Discovering, uncovering and understanding. Communication Research
With today’s rapidly evolving digital world comes a need for more knowledge of and insight into the ways media affect our lives. Researchers at BU’s College of Communication (COM) use the most advanced theories and methods to examine communication from every angle—from the way we think about and consume media to changes in the law. We contribute significantly to society’s understanding of media processes and effects.
COM researchers study cutting-edge developments that provide an extraordinarily fertile ground for innovation and science. Recent developments include how we respond to immersive technologies such as virtual reality, why people take selfies, how we engage with morally complex characters on TV, which users are the most influential on Twitter, and how using social media can have implications for relationships. Our areas of research include:
- media effects
- emerging media
- political communication
- health communication
- public relations
- film and television studies
- media and adolescents
- media and popular culture
- international communication
- communication law
A pioneer and still a leader.
The Communication Research Center (CRC) was established in 1959 and reorganized in 1994. The 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.
Today, the CRC has 33 research fellows who study traditional and emerging media. Their work addresses both theoretical and applied problems through a range of quantitative and qualitative perspectives.
The CRC recently updated a number of research tools such as the iMotions biometric research platform which allows faculty and students to examine physiological responses to media (e.g., websites, ads, television programs, and video games). Other recent additions include a virtual reality system which aids faculty and students to investigate issues related to psychological presence, empathy, and immersive storytelling.
The cutting edge of mobile.
COM is home to the Center for Mobile Communication Studies, the world’s first academic research, education and consulting center focusing solely on the social aspects of mobile communication. The Center examines the social consequences of the burgeoning revolution in mobile communication. Since 2004, it has served as a resource for thought leaders and students, interdisciplinary researchers, and both public and private international organizations.