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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Physiology and Communication Effects Lab (PACE)

The PACE Lab conducts research examining the physiological correlates of communication effects, political attitudes and behaviors. The lab is equipped with sensors that measure electrodermal activity, electromyography and electroencephalography to better understand how people respond to media messages. Projects center on political communication and journalism behaviors. Faculty Leader: Michael Wagner


PACE Lab uncovers roots of hostile media perception

The Physiology and Communication Effects (PACE) Lab’s 2017 data collection examining the psychophysiological roots of thehostile media perception will be presented at the International Communication Association conference in Prague in May, 2018. “The Affective and Physiological Underpinning of Hostile Media Perception: Perceptions of Media Accuracy and Influence” reports the result of an experiment in which 106 participants viewed a media statement from a fictional member of Congress that varied, by experimental condition, the extremity of language used by the congressperson. Results indicate that even when controlling for self-reported emotions, the hostile media perception can be explained, in part, by the physiological … Continue reading