The focus here is on mass communication, its use and reception by the public as well as its impact on individuals and groups (knowledge, attributions, emotions, attitudes, behaviors, etc.). Perspectives from different areas of application are considered, including political communications (TV news, etc.) and propaganda (elections, referendums, debates), advertising and public relations, health communications (prevention campaigns), risk and science communications as well as finance and economic communications. The goal is to explain and predict the related effects, with an emphasis on the interplay between content (topics, frames) and style (humor, emotional appeal, storytelling) on the one hand and personal characteristics (e.g., user habits, personality) on the other. There is particular focus on social and psychological processes (groups and network activities or involvement in reception).
In the area of mass communications, contributions are made by all departments to varying degrees across multiple disciplines, while in the effects area, most of the work is done by the «Media Reality & Effects» (Prof. Dr. Heinz Bonfadelli) and «Media Psychology and Effects» (Prof. Dr. Werner Wirth) departments and by professor ad personam Dr. Daniel Süss.