AEJMC 2o21 Conference Presentations

Several of current studies from the SEMI-ME group will be presented at the  Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference, August 4-7, 2021.

“Now You See Me”: Self-Representation Affordance Moderates Bandwagon-Cues’ Impacts on Information Exposure.By Wenbo Li,  Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick,  & Chris Cosma, The Ohio State University. Paper to be presented to the Communication Technology Division of AEJMC.



Pre-Election Confirmation Bias vs. Informational Utility: Election Outcome Prediction Affects Selective Exposure. By Kate T. Luong & Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University. Paper to be presented to the Political  Communication Division of AEJMC.



Top Student Award for Elizabeth Riggs – March 6, 2021

Elizabeth Riggs‘ submission “Losing Awareness of Our Surroundings? The Role of Attention During Transportation into Audio Narratives” won the top student paper award (Information Systems Division) for the 2021 International Communication Association conference in May.

The paper is based on her MA thesis, supervised by Dr. Knobloch-Westerwick.

Congratulations to Dr. Kate Luong! – March 3, 2021

Kate is starting as a Post-Doc Research Associate at the Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University, to work with Professor Maibach. Kate completed her doctoral degree with Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick (advisor) last summer and recently obtained her US work permit.


Congratulations to Dr. George Pearson! – March 1, 2021

SEMI-ME member George Pearson is starting a post-doctoral associate position at the University of Pennsylvania, to work with Professor Cappella.

Papers accepted for ICA 2021 conference

  • “Mobile Selective Exposure: Confirmation Bias and Impact of Social Cues During Mobile News Consumption” with Morgan Ross, Jarod Crum, and Shengkai Wang
  • “‘I am With You’ – Self-Enhancement through Partisan Affiliation and Confirmation Bias” with Daniel J. Sude and Axel Westerwick
  • “Confirmation Bias Versus National Ingroup Favoritism: Political Information Exposure Beyond the U.S. Context” with Ling Liu, Axel Westerwick, Evan McWilliams and Airo Hino
  • “The Interdependent Independent Self-Construal and Mental Health Help Seeking Source Preference” with Rachel McKenzie

Presentations at NCA Conference – November 2020

Elizabeth Riggs presented her paper, “The Role of Self-Construal in Video Selection: An Experimental Approach to Eudaimonic Selection Motivations,” co-authored with Mary Beth Oliver (Penn State) and Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, at the NCA 106th Annual Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.


“Self-Expression Just a Click Away” – Sept. 2020

An article co-authored with Drs. Daniel Sude and George Pearson, titled “Self-Expression Just a Click Away: Source Interactivity Impacts on Confirmation Bias and Political Attitudes,” has been accepted for publication in Computers in Human Behavior.

ABSTRACT: Information is now commonly consumed online, often displayed in conjunction with self-expression affordances (i.e., likes, votes) that create a sense of “self as source.” Sundar et al.’s (2015) theory of interactive media effects (TIME)conceptualizes such affordances as source interactivity (SI). An experiment examined medium effects of SI as well as message effects on attitudes. It tracked selective exposure to attitude-consistent vs. –discrepant political messages, to capture confirmation bias, and manipulated SI presence (affordance to up-vote or down-vote articles present or absent) as within-subjects factors. SI use and attitude change were captured. SI reduced selective exposure to attitude-consistent content. However, use of SI affected attitude reinforcement independently as well. Hence, users shaped their own attitudes both by selectively reading articles and expressing their views through SI. Directions for theory development are offered.

Presentations at AEJMC Conference – August 2020


Wenbo Li & Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick presented their paper “Connect or Contrast: Public Self-Awareness Impacts on Selective Exposure to Political Content with Social Cues” in the Communication Technology Division.

George Pearson, Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick & Birkan Gokbag presented a study titled ” “Setting Your Own Agenda”: Selective Exposure as a Mechanism for Re-Enforcing Issue Importance” in the Online News Division.


Intro to Synthesio by Dr. Bayer (guest speaker)

The research lab meeting hosted Dr. Joseph Bayer on 7/10/2020 via ZOOM. He kindly introduced the group to SYNTHESIO, a ‘social listening service.’ Thank you so much for an inspiring and informative talk!


NCA paper accepted – July 2020

Elizabeth Rigg’s paper “The Role of Self-Construal in Video Selection: An Experimental Approach to Eudaimonic Selection Motivations” , co-authored with Mary Beth Oliver (Penn State) and Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, has been accepted for presentation at the NCA 106th Annual Convention, November 19-22, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Kate T. Luong –
June 15, 2020


Kate Tran Luong has successfully defended her dissertation “The Drive to Be Better: The Role of the Self-Improvement Motive in Media Selection, Processing, and Effects.” The committee members met over Zoom for the dissertation defense.
The committee members praised the innovativeness of her dissertation and her outstanding abilities as a writer — and believe the future holds a bright scholarly path for Kate,

Kate’s Homepage  Google Scholar



Paper accepted

for AEJMC – May 2020

Our submission “Connect or Contrast: Public Self-Awareness and Social Cues Impacts on Selective Exposure to Political Content” has been accepted for presentation at this summer’s 2020 AEJMC Conference (virtual in San Francisco). Wenbo Li & Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick are co-authors on this paper.



Presentation at virtual conference of the International Communication Association – May 2020

“Impacts of Selective Exposure to Social Comparison Messages on Self-Awareness on Social Media,” presented in the Information Systems Division, by Wenbo Li & Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick


Work by Luong and Pearson garners public attention – May 2020

Kate Luong’s work featured by NCA: Developing Effective Women Role Models in STEM

George Pearson’s work highlighted in Communication Theory: Virtual Issue on Selective Exposure

Elizabeth Riggs defends MA thesis – May 1, 2020

Elizabeth Riggs successfully defended her MA thesis titled “Assumptions of Attentional Shift: Measurement of Physical Attention During Audio Narratives.” Dr. Jason Coronel and Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick (advisor) served on her committee.

Congratulations, Elizabeth! Jason and I are excited that you will continue in our PhD program!

Rachel McKenzie defends MA thesis – April 29, 2020

Rachel successfully defended her MA thesis titled “Independence and Interdependence on Social Media: The Impact of Using Mental Health Instagram Posts to Induce Self-Construals.” Dr. Shelly Hovick and Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick (advisor) served on her committee.

Congratulations, Rachel, and best wishes for continuing your academic path in the PhD program at UC Davis!


First ‘global’ research meeting – April 25, 2020

The first ‘global’ research meeting was held at the SEMI-ME lab when Ling Liu discussed her current work with Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick on April 25, 2020.

While in Tokyo, at her home institution Waseda University, Ling presented to the group via Zoom. She presented data collected in Japan in March. The study examines how national identity affects selective exposure to political information.



Two Awards at COMM Day – April 24, 2020

Honors galore! Wenbo Li received the Teaching Award for graduate students at the COMM Day event, held virtually this year, by the School of Communication at The Ohio State University.

Daniel Sude received the Mentoring Award for graduate students.

CONGRATULATIONS, Wenbo and Daniel!!!


Dr. Daniel Sude – April 23, 2020

Daniel Sude has successfully defended his dissertation “More than Partisans: Factors that Promote and Constrain Partisan Selective Exposure with Implications for Political Polarization.” The committee members met over Zoom for the dissertation defense.

Daniel will join the Tel-Aviv University as a post-doc this fall, to work with Professor Shira Dvir-Gvirsman.





Honors Research Thesis – April 22, 2020

Birkan Gokbag, student developer since 2018 in the SEMI-ME lab, has earned honors research distinction in Communication. Birkan has successfully defended his thesis “Measuring Possible Future Selves: Using Natural Language Processing for Automated Analysis of Posts about Life Concerns.” Here is a video in which Birkan explains his thesis. After graduating with a major in Computer Science & Engineering in spring 2020, he will join the graduate program Biomedical Sciences at The Ohio State University.