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Research Communication Science

Communication Science at Radboud University investigates the production, content, and reception of mediated communication. Our main objective is to study the psychological mechanisms underlying uses of media, processes and effects, while taking into account the social-cultural mechanisms of the media landscape. Secondly, the group aims to apply these fundamental insights to developing and testing media interventions. Within ‘positive communication research’ we investigate the potential of mediated communication for improving well-being. A key role is played by techniques and tools from the area of Artificial Intelligence: innovative methods such as machine learning and knowledge representation are used to develop intelligent media interventions that make people happy, healthy and well-informed.

Driven by these objectives, the research group focuses on three communication themes: influence (commercial and prosocial marketing communication), information (journalism and news), and culture (media and consumer culture). Our research programme Communication and Media is one of the seven research programmes of the Behavioural Science Institute (BSI).

Mission and focus

The mission of our group is to conduct high quality research characterised by the combination of theory-driven fundamental research and scientifically-grounded applied research. Our researchers share a mutual interest in keeping in touch with "the real world". Research questions are inspired by developments in the media landscape, studying social media, mobile media applications, virtual environments, and gamification.

In addition, our research is inspired by the public debate, focusing for example on the consequences of young people's commercial media environment, how to promote mental and physical wellbeing, and how to keep the citizen informed. The main theoretical objective of the group is to integrate the behavioural and social perspective, studying individual responses to media while taking into account the social and cultural context.

Research profile

Our research group is characterised by its multidisciplinary focus (combining media-psychological, media-sociological, and media-economic perspectives), multimethod approach (using a variety of advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods), and keen interest in developments in the media landscape (including television, Internet, social robots and avatars, mobile, and print media). The research methods used include manual (e.g., content analysis and surveys) as well as automated techniques (e.g., machine learning and agent-based simulation).

Academic social responsibility

Communication Science at Radboud University highly values "academic social responsibility", bridging the academy-society divide. This is reflected in the research topics and questions investigated and the initiatives to transfer academic insights to society. We do so via science communication and collaborations with industry and policy makers.

Follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on Radboud's Communication Science group @CW_RU.

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