID-19 Vaccine Favorability and Specific Hesitancy Concerns” in the journal Social Media + Society from the Center for Communication and Civic Renewal. Continue reading