Communication Research Labs
The digital revolution has fundamentally changed the way that we can learn about the human communication processes. As massive digital trace data become increasingly available with tremendous granularity and precision, we are able to address core questions in communication studies in new ways and opens up new areas of inquiry. The Computational Communication Research Lab (also known as the C2 or C-square Lab), which Martin Hilbert and Cindy Shen administer, is broadly focused on using digital trace data and computational social science methods to examine fundamental questions in communication. Some ongoing projects include: online social networks in massively multiplayer online games; peer production on Wikipedia; gender dynamics in virtual worlds; tweets and citizen protests; network dynamics of world Wide Web; and physician rating websites.
The Dynamic Interactions in Cognition and Emotion (D.I.C.E.) Lab, under the direction of Narine Yegiyan, explores how individuals process media messages on- and off-line. Researchers in the lab focus on how human emotions guide our information processing strategies. The D.I.C.E. lab uses both physiological and self-report measures to examine the interaction of emotional reactivity, attentional demands, and attitude formation and learning. Studies in the lab apply theories of motivated cognition to improve understanding of how formal features of mediated messages and their content elicit responses, which then contribute to how these messages are selected, encoded and used in later on decision making.
The Virtual Interaction & Communication Technology Research (VICTR) lab, for which Jorge Peña is the director, studies the uses and effects of interactive technologies. Researchers employ empirical methods to understand how people think, feel and communicate in virtual environments (e.g., video games and simulations). Researchers are interested in understanding how the design features of video games and virtual environments affect online and offline experiences, and how virtual experiences can be leveraged to improve our lives.