Communication Studies & Political Science
University of Michigan









I am the Michael W. Traugott Collegiate Professor of Communication Studies and Political Science, and Faculty Associate in the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. Most of my research focuses on political communication, the sources and/or structure of public preferences for policy, and the relationships between public policy, public opinion, and mass media. This site includes links to some of my recent work, datasets, software, and recent teaching.

My complete CV is available [pdf] here.
My Google Scholar Profile is available here.
My ResearchGate Profile is here.

Quick Links

cover- Negativity in Democratic Politics, is available from CUP. Reviews are available in Political Communication, the Journal of Politics and Perspectives on Politics. Related work is out in the IJPP, Political Communication, and Politics and Gender.  And an ongoing project focuses on cross-national psychophysiological study of negativity biases.
- Other recent work in political communication includes papers  on economic news in AJPS, on the impact of photos on support for war in Political Communication, and on the impact of public broadcasting on political knowledge in BJPolS.
- Version 3.0 of Lexicoder has been released, alongside the Lexicoder Sentiment Dictionary.
- All work related to the Degrees of Democracy project with Christopher Wlezien is available on the project website; also see a recent conference paper on the role of media in public responsiveness to policy - the first paper in an ongoing NSF-funded project on Mass Media and Representative Democracy.

Video from recent interviews/talks on negativity in policy, public opinion and policy, and healthcare are available on this page.

I am a member of the Political Communication Working Group at the University of Michigan, a weekly lab group also responsible for the Political Communication Workshop.

Professor, Department of Communication Studies / Faculty Associate, Center for Political Studies, ISR / Professor (by courtesy), Department of Political Science / Co-investigator, Canadian Election Study / Member, Biosocial Methods Collaborative / Associate Member, Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship
Department of Communication Studies / University of Michigan / 5370 North Quad, 105 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109-1285 / ssoroka at

In the News/Blogs..

-How President Trump helped the media lose the 2018 midterm elections, LSE USAPP
-Work on the 2016 presidential election, as part of the project, is used in articles on CNN State, CNN and HuffPo .  A mid-campaign talk is available on video from the CPS here; and the broader project is here.
-What psychology reveals about the Brexit vote, Maclean's
-Remember that study saying America is an oligarchy? 3 rebuttals say it's wrong, VOX
-Why do we pay more attention to negative news than to positive news?, LSE Politics & Policy
- The media and public opinion react to changes in economic conditions, not the state of the economy in general, LSE USAPP.
- It's (Change in) the (Future) Economy, Stupid, AJPS blog.
- Psychology: Why bad news dominates the headlines, BBC.
- We’re Really Not So Negative, CUP / fifteeneightyfour.
- Does public broadcasting increase current affairs knowledge?, Washington Post / The Monkey Cage
- Public wants bad political news, study finds, Toronto Star.
- Public broadcasting creates informed citizens - but only if we invest in it, Globe and Mail.