Bio and CV





Dhavan V. Shah is Maier-Bascom Professor at the UW-Madison, Director of the Mass Communication Research Center (MCRC) and Scientific Director in the Center for Health Enhancement System Studies (CHESS). Housed in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with appointments in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Marketing, and Political Science, his research focuses on communication influence on social judgments, civic and political engagement, and health support and behavior. He teaches courses on strategic communication, public opinion, research methods, political communication, media psychology, and information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Highlighted Research:

News Frames and National Security:
Covering Big Brother

Did media coverage contribute to Americans’ tendency to favor national security over civil liberties following the 9/11 attacks? How did news framing of terrorist threats support the expanding surveillance state revealed by Edward Snowden? Douglas M. McLeod and Dhavan V. Shah explore the power of news coverage to render targeted groups suspicious and to spur support for government surveillance. They argue that the tendency of journalists to frame stories around individual targets of surveillance – personifying the domestic threat – shapes citizens’ judgments about tolerance and participation, leading them to limit the civil liberties of a range of groups under scrutiny and to support “Big Brother.” [Cambridge University Press]

Available from Amazon.com


Toward Computational Social Science:
Big Data in Digital Environments

The exponential growth of structured and unstructured social data has confronted social scientists with a unique challenge: How can researchers best use computational tools to analyze such data with the goal of understanding individuals and their interactions within social systems? The unprecedented availability of information on discrete behaviors, social expressions, personal connections, and social alignments provides insights on a range of phenomena and influence processes — from personality traits to political behaviors; from public opinion to relationship formation. This volume, edited by Dhavan Shah, Joseph Cappella, and Russ Nueman, explores some of the key issues confronting researchers who pursue computational social science in the age big data. [The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science]

Available from Amazon.com


University Research Activities:

Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies (CHESS):
This transdisciplinary center conducts research and development of innovative health systems, especially information and communication services, in order to optimize individuals' health behaviors, quality of life, and access to services. |More Info |

Social Media and Democracy (SMAD): This research team explores the social and psychological influences of social media, especially political blogs, video-sharing sites, and other user-created content, using surveys, experiments, content analysis, and other methods.

Health Information Technology Studies (HITS): This research group examines the influence of health communication, especially information technologies such as social and mobile media, on optimizing health behaviors, quality of life, emotional coping, and access to needed services.

Socialization and Participation in Election Campaigns (SPEC): This cross-university team conducts research on the role of mass media, social networking, and interpersonal conversation on civic participation, campaign engagmenet, and youth socialization into public life.

Consumer Culture and Civic Participation / Civic Culture and Contentious Politics (CCCP): A working group investigating the fluid relationship among mass media, markets, and civic and political life. Recent work has focused on lifestyle politics, political consumerism, and polarlized politics. | More Info |



© 2016. Dhavan Shah