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Political Communication and Media Effects



Objective: 1. The course introduces students to classic and current theories and research on the effects of political communication on political attitudes and behavior.
Objective: 2. The course helps students to develop skills to review and evaluate existing research and to design their own research on the topic.

Content: This course examines theories and research that inform conclusions about the effects of political communication on public opinion and political behavior. The course will emphasize psychological theories of information processing and media effects at the individual level such as learning and political knowledge, persuasion and attitude change, cognitions and emotions, and political behavior. The course introduces and explores classic and current theories and concepts, reviews important research, and looks at classic and new methods used in media effects research. By becoming familiar with theories and methods of media effects research, students will have the tools to develop their own research questions and to propose research designs that can answer them. Students are expected to actively engage in class discussions, give a short presentation, and complete several short assignments.

Methods of Instruction

Short lectures, discussion, student presentations

Study Material

Journal articles and book chapters


Assignments, presentations, and class participation

Admission requirements



Tuesday 3 February, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 5A37
Tuesday 10 and 17 February, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A27
Tuesday 24 February, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A37
Tuesday 3 March, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 5A42
Tuesday 10 March, 11.00-13.00 hrs SA31
Tuesday 17 and 24 March, 11.00-13.00 hrs in SA21
Tuesday 31 March until 12 May, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 5A37

  • no lectures on 5 and 19 May


Master students that started their studies in September 2014 can register for one seminar in uSis from 10 December 12.00 hrs until 17 December 12.00 hrs.

For Master students that start their studies in February 2015 registration is possible from Wednesday 14 January 2015 12.00 hrs until Friday 23 January 2015 12.00 hrs. Please send an email with your full name, student number and preference for three seminars to the institute secretariat ( You will receive an auto-reply with a confirmation that we have received your e-mail. You will be informed about the seminars for which you have been registered before February 1.

Please note that elective seminars have a maximum capacity of 20 students and placement is subject to availability. Registration is on a first come first served basis.