AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY WORKSHOP: David Siegel (Duke), “Social Networks and the Mass Media”

Event time: 
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 5:00pm through 6:15pm
Event description: 

“Social Networks and the Mass Media”

David A. Siegel, Associate Professor of Political Science, Duke University

Abstract: How do global sources of information such as mass media outlets, state propaganda, NGOs, and national party leadership affect aggregate behavior? Prior work on this question has insufficiently considered the complex interaction between social network and mass media influences on individual behavior. By explicitly modeling this interaction, I show that social network structure conditions media’s impact. Empirical studies of media effects that fail to consider this risk bias. Further, social network interactions can amplify media bias, leading to large swings in aggregate behavior made more severe when individuals can select into media matching their preferences. Countervailing media outlets and social elites with unified preferences can mitigate the effect of bias; however, media outlets promulgating anti-status quo bias have an advantage.

Bio: David A. Siegel is Associate Professor of Political Science. His research addresses the theoretical determinants of collective action in the contexts of political violence and terrorism, elections, and opinion and identity formation. He has published in journals such as the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, and Journal of Politics, and is the coauthor of A Behavioral Theory of Elections and A Mathematics Course for Political and Social Research, both from Princeton University Press. Prior to coming to Duke, he was on faculty at Florida State University.

Sponsored jointly by ISPS and CSAP


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