The Ohio State University
Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin
M.A., Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin
B.A., Computer Science, University of Wisconsin
3 years as a professional software engineer.
Political communication, effects of passive news, game framing effects, media criticism effects, expression effects, policy reasoning, new media, democratic theory
Some Interesting Findings
Overly passive, "he said / she said" news coverage can make audiences lose confidence in the knowability of political facts, which may in turn lead some to tune out of politics and others to tune in in ways that disregard truth. See this piece in Journal of Communication, or read media coverage of it in The American Prospect, Science Daily, Grist, Discover Magazine, and Media Digest. Also see the follow-up study in Communication Research showing these effects are different from framing effects on political cynicism. A third study (from data actually collected first) is currently under review.
Even a brief exposure to game-framed post-debate coverage can make audience members less likely to even try to reason about the substantive policy questions discussed in the debate itself. See this study in Journal of Communication, watch a video segment on it from The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, or read news coverage of it in Science Daily, UPI or The Washington Post's WonkBlog.
Media agenda setting includes two very different kinds of effects: agenda reasoning, which is the influence of good reasons for issue importance learned from news coverage, and agenda cueing, which is the influence of the mere fact of news coverage of an issue regardless of its content. We found that agenda cueing depends on a naive form of media trust called gatekeeping trust, in which people believe that news workers are choosing what to cover based on how important they think underlying social problems are, instead of the "news values" (conflict, drama, novelty, etc) that research has shown strongly influences which events are covered. One experiment on this is currently in press and another is under review (both at Journal of Communication). A third study is in the planning stages.
Messages affect their senders, not just their receivers. See this paper in Communication Theory for my alternative message effects model including several kinds of effects on senders. A forthcoming book chapter applies this model to new media.
A new approach to structuring online discussion forums makes it possible for far larger groups of people to coherently reason together. Specifically, using a hierarchy of sub-decisions instead of a hierarchy of replies allows two theoretically important forms of coherence, even when there are too many messages for any participant to read everything. See this paper in Communication Theory for my theoretical model, which others have applied to implement software for large-scale online deliberation.
- Pingree, R. J., Quenette, A. M., Tchernev, J., & Dickinson, T. (in press). Effects of media criticism on gatekeeping trust and implications for agenda setting. In press at Journal of Communication.
- Pingree, R. J., Hill, M., & McLeod, D. M. (in press). Distinguishing effects of game framing and journalistic adjudication on cynicism and epistemic political efficacy. In press at Communication Research.
- Pingree, R. J., Scholl, R. M., & Quenette, A. M. (2012). Effects of post-debate coverage on spontaneous policy reasoning. Journal of Communication, 62(4), 653-658.
- Pingree, R. J. (2011). Effects of unresolved factual disputes in the news on epistemic political efficacy. Journal of Communication, 61, 22-47.
- Pingree, R. J. (2007). How messages affect their senders: A more general model of message effects and implications for deliberation. Communication Theory, 17, 439-461.
- Pingree, R. J. (2006). Decision structure and the problem of scale in deliberation. Communication Theory, 16, 198-222.