Persuasive Communication researchers awarded at ICA 2020

Three researchers from the Persuasive Communication group, i.e. Brahim Zarouali, Christin Scholz and Leonie Westerbeek, won awards at the 70th International Communication Association (ICA) conference.

Brahim Zarouali has won the Top Dissertation Award in the CAM Division. The dissertation was entitled: “Adolescents’ interactions with targeted advertising on social networking sites”. The dissertation consisted of three parts: (1) how are individual characteristics accounting for differences in advertising literacy among adolescents, (2) how to increase adolescents’ advertising literacy by means of situational factors, and (3) what is the role of social influence in shaping adolescents’ advertising literacy. The review committee nominated this dissertation based on several criteria including the importance of the topic it addresses, the strength of evidence it presents, the significance of its conclusions, and the overall contribution to the field and the division.

The paper “Using Neuroscience to Causally Manipulate Information Sharing” of Christin Scholz, co-authored by Elisa Baek and Emily Falk, was selected as a Promising Young Scholar Paper by the Information System division. In this study, the authors tested the effects of an experimental manipulation that was designed to causally affect sharing likelihood for news articles about health that is independent of content characteristics like emotionality or novelty. The manipulation was based on the recent neuroimaging literature regarding the neural correlates of information sharing.

Leonie Westerbeek (now PhD student at ASCoR) was awarded the Amanda L. Kundrat Thesis of the Year Award by the Health Communication division for her master thesis “Combatting Online Misinformation Regarding Vaccinations: The Influence of a Warning Tool on Information Choice and Information Attitude”. She won the award for her study in which she found that displaying a traffic light indicative of information reliability can guide parents towards choosing a larger amount of reliable information regarding vaccines. This manipulation was tested for parents at varying decision stages and with varying pre-existing attitudes towards vaccines. The master thesis was supervised by Hanneke Hendriks.