Kathleen H. Jamieson

University of Pennsylvania


Primary Section: 53, Social and Political Sciences
Secondary Section: 52, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Membership Type: Member (elected 2020) / Public Welfare Medalist (awarded 2020)

Biosketch

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is a communications scholar recognized for her work debunking   misinformation about science, politics and policy and her studies of the effects of political advertising, debates, news and US presidential campaigns. She has focused as well on identifying ways of overcoming biased processing of science knowledge and improving the integrity of scientific publications. Jamieson co-founded FactCheck.org, a site that corrects misinformation by political leaders, and created its subsidiary site, SciCheck, which corrects misstatements about science. Jamieson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and grew up in Waconia Minnesota. She graduated from Marquette University with a degree in rhetoric and public address and holds an MA and Ph.D. in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has been a professor at the University of Maryland, the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of Pennsylvania where she directs the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Jamieson is a past president of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the International Communication and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association.

Research Interests

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is interested in the ways that the language, content, format, structure and framing of messages affect attitudes and behavior. She and her colleagues have identified  factors that affect audience understanding of candidate issue positions, climate-related trend lines, and the need for vaccination for measles. In experiments, they have shown that: media echo chambers affect their audiences’ understanding of politics and political debates;  the tactical framing of news activates audience cynicism and depresses learning; visually previewing, displacing and disclaiming  misinformation increases the impact of  corrections; and the effects of both endpoint and conservative ideological bias on perceptions of climate trends can be blunted through strategic messaging that reinforces  the creditability of the scientific organization whose data is at issue, discloses the means by which scientists gathered the relevant evidence, iterates a complete trend line, and involves the audience in understanding the natural variability involved in climate- related trends.
Jamieson also has shown that the conventionalized structures of scientific reporting and the resulting news coverage of it can mislead the public about the nature of scientific practice, open science to compelling but unwarranted criticism, and undermine trust in science.

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software