Katherine Ognyanova

Katherine Ognyanova
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey | Rutgers · School of Communication and Information, Department of Communication

Ph.D.

About

151
Publications
29,455
Reads
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865
Citations
Citations since 2017
126 Research Items
809 Citations
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Introduction
Katherine Ognyanova (Katya) is an Associate Professor at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. Her research areas include network theory and methodology, computational social science, social use of technology, civic engagement and political behavior, social media and mass communication. She is experienced in data science and information visualization.
Additional affiliations
August 2015 - present
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2013 - August 2015
Northeastern University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2013 - August 2015
Harvard University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
January 2008 - May 2013
University of Southern California
Field of study
  • Communication
January 2008 - May 2010
University of Southern California
Field of study
  • Communication
September 2005 - May 2006
Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"
Field of study
  • Virtual Culture

Publications

Publications (151)
Chapter
Full-text available
Grounded in Media System Dependency theory, this work investigates the impact of new media on political efficacy. It suggests that dependence on online resources affect s people's perceptions about the democratic potential of the Internet. Using structural equation modeling, the study tests the relationship between political attitudes and the perce...
Preprint
Full-text available
Concerns about the low public trust in U.S. media institutions have recently deepened amid increasing partisan polarization, large-scale digital disinformation campaigns, and frequent attacks on the press from political elites. This study explores the social factors that shape our trust in mainstream news sources. An examination of longitudinal net...
Article
Science rarely proceeds beyond what scientists can observe and measure, and sometimes what can be observed proceeds far ahead of scientific understanding. The twenty-first century offers such a moment in the study of human societies. A vastly larger share of behaviours is observed today than would have been imaginable at the close of the twentieth...
Article
Informal discussion plays a crucial role in democracy, yet much of its value depends on diversity. We describe two models of political discussion. The purposive model holds that people typically select discussants who are knowledgeable and politically similar to them. The incidental model suggests that people talk politics for mostly idiosyncratic...
Article
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This work explores the influence of social connections on young people's political knowledge. Extending previous research on individual and interpersonal predictors of political learning, the study examines relational characteristics and their role in informed citizenship. Factors expected to affect social contagion in political behavior include co...
Preprint
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Importance Post-COVID-19 condition (PCC), or long COVID, has become prevalent. The course of this syndrome, and likelihood of remission, has not been characterized. Objective To quantify the rates of remission of PCC, and the sociodemographic features associated with remission. Design 16 waves of a 50-state U.S. non-probability internet survey co...
Preprint
Key Takeaways1. Comparing our October 2022 survey conducted immediately before Elon Musk purchased Twitter to our December 2022-January 2023 survey, the percentage of Americans who reported using Twitter dropped from 32.4% to 29.5%. This decline was driven by Democrats, 38% of whom reported using Twitter in our survey before Musk took over the comp...
Preprint
KEY TAKEAWAYS1. About half of American adults report having been infected with COVID-19 at some point, with 35% saying they have tested positive for COVID-19 before.2. Individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 report being sick for fewer days than unvaccinated individuals.3. Due to the underreported use of at-home rapid tests, the data on reported te...
Preprint
KEY TAKEAWAYS1. Despite being featured less in popular news media, Americans remain concerned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with 78% reporting that they are either somewhat or very concerned.2. In response to a hypothetical Russian use of nuclear weapons, there was broad bipartisan agreement for an aggressive response, even if it meant more d...
Preprint
Concerns over the integrity of the US voting system have been a prominent feature of recent election cycles. For the past two years, President Trump and his supporters have falsely claimed that widespread voter fraud cost Republicans the win in the 2020 presidential race. A number of prominent 2022 political candidates have questioned the legitimac...
Preprint
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Background: Symptoms of Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) infection persist beyond 2 months in a subset of individuals, a phenomenon referred to as long COVID, but little is known about its functional correlates and in particular the relevance of neurocognitive symptoms. Method: We analyzed a previously-reported cohort derived from 8 waves of a nonprobabil...
Preprint
Key takeaways1. Inflation and the economy are Americans’ top ranked problems facing the country headed into the 2022 elections.2. Republicans and independents both rank inflation and the economy as their first and second most important issues, but Democrats rank climate change and racism as their top two issues, with inflation coming in a near thir...
Article
Politics and science have become increasingly intertwined. Salient scientific issues, such as climate change, evolution, and stem-cell research, become politicized, pitting partisans against one another. This creates a challenge of how to effectively communicate on such issues. Recent work emphasizes the need for tailored messages to specific group...
Article
Conspiratorial beliefs can endanger individuals and societies by increasing the likelihood of harmful behaviors such as the flouting of public health guidelines. While scholars have identified various correlates of conspiracy beliefs, one factor that has received scant attention is depressive symptoms. We use three large surveys to explore the conn...
Article
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Importance: Persistence of COVID-19 symptoms beyond 2 months, or long COVID, is increasingly recognized as a common sequela of acute infection. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of and sociodemographic factors associated with long COVID and to identify whether the predominant variant at the time of infection and prior vaccination status are...
Preprint
The COVID States Project has issued a series of reports since the beginning of the pandemic regarding approval of how state governors and the President have handled the pandemic. We also have a dashboard that allows examination of the approval levels of each governor and of the President over time (the latter, both nationally and state-by-state). I...
Preprint
Antiviral therapies, specifically Paxlovid1 and Molnupiravir2, are highly effective in reducing the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19. Clinical trials found that Paxlovid could reduce the risk of death by as much as 89%.3 In light of the massive number of COVID-19 deaths - 400,000 deaths last year, which places it third among leading c...
Preprint
KEY TAKEAWAYS● Overall support for abortion across all nine scenarios increased following the Dobbs decision, with increases ranging from 1 to 5 percentage points. Among respondents for whom the abortion issue is “extremely important”, the corresponding increases were larger, ranging from 2 to 8 percentage points.● Support for abortion increases or...
Preprint
Since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization roughly two weeks ago, multiple states have enacted laws prohibiting or significantly restricting women from obtaining an abortion. The Court’s decision in Dobbs stated it was returning the “authority to regulate abortion…to th...
Preprint
The path to FDA authorization for vaccines in young children has been complex. On February 1, 2022 Pfizer and BioNTech responded to requests from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to seek emergency authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years on a rolling basis. This authorization would have allowed childr...
Preprint
The number of deaths associated with COVID-19 in the United States is approaching the grim milestone of 1 million people, or around 1 in 330 people. In many communities, this number is far higher.The magnitude of these losses—and their impact on the survivors—can be difficult to comprehend. A recent White House memorandum acknowledges this impact a...
Preprint
For the past two years, the United States has endured what the World Health Organization has termed an infodemic of misinformation involving COVID-19 in general, and the COVID-19 vaccination in particular. We reviewed the current breadth and depth of the COVID misinformation problem in a recent report [#82]. In that report (based on our January 202...
Preprint
In this report, we examine how many older Americans are unvaccinated against COVID-19, and who these unvaccinated individuals are. The risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 is far higher for older adults, making vaccination particularly critical in reducing the impact of the pandemic.KEY FINDINGS● 13% of older Americans are completely unv...
Preprint
The Covid States Project has been tracking trends in executive approval of management of the COVID-19 outbreak throughout the pandemic. We find:● Generally, there has been a downward trend for approval of all governors since the beginning of the pandemic.● Republican respondents in particular have trended downwards in their approval of governors. R...
Preprint
Full-text available
COVID-19 fundamentally changed the world in a matter of months. To understand how it was impacting life in the United States, we fielded a non-probability survey in all 50 states concerning people's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, designed to be representative at the state level. Here, we evaluate the generalizability of this study by assessing...
Preprint
Misinformation remains an important public health concern, especially as it is widely seen as a factor affecting people’s behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. In past reports, we have discussed the prevalence and demographics of COVID-19 misinformation, its link to vaccination rates, and its dependence on social media news consumption.Here, we ex...
Preprint
It has been approximately 9 months since the FDA authorized youth ages 12 to 17 to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and 3 months since authorization for kids ages 5 to 11. After each authorization, vaccination rates initially surged among those age groups. Now that more time has elapsed - along with the spike in cases due to the Omicro...
Preprint
Recent years have seen armed protests, threats, and violence against government officials following mask mandates, COVID-19 related closures, and the 2020 election (including, most notably, the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the US capitol). These events have sparked concern about the state of American democracy and the safety of government offic...
Preprint
The availability of home antigen testing alongside continued challenges in pursuing PCR and antigen tests outside of the home means it is likely that some positive cases are not represented in official counts of cases or positivity rates. Community survey methods could prove helpful in evaluating the extent to which such cases may be missing from o...
Article
Importance: Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination may contribute substantially to vaccine hesitancy and resistance. Objective: To determine if depressive symptoms are associated with greater likelihood of believing vaccine-related misinformation. Design, setting, and participants: This survey study analyzed responses from 2 waves of a 50-s...
Preprint
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Late Friday, the CDC updated its guidance regarding mask types for Americans, saying that people now “can choose” to wear higher quality respirators such as N95 or KN95 masks, if they wish. The updated guidance comes on the heels of President Biden’s announcement on Thursday that the nation has more than tripled its stockpile of N95s to help ensure...
Preprint
How significant a problem is misinformation for the delivery of healthcare services? Misinformation, and any resulting misperceptions, certainly have the potential to negatively impact people’s attitudes and behaviors surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether or not someone internalizes misinformation depends on multiple factors, but one key consi...
Preprint
Popular online platforms such as Google Search have the capacity to expose billions of users to partisan and unreliable news. Yet, the content they show real users is understudied due to the technical challenges of independently obtaining such data, and the lack of data sharing agreements that include it. Here we advance on existing digital trace m...
Preprint
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In the U.S., children ages 5 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received emergency authorization from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in early November 2021. The vaccine had previously been authorized for youth ages 12-17 in Spring 2021. As of December 16, the CDC reported tha...
Preprint
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In a few short years, the scholarly approach known as Critical Race Theory (CRT) went from a relatively obscure academic framework to the new front in the American culture wars. CRT has made its way to the front pages of newspapers, cable news show’s primetime specials, Presidential executive orders, and a slate of laws and regulations dictating ho...
Preprint
Recognizing that the protection conferred by COVID-19 vaccines may wane over time, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has encouraged adults in the United States to receive booster shots that can augment their immunity to the virus. While the Biden administration sought to encourage all adults to receive boosters, the CDC initia...
Preprint
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The COVID-19 pandemic and the backlash against Critical Race Theory have led to increased attention to school board elections. To better understand who votes in these elections and who attends school board meetings, this report examines the demographic characteristics of individuals who say they attended a school board meeting in the past 6 months...
Preprint
In early November 2021, children ages 5-11 were authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, making an additional 28 million children eligible for the shot. Given this significant advancement in COVID-19 vaccine availability - particularly in light of recent concerns over the Om...
Preprint
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s announcement last week that he would not seek re-election comes on the heels of a wave of retirements of moderate Republican politicians who have found themselves at odds with former President Donald Trump and his vision of the Republican Party. Governor Baker’s decision to not seek re-election is somewhat sur...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Some studies suggest that social media use is associated with risk for depression, particularly among children and young adults. Objective To characterize the association between self-reported use of individual social media platforms and worsening of depressive symptoms among adults. Design, Setting, and Participants This survey study...
Preprint
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With the return of students to U.S. colleges and universities this September, more than 1,000 institutions of higher education have implemented COVID-19 vaccine mandates to keep COVID-19 cases low. The majority of students have complied with these mandates, and according to our recent survey data, nearly three-fourths of university students report...
Preprint
Full-text available
Importance Some studies suggest that social media use is associated with risk for depression, particularly among children and young adults. Objective To characterize the association between self-reported use of individual social media platforms, and worsening of depressive symptoms, among adults. Design We included data from 13 waves of a non-pro...
Preprint
In early October 2021, Pfizer and BioNTech asked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize their COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11. The success of vaccinating children is, however, still contingent upon whether parents feel their children should get the COVID-19 vaccine.Before the pandemic, vaccine hesitancy am...
Preprint
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In mid-August 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) issued a recommendation for both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans to begin wearing masks in public again, particularly in places experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19, driven by the Delta variant. Further compounding this concern is the lower propensity of unvaccinated in...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction The major stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic provide an opportunity to understand the extent to which protective factors against depression may exhibit gender-specificity. Method This study examined responses from multiple waves of a 50 states non-probability internet survey conducted between May 2020 and January 2021. Pa...
Preprint
This report examines the decision to not get vaccinated (yet) from the perspective of the unvaccinated. That is, obviously, no one is avoiding vaccination because they do not value their health or the health of others. So: what are the primary reasons for the choice to not get vaccinated (yet), from the perspective of those not getting vaccinated?...
Preprint
The vaccination status of healthcare workers is of particular importance, for two key reasons:First, healthcare workers have been a harbinger of trends among the broader population through the entire vaccination campaign, as they were among the first to gain access to vaccines. The early inequalities in terms of access among healthcare workers were...
Preprint
In an online forum designed to quell parents’ anxieties about the COVID-19 vaccine for their kids, one parent wrote: “I’m not an anti-vaxxer or an anti-masker. I’m just worried.” (New York Times, 2021). On May 12, 2021, the New York Times published an article titled “They’re Not Anti-Vaccine, but These Parents Are Hesitant About the COVID Shot” whi...
Preprint
In mid-July 2021, President Biden emphatically claimed that social media platforms were “killing people” by facilitating the spread of vaccine misinformation. Not long after, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell similarly declared that misinformation was to be blamed for the low vaccination rates of Americans.The public debate that followed bro...
Preprint
In this report, we evaluate how people feel about those who are vaccinated and those who are not. A common way of measuring these feelings is through feeling thermometers – special survey items aimed at capturing a respondent’s overall level of warmth towards a particular person, group, or idea. Two of the thermometer questions we asked measured fe...
Preprint
variant, the good news is that, as of this writing (on July 23, 2021), about 66.6% of the eligible U.S. population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The more worrisome news is that a persistent 20%-30% of the public, depending on the poll, say they are either uncertain or will not get the vaccine.In our most recent survey wave...
Preprint
Earlier this month, we witnessed a vigorous back and forth between the White House and Facebook regarding the role of the company in circulating health misinformation. On the White House side, the Surgeon General released an Advisory declaring misinformation a public health threat to the nation, highlighting, in part, the role of social media. This...
Preprint
With school just around the corner in many states, how do Americans feel about requiring COVID-19 vaccination for in-person school attendance? And how do parents feel about vaccinating their kids? Since our last two reports on parents’ vaccination attitudes in March and May, the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children 12 and older, and over t...
Preprint
Overall, the levels of social isolation have increased since the first waves of the pandemic, in spring, 2020, but have been showing signs of improvement since January 2021. After its initial increase, the percentage of socially isolated respondents declined most among those with high income and education. We also observed a relatively faster drop...
Article
Full-text available
This survey study compares features of self-reported symptoms of major depression in adults with or without a prior COVID-19 diagnosis.
Article
Concerns about misperceptions among the public are rampant. Yet, little work explores the correlates of misperceptions in varying contexts – that is, how do factors such as group affiliations, media exposure, and lived experiences correlate with the number of misperceptions people hold? We address these questions by investigating misperceptions abo...
Preprint
With rapid progress toward vaccination in the United States along with falling COVID-19 case rates and a reopening economy, federal and state leaders speak optimistically about a return to normalcy this summer. But as cases diminish, have the unprecedented rates of depression and anxiety documented in our reports, and in other US surveys, also begu...
Preprint
As more Americans are being vaccinated, politicians, institutional leaders, and individual members of the public are debating in what contexts vaccine requirements are appropriate and who should be allowed to set the rules. For example, an increasing number of colleges and universities are announcing that they will require that students be vaccinat...
Preprint
“Vaccine certification” requirements were first introduced in the United States in response to smallpox in the 1800s. Today, physicians routinely provide certification that students have received an array of vaccinations that are required in order to attend school or summer camp, or to participate in sports or other group activities. A similar conc...
Preprint
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, California has had more than 3.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 62,000 total deaths. According to Statista, California has been the state with the most COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. and has maintained that status for the majority of the pandemic. Recently, however, the ca...
Preprint
We evaluate whether the temporary pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 13 negatively affected vaccine attitudes. We find no evidence that the pause affected vaccine intentions. However, the rapid rate of vaccinations has largely exhausted the number of vaccine enthusiastic people, likely driving the current slow down in vaccination rates...
Preprint
With Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine soon to be available to 12-15-year-olds, how prepared are Americans to vaccinate their children? And do they support requiring that children be vaccinated before returning to in-person school? In this report, we examine three aspects of childhood vaccinations: parents’ resistance to vaccinating their children, support...
Preprint
On April 13, the FDA and CDC recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine. This followed reports of a rare type of blood clot emerging in a small number of individuals following the use of the vaccine. This action raised serious concerns and criticisms of these agencies that the pause might lead to an increase in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic rates of depressive symptoms are markedly elevated, particularly among survivors of infection. Understanding whether such symptoms are distinct among those with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, or simply a nonspecific reflection of elevated stress, could help target interventions. Method: We analyzed data from mu...
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This report is an update of our February report on attitudes and vaccination rates of healthcare workers. The essential patterns are similar, with the obvious exception being the increased rates of vaccination. We focus on vaccination, vaccine resistance, vaccine hesitancy, vaccine access, and vaccine refusal.
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Are parents more skeptical of coronavirus vaccines than other adults? A 2017 study by the Pew Research Center found that parents—especially those with younger children—are generally more vaccine hesitant than non-parents. Moreover, in recent years, increasing numbers of parents have either delayed or forgone entirely having their children vaccinate...
Preprint
As part of the COVID states project, we have been asking people in all 50 states about their approval of their governors and the President. Since our last report on executive approval, which examined trends through October, 2020, there have been radical shifts in the pandemic, with huge surges of cases and deaths, followed by a dramatic drop since...
Preprint
In this report, we analyze the trajectory of the pandemic in Massachusetts, from late April 2020 to March 1, 2021, examining public health behaviors and approval of Governor Charlie Baker’s handling of the crisis. For information on other states, please consult our interactive dashboard.
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Who has been most likely to be vaccinated? And who is most likely to be vaccine resistant? Among the early, eligible individuals, who has received the vaccine, and who has refused to be vaccinated? In this report we address these questions by examining the relationship between various sociodemographic categories and vaccination rates, vaccination r...
Preprint
New York is similar to other states in the northeast, in that it had its initial spike in COVID-19 cases during March and April, with a second wave that peaked in December and January. In this report, we examine New Yorkers’ health-related behaviors that facilitate or inhibit the spread of the disease, focusing specifically on social distancing and...
Preprint
New Jersey is similar to other states in the northeast, in that it had its initial spike in COVID-19 cases during March and April 2020, with a second wave that peaked in December 2020 and January 2021. This report presents an overview of key trends in the behavior of New Jersey residents since the first months of the pandemic, with respect to follo...
Preprint
Importance: COVID-19 symptoms are increasingly recognized to persist among a subset of individual following acute infection, but features associated with this persistence are not well-understood. Objective: We aimed to identify individual features that predicted persistence of symptoms over at least 2 months at the time of survey completion. Design...
Preprint
In this report, we examine the demographic correlates of vaccination, vaccine hesitancy, and vaccine resistance among the subset of 1,797 respondents in the COVID states survey who indicated that they are healthcare workers. We find that education, income, gender, race/ethnicity, and partisanship are strong predictors of vaccination rates recorded...
Preprint
The 2020 election produced two distinct perceived realities for the United States public. The first perceived reality holds that the election was conducted fairly, and that Joe Biden won. Individuals who hold this vision of reality feel their votes were counted accurately, and that the events of January 6th were repugnant. This is also the version...
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A multi-wave 50-state COVID-19 survey: https://covidstates.org/From: The COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States. A joint project of: Northeastern University, Harvard University, Rutgers University, and Northwestern University.
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To date, Congress has passed four COVID-19 relief packages totaling about $3 trillion, the most recent of which, the CARES Act, was passed on March 27th, 2020. The House of Representatives subsequently passed the $3 trillion Heroes Act on May 15th. The Senate has yet to take up the legislation or pass a fifth bill of its own. Throughout the summer,...
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Social media acts as a conduit for fake news websites, where we define fake news as information that mirrors legitimate news in form, but “lacks the news media’s editorial norms and processes for ensuring the accuracy and credibility of information.”4 During the 2016 election, for example, many researchers and journalists alike failed to track the...
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This report summarizes the trajectory of individual behaviors in Massachusetts related to the spread of COVID-19 - that is, the way individual behavior has changed over the past 7 months in the Commonwealth. These summaries are based on a large-scale survey that our team has regularly conducted in all 50 states since April of this year.