Annenberg School for Communication

Founded in 1959 through the generosity and vision of diplomat and philanthropist Walter Annenberg, The Annenberg School for Communication stands at the forefront of education, research, and policy studies on the processes, nature, and consequences of existing and emerging media. The School offers students a firm grounding in a wide range of approaches to the study of communication and its methods, drawn from both the humanities and the social sciences. Home to a wide range of centers and projects, including the Annenberg Public Policy Center, the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, the Center for Global Communication Studies, the Scholars Program in Culture & Communication, the Institute for Public Service, and others, research at Annenberg encompasses political communication, global communication, health communication, visual communication, cultural studies, children and media, as well as new media and information technologies, with interests extending beyond the classroom. For decades, research conducted by faculty and students at the Annenberg School has influenced public discussion of the role of the media in shaping the perceptions of the viewing public.

Search results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 1058
  • Publication
    How Christians Reconcile Their Personal Political Views and the Teachings of Their Faith: Projection as a Means of Dissonance Reduction
    (2012-03-06) Ross, Lee D; Lelkes, Yphtach; Russell, Alexandra G
    The present study explores the dramatic projection of one's own views onto those of Jesus among conservative and liberal American Christians. In a large-scale survey, the relevant views that each group attributed to a contemporary Jesus differed almost as much as their own views. Despite such dissonance-reducing projection, however, conservatives acknowledged the relevant discrepancy with regard to "fellowship"issues (e.g., taxation to reduce economic inequality and treatment of immigrants) and liberals acknowledged the relevant discrepancy with regard to "morality" issues (e.g., abortion and gay marriage). However, conservatives also claimed that a contemporary Jesus would be even more conservative than themselves on the former issues whereas liberals claimed that Jesus would be even more liberal than themselves on the latter issues. Further reducing potential dissonance, liberal and conservative Christians differed markedly in the types of issues they claimed to be more central to their faith. A concluding discussion considers the relationship between individual motivational processes and more social processes that may underlie the present findings, as well as implications for contemporary social and political conflict.
  • Publication
    The Voice of the Visual in Memory
    (2004-01-01) Zelizer, Barbie
    For as long as collective memory has been an area of scholarly concern, the precise role of images as its vehicle has been asserted rather than explicated. This essay addresses the role of images in collective memory. Motivated by circumstances in which images, rather than words, emerge as the preferred way to establish and maintain shared knowledge from earlier times, it offers the heuristic of "voice" to help explain how images work across represented events from different times and places. The essay uses "voice" to elucidate how the visual becomes an effective mode of relay about the past and a key vehicle of memory.
  • Publication
    Mathematical Theory of Communication
    (2009-01-01) Krippendorff, Klaus
  • Publication
    Systematic and Random Disagreement and the Reliability of Nominal Data
    (2008-02-10) Krippendorff, Klaus
    Reliability is an important bottleneck for content analysis and similar methods for generating analyzable data. This is because the analysis of complex qualitative phenomena such as texts, social interactions, and media images easily escape physical measurement and call for human coders to describe what they read or observe. Owing to the individuality of coders, the data they generate for subsequent analysis are prone to errors not typically found in mechanical measuring devices. However, most measures that are designed to indicate whether data are sufficiently reliable to warrant analysis do not differentiate among kinds of disagreement that prevent data from being reliable. This paper distinguishes two kinds of disagreement, systematic disagreement and random disagreement, and suggests measures of them in conjunction with the agreement coefficient α (alpha) (Krippendorff, 2004a, pp. 211-256). These measures, previously proposed for interval data (Krippendorff, 1970), are here developed for nominal data. Their importance lies in their ability to not only aid the development of reliable coding instructions but also warn researchers about two kinds of errors they face when using imperfect data.
  • Publication
    Assessing Impact, Evaluating Adaptability: A Decade of Radio La Benevolencija in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC
    (2014-05-05) Kogen, Lauren
    For the past decade, Radio La Benevolencija (RLB) has worked in Rwanda, Burundi, and the DRC to provide citizens with tools for recognizing and resisting manipulation to violence and healing trauma. Until now, however, its numerous programs, projects, and contributions had not been synthesized, and its findings had not been evaluated as whole. The Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania conducted an evaluation of RLB’s past ten years of work in the Great Lakes Region. In addition to understanding the aggregate impact of RLB’s programs, this meta-evaluation seeks to investigate what RLB’s work offers to others engaged in this field. We therefore seek to understand the adaptability of RLB’s methodology to other countries and contexts and how the RLB model might be used a prototype for future interventions.
  • Publication
    Franz Boas and Photography
    (2017-05-19) Jacknis, Ira
  • Publication
    Excavating Radical Futures: Puppets, Robots, And The Fight For Technology
    (2019-01-01) Erdener, Jasmine
    This project argues that traditional puppetry offers a practice-based approach to think through political and ethical issues in technology and communication. Drawing on three summers of ethnographic participant engagement at Bread and Puppet Theater, a historic and internationally famous political puppet theater, the chapters pair traditional puppetry with visual and textual analysis of contemporary technologies like Sophia, sex robots, and the Cyborg Foundation, and the history of cybernetics and science fiction. Examining this history uncovers the implicit and explicit values and assumptions embedded in the objects and technologies themselves, as well as how popular understandings and representations of those objects can reinforce or counter those narratives. These distinct points of origin took puppetry and robotics in diverging directions, from material negotiation to domination. The consequences of this shift have ongoing repercussions for the way that technology is popularly represented, as well as for how political engagement is conceptualized and enacted. The project concludes by returning to puppetry, and to feminist science fiction and Afrofuturism, to offer possibilities for the future and directions for new work.
  • Publication
    Star Academy as Arab Political Satire
    (2008-01-01) Kraidy, Marwan M
  • Publication
    Computing Krippendorff's Alpha-Reliability
    (2011-01-25) Krippendorff, Klaus
    Krippendorff’s alpha (α) is a reliability coefficient developed to measure the agreement among observers, coders, judges, raters, or measuring instruments drawing distinctions among typically unstructured phenomena or assign computable values to them. α emerged in content analysis but is widely applicable wherever two or more methods of generating data are applied to the same set of objects, units of analysis, or items and the question is how much the resulting data can be trusted to represent something real.
  • Publication
    Neural And Psychological Bases Of Health News Sharing
    (2018-01-01) Scholz, Christin
    Mass media content often propagates through social channels, for instance through shares on social media. In these social spaces, message effects interact with social forces like social influence to impact behavior and attitudes which has important implications for large-scale media effects. The abundance of online data about sharing patterns has enabled detailed descriptions of these processes but commonly used methods are less well suited to understand the psychological processes that facilitate sharing decisions. To address this knowledge gap, this dissertation used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study processes occurring in propagation chains where communicators shared New York Times health news articles with receivers through Facebook messages. Results from four empirical studies support a parsimonious framework, suggesting that communicators integrate considerations of the expected self-related and social outcomes of sharing into an overall signal of the value of sharing a piece of content which directly impacts their choices. To this end, Chapter 2 demonstrates the involvement of neural activity in regions associated with self-related, social, and value-related processing in sharing decisions made by individual communicators. Chapter 3 shows that the extent of neural value-related activity in response to these articles is significantly related to population-level sharing behavior of hundreds of thousands of real-world online New York Times readers and that neural valuation mediates the effects of self-related and social processing on choice. Chapter 4 demonstrates that these key processes are relevant across sharing contexts, namely when communicators are faced with different audience sizes. Yet the measures used here still showed insightful context-sensitivity through modulation of signal intensity. Finally, Chapter 5 discusses neural communicator-receiver coupling of activity in key regions of interest associated with valuation, self-related and social processing as a facilitator of information transfer between communications and receivers. Significant coupling suggests that central processes identified in communicators may propagate through social interaction and impact secondary receivers. In sum, this dissertation offers a detailed, parsimonious framework of the neural and psychological bases of sharing decisions and thus constitutes progress in scientific efforts to optimally account for and utilize social forces in the design of large-scale message campaigns and interventions.