Chair of empirical communication research

In the department Empirical Communication Studies, the audience of mass media and media content are examined theoretically and empirically. A central field of our work is audience research, focusing on structures and frequencies of media use. This is complemented by approaches of media reception and media use in order to analyze the specific handling of media content by individuals or groups. In addition, content and structural features of media products and -services with short- and long-term effects on the individual and the society are examined. Last but not least, we contribute to the further development of empirical methods for the empirical analysis of our research fields.

  • Visual Communication Research

    investigates how information is visually presented in the media, how the audience processes visualizations and the resulting effects on reception, interpretation and processing.

    Involved Researchers:
    Stephanie Geise, Anna-Maria Volpers, Volker Gehrau, Maria Hänelt, Ia Bestavashvili

    Subjects and Exemplary Projects:

    • Visual and multimodal framing
    • Design and effect of election posters
    • Visualization of statistical data and their reception
    • data visualization with ggplot2
    • Eyetracking and visual reception studies

    Selected Publications:

    • Principles of Visual Communication Theory and Research (Müller & Geise, 2015)
    • Processes of Visual and Multimodal Framing (Geise, 2016; Geise & Baden, 2014, 2015)
    • Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen der wissenschaftlichen Bildverwendung (Specht; Eickhoff & Volpers, 2017)
    • Visual Framing – Anforderungen an die empirische Forschung (Herbers & Volpers, 2013)
  •  Media, occupational orientation and personnel recruitment

    concerns questions regarding the influence of media on processes of individual professional orientation and personnel recruitment.

    Involved Researchers:
    Volker Gehrau

    Subjects and exemplary projects:

    • Media effects on occupational expectations and career aspirations
    • Mediatization of occupational orientation and personnel recruitment
    • Websites for career guidance and personnel recruitment
    • E-recruiting / employer branding

    Selected publications:

  • Media in social contexts

    analyzes the characteristics of processes of media use, media reception and media effects in different social constellations.

    Involved Researchers:
    Volker Gehrau, Stephanie Geise, Maria Hänelt

    Subjects and Exemplary Projects:

    • Media and interpersonal communication
    • Shared media consumption
    • Social diffusion of media content
    • (Online) opinion leadership
    • Media and participation in social movements

    Selected Publications:

  • Social science methods

    includes approaches and procedures for selecting research objects, collecting data and analysing, interpreting and presenting data.

    Involved Researchers:
    Volker Gehrau, Stephanie Geise, Anna-Maria Volpers

    Subjects and Exemplary Projects:

    • Observation techniques
    • Eyetracking
    • Data visualization
    • Sorting studies
    • Selection procedures
    • (Visual) content analyses

    Selected Publications:

    • Die Beobachtung (Gehrau, 2017)
    • Das Qualitative Experiment (Gehrau & Bilandzic, 2017)
    • Eyetracking (Geise, 2011, Geise, 2014)
    • Bildinhaltsanalyse (Geise & Rössler 2012)
    • Automatisierte Bildinhaltsanalyse (Geise, Rössler & Kruschinski 2015)
  • Media and public opinion

    investigates the relationship between media issues and media reporting and the ideas, opinions and actions of the population over time.

    Involved Researchers:
    Volker Gehrau, Judith Väth

    Subjects and exemplary projects:

    • Public opinion and issue perception
    • Agenda-setting
    • Agenda-building
    • Issues management

    Selected publications:

  • Media use and media effects

    investigates which people use which media and how they use them as well as the consequences for individuals and society.

    Involved Researchers:
    Volker Gehrau, Stephanie Geise, Maria Hänelt

    Subjects and Exemplary Projects:

    • Media quality and media practice
    • Media use
    • Media effects
    • Television genres
    • Reception of (online) news

    Selected Publications:

    • Der dynamisch-transaktionale Ansatz (Gehrau, 2016)
    • News Values: Audience Effects (Gehrau, 2016)
    • Eskapistische Mediennutzung und narkotische Dysfunktion (Kuhlmann & Gehrau, 2012)