About us / Mission statement
The chair of online communication, headed by Prof. Thorsten Quandt, focuses on societal changes connected to the Internet and new media. The empirical research of the chair follows three central areas that can be understood as the core dimensions of these changes. These three focal areas are: (1) Innovations & technology, (2) the individual, its (self-)perception and everyday life, (3) human coexistence and societal effects. Along these three areas, the chair investigates several current phenomena and challenges, using classic and innovative empirical methods. The chair’s research and methods operate at the intersection of communication studies, psychology, empirical social sciences and data science. The primary goal is to merge different thematic and methodical perspectives and thus to make a substantial contribution to the understanding of societal and communicative changes.
(1) Foundations of media innovations
The chair conducts research on the general impact of new media on the individual, groups and society. This is typically groundwork for cutting edge innovations, like VR-, AR and Mixed Reality-Devices, or new types of computer games. Some of these studies are carried out in the chair’s own Virtual Reality and Game Lab.
(2) Transformations of the individual and its everyday life
The chair is interested in the effects of new media and online communication on the users’ mind, and the impact on their everyday life. This typically involves recently introduced technologies and current forms of online use. Research projects address the effects of social media or computer games on psycho-social well-being, but also dysfunctional forms of use (like excessive use/addiction).
(3) Transformation of public communication and society
The chair studies higher-level effects that operate on the meso- or macro-level (i.e. group/interaction effects, societal effects). Again, this includes research on dysfunctional forms of using digital media (like cyberbullying, cyberhate and online propaganda), but also research in the field of (online) journalism and alternative/participatory information sources on the Internet.