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Research Groups and Labs

The Aggression Research Program studies the etiology and prevention of aggressive and antisocial behavior. The group's focus is on understanding the development of aggressive and antisocial behavior from a cognitive, information-processing perspective, and emphasizes the integration of laboratory experiments, longitudinal survey studies, and randomized clinical field trials to advance our knowledge of aggression.

The Global Media Studies Initiative (GMSI) is an innovative cross-disciplinary research center at the U-M. It serves as a global hub for academics, students, media practitioners, and others to explore and discuss media and communication technologies, cultures, and industries in an international, comparative, and historical fashion.

Global Media Studies Initiative Website



Researchers in the Media And Psychology in Everyday Life (MAPiEL) Lab are interested in a broad range of questions about the relations between the mass media and individuals. Led by Dr. Sonya Dal Cin, we investigate how the mass media affect thinking, emotions, and behaviors and how these in turn shape the experiences that people have with the mass media. 

wE in the mc2 bring energy to scholarship on the uses and consequences of mobile media in everyday social life. wE bridge the traditions of Political Communication and Media Psychology to study how mobile communication uniquely structures social behavior and social cognition.

The Environmental Communication Lab, led by Sol Hart, examines how communication strategies can be used to promote better social outcomes. Examples of recent projects include examining how best to communicate about global climate change, effective strategies to promote donations to charitiesworking on poverty initiatives, how different media sources cover science issues, and what types of environmental new stories are likely to attract viewers with different political and environmentalorientations.

The Mindless Media: Exposure and Effects Lab studies the impact of our daily media use on our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behavior. Although we are interested in a wide range of unintended effects of the entertainment and social media, we tend to focus on three types of processes.

The Politics and Communication Lab (PAC Lab) is a collaborative research group that investigates the role of digital and social media in the political process. Based in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Michigan, the PAC Lab is committed to faculty-student collaborative research that addresses important questions related to contemporary political communication.

The PAC Lab Website

The Conflict Research Lab examines the quantitative effects of media on interpersonal and intergroup conflict. We focus on the underlying social psychological mechanisms through which media influences intergroup relations, biases, prejudice, and aggressive behaviors. Within the intergroup context, we explore how media influences the majority groups' attitudes and behaviors towards minority groups. In addition, we examine how media representations influence the ways in which minorities think about themselves as well as their willingness to engage with the political and social system in relation to the majority group.

Conflict Research Lab Website


InfraLab is a multi-disciplinary research group at the University of Michigan dedicated to the investigating the intermingled social and technical aspects of digital media technologies and their implications for society. Our approaches include human-computer interaction; science and technology studies; legal research on politics, laws, and institutions; design research; and more.

Infra.Lab Website


The Media and Development Lab (MaDLab) studies screen media in the lives of young people. Research projects are collaborative and have explored topics such as preschoolers' media exposure and beliefs about healthy eating; body image among young media users; and media as sensory tools to manage the built and social environments.


Media Studies Research Workshop is a bi-monthly meeting open to all, but primarily an opportunity for those working in critical media studies traditions to experience an environment of collaboration and mentoring similar to the role played by labs in the social science tradition.

Media Studies Research Workshop Website

The Political Communication Working Group brings together an inter-disciplinary group of students and faculty working in political communication at the University of Michigan. We include scholars in both political communication and media psychology in the Department of Communication and Media, and students from both Communication and Media and Political Science. 

Political Communication Working Group Site

What do state powers hope to marshal from big data infrastructure projects for their governance interests and goals? The project on Big Data Innovation + Governance (Big DIG) examines public and private sector efforts and associated platforms aiming to collect, organize, and instrumentalize population-level data about citizens and consumers.

The Big DIG website