Communication Research Center

CRC News

Get updates on what’s happening in research at COM by visiting the CRC website.


Established in 1959 and reorganized in 1994, the Communication Research Center (CRC) pioneered the use of television as a research tool, conducting systematic analyses on the effects of television on children and measuring political opinions and voting intentions. This early beginning led the CRC to develop a specialty in survey research methodology.

The CRC’s Mission

  • Effectively use the most advanced theory and methods for examining communication
  • Address both theoretical and applied problems and their intersection
  • Integrate the talents and abilities of researchers across fields at Boston University to focus on communication-related issues
  • Educate undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty on cutting-edge developments in communication research

Academic Research

CRC researchers have active academic research programs in several media and/or communication study areas including:

  • Adoption of new communication technologies
  • Political communication process and impact
  • Public relation process and impact
  • The impact of media on popular culture
  • The role of media in international public diplomacy
  • The impact of media portrayals on gender self-image
  • Communication and environment, science and health

Industry Consulting Services

CRC researchers have a wide range of research consulting experience in areas such as marketing research, advertising and public relations. Contact Dr. Elasmar with your specific industry consulting needs and he will match you up with the appropriate expert consultant.

Survey Research Center

Surveys are often used to explore attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, opinions, and behaviors. CRC surveys are tailored to meet the needs of specific research problems.

The CRC’s expertise in survey research includes:

  • Determining appropriate survey design
  • Developing customized quantitative instruments
  • Examining the psychometric properties of instruments
  • Sampling
  • Processing and cleaning the data
  • Analyzing the data using SPSS
  • Writing technical research reports
  • Preparing effective research presentations

Qualitative Research/Focus Group Research Unit

Focus groups are often used to explore participant reaction to an idea, product or service, to gauge participant demand for new products and services, and to provide opportunities for users to test/compare products in areas such as color, shape, and user friendliness. The CRC is fully equipped with a state-of-the-art focus group suite consisting of a meeting room, an observation room, and a kitchen for food catering. Unobtrusive audio and video equipment enable the recording of focus group interactions.

CRC researchers are experienced in all aspects of focus groups and qualitative research methods, including:

  • Recruiting participants
  • Developing customized qualitative instruments
  • Moderating focus group sessions
  • Analyzing focus group results
  • Writing qualitative research reports
  • Preparing effective research presentations.