Dr Johannes Kaiser

  • Research Fellow

Dr. Johannes Kaiser is a long-term visiting postdoctoral researcher at the Online Civic Culture Centre (O3C) thanks to a scholarship by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). His research at O3C focusses on the role of ordinary citizens in the spread and effects of misinformation on social media platforms.

He obtained a MA in communication science after having studied in Jena, Münster and Madrid. Afterwards, he worked as a research and teaching assistant in the divisions of political communication and media effects at the Department of Communication and Media Research at the University of Zurich, from which he received his PhD.

His main areas of research are the content and effects of political communication and misinformation in digitalized democracies. In doing so, he employs social scientific methods with a strong quantitative orientation, such as online experiments, surveys, and semi-automated content analyses.

Before Johannes joined O3C to work on the spread and effects of political misinformation on social media, he worked extensively on the psychological foundations of the (mis-)perception of political facts when different emphasis frames contextualize these facts and highlight a specific issue perspective.

He is also interested in the effects of personal recommender cues on users’ selection and interpretation of political information on social media platforms. Here, Johannes investigates which characteristics of a person who shares political information affect news exposure and interpretation of other users in the person’s online network.

In addition, Dr. Kaiser focusses on comparative content analyses. For instance, he examines the state of the European public sphere and how economic and political crises influence the process of the Europeanization of national publics.

His work has been published in some of the most prestigious journals in communication and political science such as Communication Research, Political Communication, Journalism, and Journal of Common Market Studies.

Together with Prof. Andrew Chadwick and Prof. Cristian Vaccari, Johannes investigates what types of ordinary citizens are more likely to receive misinformation online via which channel, who is more likely to further spread such content, and which characteristics of citizens who forward misinformation increase the likelihood that other citizens belief and use such content more strongly. For this project, Johannes contributes with his expertise in experimental and survey research as well as with his experience in researching the effects of personal recommender cues on social media platforms and citizens’ general political-psychological tendency for motivated reasoning about new information.

  • Kaiser, J. (2020). Emphasis framing effects in political communication: An experimental approach to the role of issue-specific argument strength, cross-thematic salience emphasis frames and political value preferences in citizens’ attitude formation. Open Access E-Book, 398 pages. https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-186978
  • Kaiser, J. (2019). Disentangling the effects of thematic information and emphasis frames and the suppression of issue-specific argument effects through value-resonant framing. Political Communication, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2019.1658662
  • Kaiser, J. & Kleinen-von Königslöw, K. (2019). Partisan journalism and the issue framing of the Euro crisis: Comparing political parallelism of German and Spanish online news. Journalism, 20(2), 331–348. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884916683548
  • Kaiser, J., Keller, T. R., & Kleinen-von Königslöw, K. (2018). Incidental news exposure on Facebook as a social experience: The influence of recommender and media cues on news selection. Communication Research, 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650218803529
  • Kaiser, J. & Kleinen-von Königslöw, K. (2017). The Framing of the euro crisis in German and Spanish online news media between 2010 and 2014: Does a common European public discourse emerge? JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 55(4), 798–814. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12515
  • Kaiser, J., & Quandt, T. (2016). Book Lovers, Bibliophiles, and Fetishists: The Social Benefits of Heavy Book Usage. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5(4), 356–371. https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000077