About the project

New media play an important role in changing people’s behavior, especially with the advent of social media. How do ordinary users experience social media platforms as a tool to express opinions and communicate with others? How do these perceptions lead to different behaviors on social media platforms? Daniela Stockmann received a grant from European Research Council (ERC) to investigate these questions in the context of China, which has a booming Internet sector and a growing Internet population.

Stockmann’s book “Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China” (Cambridge University Press, 2013) shows how newspapers market themselves affected readers’ perception of the content in the Chinese press and these perceptions had a powerful influence on attitudes and behavior.

A similar phenomenon can be observed on social media platforms. IT companies have different business models and considerations in designing social media platforms. The technological settings that are constructed as a result of these considerations affect user experience. These subjective experiences of users across social media platforms lead to different communication behaviors. In addition, this project analyzes the interactive experiences of users across social media platforms and users’ traditional media consumption. Through the comparison of social media consumption and traditional media consumption, this project explores what it is about social media that increases user activities and facilitates the expression of opinions.

Relying on both, conventional social science methods as well as digital methods and big data, the project brings together a research team of a postdoctoral fellow and two PhD students in addition to the principal investigator. You can find out more about our research on the publications page or learn more about our activities under events.