Academic Research

The research areas I have been working on in collaborative research projects pertain - from a most general perspective - to civic and journalistic factors influencing political discourse and deliberation in digital democracies. Most of our research relies on experimental designs or multi-method designs with a combination of content analysis and survey data. The studies particularly aim at examining conditions that complicate vs. facilitate political discourse and deliberation. My three main research domains are listed below, along with some previous key publications and latest presentations on the topics (for a full list, see "Publications & Conferences").  

Political Intolerance, Partisan Selective Exposure, Confirmation Bias

  • Mothes, C. & Ohme, J. (October 2020). Deliberative public discourse through civic self-affirmation: Testing a psychological intervention to reduce hostile media perceptions. Annual Conference of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR).
  • Mothes, C., & Ohme, J. (2019). Partisan selective exposure in times of political and technological upheaval: A social media field experiment. Media and Communication, 7(3), 42–53. doi/publisher link:
  • Mothes, C. (2017). Biased objectivity: An experiment on information preferences of journalists and citizens. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 94, 1073–1095. doi/publisher link: 10.1177/1077699016669106
  • Knobloch-Westerwick, S., Mothes, C., Johnson, B. K., Westerwick, A., & Donsbach, W. (2015). Political online information searching in Germany and the United States: Confirmation bias, source credibility, and attitude impacts.Journal of Communication, 65, 489–511. doi/publisher link: 10.1111/jcom.12154

News Knowledge and News Use 

  • Ohme, J. & Mothes, C. (2020). What affects first- and second-level selective exposure to journalistic news? A social media online experiment. Journalism Studies, 21(9), 1220–1242. doi/publisher link: 10.1080/1461670X.2020.1735490
  • Loy, L., Masur, P., Schmitt, J. B., & Mothes, C. (2019). Psychological predictors of political Internet use and political knowledge in light of the perceived complexity of political issues. Information, Communication, and Society, 22(12), 1733-1750. doi/publisher link: 10.1080/1369118X.2018.1450886 
  • Mothes, C., Knobloch-Westerwick, S., & Pearson, G. (2019). The PFAD-HEC model: Impacts of news attributes and use motivations on selective news exposure. Communication Theory, 29(3), 251–271. doi/publisher link: 10.1093/ct/qty033

Journalistic Performance and Credibility in Digital Democracies 

  • Mothes, C., Schielicke, A.-M., & Raemy, P. (2021). Journalistic role performance: An organizational-level approach. In C. Mellado (ed.), Beyond journalistic norms: Role performance and news in comparative perspective (pp. 186–204). New York, NY: Routledge. doi/publisher link: Routlegde
  • Fawzi, N., & Mothes, C. (2020). Perceptions of media performance: Expectation-evaluation discrepancies and their relationship with media-related and populist attitudes. Media and Communication, 8(3), 335–347. doi/publisher link:
  • Mellado, C., Mothes, C., Hallin, D., C., Humanes, M. L., Lauber, M., Mick, J., Silke, H., Sparks, C., Amado A., Davydov, S., & Olivera, D. (2020). Investigating the gap between newspaper journalists' role conceptions and role performance in nine European, Asian, and Latin American countries. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 25(4), 552–575. doi/publisher link: 10.1177/1940161220910106
  • Mothes, C. (2014). Objektivität als professionelles Abgrenzungskriterium im Journalismus: Eine dissonanztheoretische Studie zum Informationsverhalten von Journalisten und Nicht-Journalisten. Book Series “Aktuell. Studien zum Journalismus”, edited by C. Neuberger, A. Czepek, R. Hohfeld, F. Lobigs, W. Loosen, & K. Meier. Baden-Baden: Nomos. publisher link: Nomos

Applied Research

Collaborations with practitioners in democratic and cultural education programs

Evaluation of "Hochhinaus" – a participatory theatre project to strengthen social cohesion (Theater La Lune & Quartiersmanagement Prohlis), Dresden
(PI, with Anna-Maria Schielicke)
Analysis of evaluation outcome measures for a democratic education program by "Verein für demokratische Bildung", Leipzig
Evaluation concept development for European Capital of Culture Dresden 2025
(PI, with Anna-Maria Schielicke)
Empirical investigation of effects of explanatory videos on motivation, elaboration, and knowledge acquisition, in collaboration with easyclipr and SIB Innovations- und Beteiligungsgesellschaft
(PI, with Anna-Maria Schielicke)
Evaluation of the participatory art project "White Cube/Black Box" for children and adolescents by Kunsthaus Dresden 
(with Karl-Siegbert Rehberg, Antonius Schönberg, Lars Hiller)