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Journalism, Media and Culture

Faculty in Journalism, Culture and Communication analyze emerging and enduring forms of public communication and the institutional and economic conditions that sustain them. They employ a range of research methods, including ethnography, textual and historical analysis, and political economic approaches to media industries. As digital technologies have transformed mediated practices, the faculty has opened a series of new areas of inquiry, including computational journalism, the study of algorithms in institutions, and the cultural history of Silicon Valley.

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Media Psychology

The Stanford Department of Communication has long been a pioneer in studying the relationships between digital media, psychology and behavior. In the early nineties, Clifford Nass and his graduate students were among the first in the world to empirically examine constructs such as agency and anthropomorphism. Soon thereafter Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass published their landmark book, The Media Equation, which set the stage for a new research paradigm based on the notion that the brain has not evolved to differentiate mediated experiences from actual ones. Indeed, one of the fastest growing divisions of the International Communication Association, Communication and Technology, is substantially based on the work of Stanford scholars.

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Political Communication

The Communication Department is home to the world’s leading scholars studying political communication. The area focuses on how communication and media affect political attitudes and behaviors, as well as what communication reveals about the workings of political institutions and political systems. The area is also known for its innovation in research methods and focus on scientific inference.

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