Yotam Ophir

Yotam Ophir
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York | SUNY Buffalo · Department of Communication

Ph.D. in Communication

About

69
Publications
7,979
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
433
Citations
Introduction
Assistant Professor of Communication at University at Buffalo. My research combines novel and traditional quantitative and qualitative methods for the analysis of media discourse and its effects and persuasion in health, science, and political contexts.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2012 - October 2016
University of Pennsylvania
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
August 2013 - May 2018
University of Pennsylvania
Field of study
  • Communication
August 2010 - May 2013
University of Haifa
Field of study
  • Communication

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
We examined hashtag activism promoting Taiwan’s participation in the global efforts to combat COVID-19. We employed the computational Analysis of Topic Model Networks (ANTMN) to examine the discourse around the #TaiwanCanHelp/#TWforWHO campaign in 2020 ( N = 163,876) on Twitter. Our model identified 35 topics clustered within three frames. The cont...
Article
According to the Great Replacement conspiracy theory, nonwhites, globalists and elites are plotting to eliminate the white race and its dominance through anti-white policies and increased immigration. In that context, abortion among white women is perceived by white nationalists (WN) as a betrayal of their “biological” and “traditional” gender role...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Within United States cultures and societies, topics related to death and dying continue to be taboo, and opportunities for presence and engagement during end-of-life that could lead to a good death are avoided as a result. Several efforts have been made to help people engage in advance care planning (ACP) conversations, including comple...
Article
Resistance to vaccines has hindered attempts to contain and prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases for centuries. More recently, however, the term “vaccine hesitancy” has been used to describe not necessarily outright resistance but also a delay in acceptance or uncertainty regarding vaccines. Given concerns about hesitancy and its impact on vacc...
Article
Introduction Research has indicated a growing resistance to vaccines among U.S. conservatives and Republicans. Following past successes of the far-right in mainstreaming health misinformation, this study tracks almost two decades of vaccine discourse on the extremist, white nationalist (WN) online message-board Stormfront. We examine the argumentat...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Within most Western societies, topics related to death and dying continue to be taboo, and opportunities for presence and engagement during end-of-life that could lead to a good death are avoided as a result. Several efforts have been made to help people engage in advance care planning (ACP) conversations, including completing advance ca...
Article
Media framing of social protests can influence public opinion and governmental response. An extensive line of scholarly work had pointed to the existence of two alternative news frames; public order and debate. We argue that prior work may have been limited by the reliance on deductive strategies using predefined, theoretically-driven frames. Using...
Conference Paper
For more than five decades, researchers have explored the volume and sentiment of coverage foreign countries receive in other countries’ media including the factors that make countries more or less newsworthy, and the sentiment of coverage. However, partially due to methodological limitations, a quantitative comparative analysis of how countries ar...
Conference Paper
Experiencing shifts between affective states (emotional flow) while reading a narrative has been proposed to enhance persuasion. Yet, empirical support remains scarce and inconsistent. This experiment (N = 402) examines how transitioning between discrete emotions, chosen based on appraisal theories of emotions, can influence self-reported emotional...
Article
Popular films within the romantic comedy genre set social expectations for romantic relationships, sexual activity, and gender roles, especially for young audiences. Nevertheless, academic research on the genre is scarce and mostly limited to manual content analyses conducted on relatively small samples of films. To systematically examine trends in...
Article
This study examines the effects of exposure to media narratives about science on perceptions pertaining to the reliability of science, including trust, beliefs, and support for science. In an experiment (n = 4497), participants were randomly assigned to read stories representing ecologically valid media narratives; the honorable quest, counterfeit...
Article
Full-text available
Media framing of epidemics was found to influence public perceptions and behaviors in experiments, yet no research has been conducted on real-world behaviors during public health crises. We examined the relationship between Italian news media coverage of COVID-19 and compliance with stay-at-home orders, which could impact the spread of epidemics. W...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examined the emotional flow hypothesis that suggested that emotional shifts in response to educational narratives promote and sustain message engagement, and that engagement, in turn, can promote story-consistent attitudes and beliefs. We conducted two controlled experimental studies, manipulating emotional flow through discrete emotio...
Article
Full-text available
A fundamental challenge complicates news decisions about covering vaccine side effects: although serious vaccine side effects are rare, less severe ones do occur occasionally. The study was designed to test whether a side effect message could induce vaccine hesitancy and whether that could be countered by pro-vaccine messages about vaccine safety....
Article
Past studies examined the prevalence of strategy framing in news coverage and its effects on cynicism, knowledge, and content evaluation. Missing from the literature is an examination of the relationship between strategy framing in news and electoral success, the actual goal of political campaigns. Similarly, factors that shape media use of strateg...
Article
Full-text available
YouTube's propagation of misleading protobacco content to youth has the potential to increase their protobacco beliefs, attitudes, and smoking behavior. We assessed the effects of potential interventions aimed at ameliorating the effect of misleading protobacco videos. An online experiment randomly exposed past and current young tobacco users (N =...
Article
Insufficient scientific evidence about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has led to conflicting recommendations (CRs) by credible scientific organizations, creating a public health debate that could prove especially difficult to reconcile as current and former smokers make decisions about whether to use e-cigarettes. To investigate how CRs about...
Article
Full-text available
One of the great strengths of the field of communication is its interdisciplinarity. Yet this strength brings challenges, including rifts between diverse subfields. In this study, we illustrate the rich potential of collaborations across subfields. Specifically, we argue that due to often-overlooked epistemological similarities, unsupervised machin...
Poster
Full-text available
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies like 23andMe, Ancestry.com, and MyHeritage have become increasingly popular in the past few years. Despite the prevalence of these testing kits, there has not been much done to understand the ways in which DTC genetic testing is framed in mass media. This study analyzed 973 news articles from four...
Conference Paper
Romantic comedies are a staple of the Hollywood movie system and are often ranked among the most successful and influential movies in the industry. As a result, they maintain a cultural status as influencers and educators on relationships, sex, gender roles, and social expectations, especially for young audiences. Prior attempts to examine the con...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives. To understand how Twitter accounts operated by the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) discussed vaccines to increase the credibility of their manufactured personas. Methods. We analyzed 2.82 million tweets published by 2689 IRA accounts between 2015 and 2017. Combining unsupervised machine learning and network analysis to identify “...
Article
Studies have demonstrated an increase in the use of strategy framing in coverage of political campaigns over the years, and during campaign cycles. Despite increases in politicians’ and voters’ use of social media, very little is known about the use of framing in e-campaigns. This study examines Republican presidential candidates’ Twitter activity...
Article
Framing is one of the most central, applicable, and contested theories in communication research. At the heart of the debate on framing is the question of operationalizing and measuring emphasis frames. We harness novel computational tools to propose a new method for inductive identification of frames. We argue and demonstrate that frame elements c...
Article
Content analysis identified three dominant themes used by the news media to cover epidemics: the scientific, the pandemic, and the social. This study uses a randomized experimental design to test the effects of common news coverage patterns of epidemics on perceptions of efficacy, certainty, and trust in the CDC, and subsequently on intentions to c...
Article
Misinformation can influence personal and societal decisions in detrimental ways. Not only is misinformation challenging to correct, but even when individuals accept corrective information, misinformation can continue to influence attitudes: a phenomenon known as belief echoes, affective perseverance, or the continued influence effect. Two controll...
Article
Full-text available
This study assessed the effects of the February through September 2016 American news media’s coverage of Zika Virus (ZIKV) risk on the U.S. public’s familiarity, knowledge and behavior in the form of interpersonal discussions. A content analysis (N = 2,782 pieces) revealed that the Rio Olympic Games elicited a spike in coverage of Zika. We also fou...
Thesis
Launched in 2002 in response to inadequate communications during the anthrax attacks and in preparations to the threats posed by H5N1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) framework provides health professionals with trainings, tools, and resources to help them communicate effectively...
Article
Warning labels on tobacco products sometimes feature images and stories of real people whose health has been affected by smoking. We examined effects of some of the design elements that may contribute to the effectiveness of these testimonial pictorial warning labels (PWLs). Beginning with a testimonial PWL that contained an image of a person and a...
Article
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) framework has been used by the organization during recent outbreaks of infectious diseases. However, the dissemination of the organization's crisis messages depends largely on mass media coverage. This study analyzed 5,006 articles from leading Ameri...
Article
Full-text available
Background: People's intentions to use vaccines are influenced by their beliefs about both the specific vaccine and the disease it prevents. In the absence of firm beliefs about Zika virus (ZIKV), individuals may base their intentions to vaccinate against it on beliefs about other vaccines, and specifically the misbelief that MMR causes autism. M...
Article
Full-text available
Launched in 2002 in response to inadequate communications during the anthrax attacks and in preparations to the threats posed by H5N1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) framework provides health professionals with trainings, tools, and resources to help them communicate effectively...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Pictorial warning labels (PWL) that use photographs and the personal details of real people whose health has been affected by smoking (testimonial PWL) provide factual information about the consequences of tobacco use. Methods: 924 adult current smokers participated in an online experiment that tested responses to four types of war...
Poster
The effects of emotional flow on narrative engagement – An empirical test
Article
The current study examined the effects of manipulating the level of vividness through the presence of various textual and visual components in the context of tobacco warning labels. An online experiment was conducted (N = 2,165) to examine whether increasing the vividness of warning labels, using narrative and nonnarrative components, increased eng...
Presentation
The coverage of risk information about Zika in U.S media and its effects on the public
Conference Paper
Purpose: Test the potential effectiveness of warning labels (WL) featuring the images of real people whose health has been affected by tobacco (testimonial WL). Methodology: In an online experiment, we tested responses to four different types of WL: 1) text only WL (currently on packs); 2) image only non-testimonial WL (I-NTWL; previously proposed...
Article
Objective: In 2006, the US District Court held that tobacco companies had “falsely and fraudulently” denied that tobacco causes lung cancer, environmental smoke endangers children's respiratory systems, nicotine is highly addictive, low tar cigarettes were less harmful when they were not, they marketed to children, they manipulated nicotine deliver...
Article
The great virtues of the Internet - ease of access, lack of regulation, vast potential audiences, and fast flow of information, among others - have been exploited by terrorist groups. Consequently, the Internet has become a useful and effective platform for terrorist organizations and their supporters. Applying para-social relationships theory, thi...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (5)
Project
Dissertation studies and publication.
Project
Developing novel methods for automated text analysis
Project
Findings novel and effective ways to communicate about the health risks of tobacco products