The Lab "Innovative Methods & Political Will Formation" uses computer-based, process-accompanying and experimental research methods to investigate how visual and multimodal media messages affect political thought and action:
- How is political information in digitalised publics prepared and offered in images and text?
- How are they perceived and processed by citizens?
- How does multimodal media content influence the formation of political will in digital society?
- What effects do they have on political action?
With the Lab, we want to contribute to a better understanding of the role of multimodal media communication in the process of political decision-making – to better understand how it influences us and our democratic society. To this end, our research starts with the immediate sensory perception of political information, focuses on affective and cognitive media effects and asks about their consequences for political decision-making and political action. Because the conditions for conveying information in digitalised and mediatized public spheres are changing drastically, and political content is increasingly being presented multimodally, we pay particular attention to the interaction of visual and textual information.
Innovative methods such as eye tracking, automated emotion detection or automated image content analysis are key to analysing the complex interrelationships. In accordance with this duality of content-related and methodological cognitive interest, we in the Lab not only aim at the future-oriented application of innovative methods to content-related questions in the areas of democratic will formation, political communication, visuality and multimodality. Another overarching goal is to make innovative process-measuring and data-intensive computational methods usable for communication science, to combine them in a goal-oriented way with established methods of empirical communication research and to further develop them in application to questions in communication science.