Assistant Professor Hillary Shulman recently published new research focused on political communication and behavior. Shulman and PhD student Matthew Sweitzer co-authored a paper published in Public Opinion Quarterly analyzing over two million survey questions used by top polling firms in the 2016 election. They found the difficulty of the words used in these questions varied significantly between questions and polling firms. Their experiment found that as the language used in questions becomes more difficult, worse quality data is obtained.
Shulman also published an article in the International Journal of Communication with co-authors Robert Bond, assistant professor, and Michael Gilbert, PhD student. In this study, participants were randomly assigned to have a political conversation with someone who was either politically different or politically similar. While people universally rate others with different political views more negatively, the experiment found that having a conversation with somebody with different political views helps make this negative opinion less pronounced.