Annenberg School for Communication

Why independent cultures think alike when it comes to categories

In discovering how groups categorize unfamiliar shapes, research out of Annenberg’s Network Dynamics Group finds that intrinsic social experiences are at the root of problem solving, rather than the human brain itself.

From Annenberg School for Communication

The influence and importance of language

Labels for what happened Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol were very different from those used to describe the Black Lives Matter movement or the 2020 election results. How much weight do individual words actually have? It depends on the context.

Michele W. Berger

Google News prioritizes national media over local

A new study from the Annenberg School for Communication found that Google News prioritizes national media outlets over local media outlets in search results, even when users are searching for local topics.

From Annenberg School for Communication



In the News


The Washington Post

The Trump presidency was marked by battles over truth itself. Those aren’t over

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center said people can be primed to believe false information through repetition. “What Trump did was take tactics of deception and played to confirmation biases that were already circulating in our culture and embodied them in somebody who is president of the United States. He didn’t change what was available, but he changed its accessibility,” she said. “That crazed content has always been there. But it becomes dangerous when it is legitimized and when it has the power of the state behind it.”

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Huffington Post

Trump supporters’ main problem was never the economy

Research by Diana Mutz of the Annenberg School for Communication and School of Arts & Sciences found that people who voted for Trump in 2016 did so because of racial anxieties, not economic distress. “It’s the same old same old. White males have been the group with the most power in our country for a long, long time,” she said. “Change is hard.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Our democracy remains intact, thanks to our courts, free press, and right to assembly

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center wrote an op-ed about the durability of democracy in the U.S. amid polarization, disinformation, and other obstacles. “Individuals exercised constitutional freedoms, especially the mutually reinforcing ones of speech, press, petition, peaceable assembly, and the opportunity to vote—to bend the arc of the country’s history toward justice,” she wrote.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Does Twitter’s ban violate Trump’s free-speech rights? Likely not, but it raises questions about social media platforms, Philly experts say

Diana Mutz of the Annenberg School for Communication and School of Arts & Sciences said social media hasn’t enriched the quality of elected leaders’ communication with the public. “What gains traction on social media is outrageousness,” she said. “It incentivizes precisely what we don’t want in political discourse.”

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CBS News

How conspiracy theories fueled assault on U.S. Capitol

Dan Romer of the Annenberg School for Communications weighed in on how conspiracy theories led to the breach of the U.S. Capitol building. “In a way what happened yesterday is just a further demonstration of how [President Trump’s] supporters have accepted some of his assertions about conspiracies and are willing to act on them,” Romer said.

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