Media Exposure and Opinion Formation

About the project

This research project, supported by the Volkswagen Foundation, studies the consequences of online media exposure for political preferences and behavior. We develop innovations in the measurement of media consumption through a web tracking panel and computational methods to advance the study of these questions.

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Recent publications and working papers

The Consequences of Online Partisan Media

PNAS (2021)

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Do Online Voter Guides Empower Citizens? Evidence from a Field Experiment with Digital Trace Data

Public Opinion Quarterly (2021)

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Core team

Pablo Barberá

Principal Investigator
University of Southern California

Pablo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern California. He is also a Visiting Fellow in the Methodology department at the London School of Economics. He received my PhD in Political Science from New York University in 2015, where he was also a graduate research associate in the Social Media and Political Participation lab and a Moore-Sloan Post-Doctoral Fellow at the NYU Center for Data Science. His primary areas of academic research include social media and politics, computational social science, and comparative electoral behavior and political representation.

Andy Guess

Principal Investigator
Princeton University

Andy Guess (Ph.D. Columbia University) is an Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of political communication, public opinion, and political behavior. Via a combination of experimental methods, large datasets, machine learning, and innovative measurement, he studies how people choose, process, spread, and respond to information about politics. Recent work investigates the extent to which online Americans' news habits are polarized (the popular "echo chambers" hypothesis), patterns in the consumption and spread of online misinformation, and the effectiveness of efforts to counteract misperceptions encountered on social media. Coverage of these findings has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Slate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other publications.

Simon Munzert

Principal Investigator
Hertie School

Simon Munzert is Assistant Professor of Data Science and Public Policy at the Hertie School and part of the Hertie School Data Science Lab. His research interests include opinion formation in the digital age, public opinion, and the use of online data in social research. He is the principal investigator of an international cooperation project funded by the VolkswagenStiftung entitled "Paying Attention to Attention: Media Exposure and Opinion Formation in an Age of Information Overload", and the recipient of a postdoctoral scholarship awarded by the Daimler and Benz Foundation. He received his Doctoral Degree in Political Science from the University of Konstanz.

JungHwan Yang

Principal Investigator
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

JungHwan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He studies how media affect their users in this increasingly fragmented, ever more customizable, and socially connected media environment where people can generate their own content and share their views. He is particularly interested in how people select political information according to own interest, how people express their own opinion on conflicting political issues, and how these media behaviors are related to political polarization in society.


Joshua D.

Associated Researcher
Harvard University


Associated Researcher
University of Mannheim


Associated Researcher
Harvard University

Ramirez Ruiz

Research Associate
Hertie School

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