Content of public discussions, journalism studies and empirical methods

Empirical Methods of Communication Science

Prof. Ines Engelmann
Content of public discussions, journalism studies and empirical methods
Image: Photo by Branden Harvey on Unsplash

The working group at the Chair of Empirical Methods in Communication Studies aims to investigate socially relevant problems of political communication research at the interface between political science, sociology and social psychology. In research, the focus is on questions concerning the public sphere of the internet, in particular on the interaction of the content of media and discussion (e.g. quality characteristics, authenticity), journalism (e.g. conditions of origin) as well as ways of use of and effects on the audience (e.g. news selection, reception and participation).

Methodologically, the research area is dedicated to the application and further development of methodological instruments, designs and procedures. The focus is on empirical-quantitative research, while intersubjectively verifiable empirical-qualitative methods can also be used. After all, methods are not an end in themselves, but a means to answer current problems. The methodological competencies of the department include quantitative and qualitative variants of content analysis and survey designs, experiments, interaction and network analysis as well as statistical methods (e.g. multi-level analysis).

In teaching, the research area pursues the principle of linking teaching content to current research. To this end, students acquire basic theoretical and methodological knowledge and learn to critically reflected upon them. Building on this, we want to inspire students for science and research, to be involved in the development and implementation of research and teaching projects on their own responsibility.