Research Interests: My research program broadly examines how social media can benefit or harm users and prosocial movements. I am interested in how cues related to the source of prosocial content can affect audience perceptions of source motives and authenticity, as well as its influence on subsequent behavior and attitudes. To date, my work is primarily situated in the online body positivity movement.
Dissertation title: Post to be an ally: An affordance-based approach to exploring the effects of participation in online prosocial movements
Advisor: Dr. David DeAndrea
Research Interests: My research focuses on the impact of the information and social environment on factual beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. Specifically, I examine how the offline news environment, social interactions, and use of social media impact individuals' beliefs about contested facts in politics. In my dissertation, I investigate how network closure--a characteristic of network structure--can lead individuals to believe in and share (mis)information from others by engendering greater trust in them. Methodologically, I combine various quantitative and computational methods in my work to provide compelling evidence.
Dissertation title: In people we trust: The effect of trust and network closure on factual beliefs and (mis)information sharing
Research Interests: I am studying the potential for political storytelling - and particularly for narratives of personal experience - to facilitate inclusive political communication and interpersonal deliberation. My work is rooted in a "deliberation 2.0" framework for deliberative democracy, which envisions a place in deliberation for narratives, testimony, greeting, and pathos in addition to more canonical forms of political argumentation. In my dissertation, I investigate the ways in and the ends to which stories are deployed in small-group deliberation, with a focus on argument, conflict, identity negotiation, and the framing of political issues.
Advisor: Dr. William "Chip" Eveland
Research Interests: In my research, I take an information processing approach to communication phenomena by focusing on the critical role of attention in today's complex media environment. I examine how the content and delivery of messages impact people's processing capacity, allocation of attention, and use of message information in their decision-making. Additionally, I explore measurement in these areas by examining the differences between individuals' subjective and objective processing experiences.
Dissertation title: The Impact of Load on Attention to Complex Messages
Advisor: Dr. Hillary Shulman
Research Interests: My research program examines how people engage with communication technologies by drawing on theoretical perspectives tied to mobility and identity. My first area of work explicates the role of mobility in communication, which affords opportunities to connect with – but also disconnect from – others anyplace and anytime. In this area, I leverage computational spatial methods to understand how spatial and temporal patterns underlie the usage of communication technologies. My second area of work focuses on identity, considering how mobile technologies can become integral to core aspects of the self. Taken together, I argue that how we move (mobility) and who we are (identity) are key to understanding how communication technologies are interwoven with everyday life.
Dissertation title: (Dis)assembling the person, the device, and the context: A theoretical model of the mobile connection
Advisor: Dr. Joseph Bayer