Facebook and Political Attitudes

This project will be conducted through the Social Networks and Political Psychology (SNaPP) Lab, directed by Professor Jaime Settle. Its purpose¬†is to determine the effects of exposure to political content on Facebook on Facebook users’ political attitudes, including political ideology and candidate preferences. Despite extensive research on the relationship between social media and politics, there has yet to be a direct investigation into whether or not political posts on Facebook affect the beliefs of those viewing them. A significant portion of the research will be devoted to developing a method for realistically testing this relationship using actual content from participants’ own Facebook timelines. An examination of the methodologies of existing social media studies (both inside and outside of political science) will help to determine the best approach for this study. The time this summer will be used to design and pilot test research ideas with the goal of creating a research design that can be¬†conducted in the fall of 2016 as part of the Omnibus project.

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