Mafalda Mascarenhas “Verão na ULisboa”

O Verão na ULisboa é uma iniciativa da Universidade de Lisboa à qual o ICS se associou para preparar uma semana de atividades relacionadas com as áreas de investigação do instituto. Neste âmbito Mafalda Mascarenhas, assistente de investigação no projecto de investigação MiLD, dinamizou uma atividade sobre psicologia social e marketing.

No final, os alunos que participaram escreveram um post para ser partilhado no blog do SPARC (o texto que se segue foi escrito pelos alunos que participaram no Verão na ULisboa, apenas foram editados erros ortográficos e gralhas).


“A psicologia social do marketing

 Este post pretende abordar a actividade realizada no âmbito do Verão na ULisboa com a investigadora Mafalda Mascarenhas.

Tendo em conta que a psicologia social estuda como as pessoas pensam, influenciam e se relacionam umas com as outras, este ramo enquadra-se no marketing.

Para nos familiarizarmos com este conceito, começámos por realizar uma experiência social, na qual batíamos palmas sempre que ouvíamos um determinado som enquanto os nossos colegas entravam na sala sem saberem o que se passava e analisámos as suas reações. Depois disso, para nos conhecermos melhor, fizemos uma pequena apresentação onde dissemos o nosso nome, o curso que frequentamos, o que queremos seguir na universidade e uma curiosidade sobre nós.

De seguida, a investigadora do ICS explicou-nos o que era a psicologia social e como se enquadra no marketing. Deu-nos alguns exemplos mostrando alguns vídeos e imagens.

Por fim, foi nos lançado o desafio de criar uma publicidade sobre um copo, onde tivemos de usar diferentes tipos de abordagem. Depois apresentámos a nossa publicidade aos  nossos colegas.”






Sofia Serra da Silva “Explaining Cross-national differences: a fuzzy set analysis”

Sofia Serra da Silva presented a chapter of her thesis where she uses QCA to explain differences between Parliament’s profile of citizen’s online engagement across Europe.

Here’s the first paragraph:

“In the previous chapters, the level of online engagement was defined and measured in 21 European countries. The descriptive analysis showed differences among parliaments in the way they choose to invest in ICT to engage with the public. Many questions were left unanswered on which factors explain those differences. Thus, this chapter bases on an explorative approach to explore the combinations of conditions that led to parliaments’ supply of online public engagement tools and activities. The analysis will be focused on the impact of pulling factors, i.e. driving forces that emerge within institutions or politics, in general, through administrative and political reform initiatives and strong political or administrative leadership, and pushing factors, i.e. societal forces (non-political and non-institutional) that promote and facilitate the advances of technology. They include economy-pushing and technology-pushing forces. In order to assess which conditions led to parliaments’ different levels of online public engagement supply, we use a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, also known as fuzzy-set QCA. While developed initially by Ragin (1987; 2000), a growing number of scholars have contributed to further elaboration of these techniques. In essence, QCA (qualitative comparative analysis) is a family of comparative techniques that aim to explain macro-social phenomena in a parsimonious way while working with small to medium-size data sets between ten to fifty cases (Vink and Vliet, 2007).”

Yael Shomer How intra-party candidate selection processes foster political engagement: Analysis of the Israeli case (1996-2015)”

Yael Shomer, of Tel Aviv University, presented a paper on the effect of intra-party candidate selection processes on citizens’ political engagement levels.

Here’s the abstract:

“This paper investigates the effect of intra-party candidate selection processes on citizens’ political engagement levels. Previous research has exclusively focused on forms of political participation and found limited evidence for positive long-term consequences. We hypothesize that, contrary to political participation, political engagement levels are positively affected by democratic candidate selection processes. After theorizing on the role of mass media and citizens’ attention to candidate selection, we first test for the effect of candidate selection on two forms of political participation – i.e. voting in elections and partisan participation via membership or party activity. After that, we examine how inclusive intra-party processes influence three forms of political engagement: watching campaign ads, reading daily newspapers and talking about politics with friends. The analysis is based on public opinion data during seven election cycles from the Israel National Election Survey (INES) and candidate selection data on Israeli political parties. The results of the hierarchical models support the hypothesis that democratic candidate selection processes are associated with higher levels of political engagement, while they bare no effect on formal political participation. Contrary to previous research, these findings suggest that democratized candidate selection processes influence citizen political behavior, albeit only forms of political engagement.”

Susana Rogeiro Nina “Eurozone Crisis Narratives in Austeritarian Countries: European convergence in national media. The cases of Portugal, Spain and Ireland”

Susana Rogeiro Nina presented a paper from her ongoing PhD research on national media narratives in countries that faced austerity measures.

Here’s the abstract:

“The last decades have been marked by the enhancement of Europeanisation and the politicisation of European issues on national public spheres. In 2009, the Eurozone crisis had hastened this process, and European issues have become significantly more contested.  However, the permissive consensus that currently rules the relations between the EU and its citizens exposed the so-called communication deficit and the weakness due to a lack of a common European public sphere. In this paper, we argue that the convergence of narratives in national media on European economic issues it is a powerful mechanism to a meaningful European public sphere and a transnational community of communication. Our main goal is to test the idea if Portugal, Spain and Ireland countries that faced austerity measures, present similar narratives regarding the Eurozone crisis, showing an Austeritarian understanding of the crisis.  Empirically we analyse more than 3000 economic news from one left-wing and one right-wing mainstream newspaper of each country. The period selected is the electoral campaign from 6 national elections before (2007, 2008, 2009) and after the Eurozone crisis (2011, 2016). We carried out a content analysis looking into five dominant frames (Problem, Cause, Responsibility, Consequences and Solution) as well the tone and media attention. This approach will allow us to assess how the crisis changed the way national media portrayed European questions and if the austeritarian countries reported the European economic issues similarly.”







Kevin Arceneaux “A Need for Chaos and the Sharing of Hostile – Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies”

Kevin Arceneaux, from Temple University, presented a draft paper on the topic of fake news.

Here’s the abstract:

“Why do people share hostile political rumors, such as conspiracy theories and “fake news”? Extant explanations focus on partisan and entertainment motivations, suggesting that people share hostile rumors because they want to help their side in the competition between established parties or simply to have fun. In contrast, we contend that more disruptive psychological motivations are at the root. We argue that individuals who feel socially and politically marginalized are motivated to circulate hostile rumors because they wish to unleash chaos in order to “burn down” the entire established political order in the hope that they can gain status in the process. We conducted 8 studies in Denmark and the United States (N = 9558) to show that some individuals are predisposed to have a Need for Chaos when facing social isolation and discontent, and that this need is the strongest predictor of the inclination to share hostile political rumors, even when these rumors are not believed by the sharer. Panel and experimental data show that chaotic motivations are stable traits that can be primed by the environment and, consistent with the rising inequality across advanced democracies, we find that these motivations are strikingly widespread. Although fact-checking and flagging of false social media posts are often promoted as solutions to the growing problem of rumor sharing, the present findings make clear that such solutions are inadequate as they fail to target the root psychological causes of sharing hostile political rumors.”


Joana Gonçalves Sá “”A little knowledge is a dangerous thing: excess confidence can explain negative attitudes towards science”

Joana Gonçalves Sá, from UNova Lisbon, presented a project based on the following abstract.

Here’s the abstract:

” Scientific knowledge is accepted as the main driver of development, allowing for longer, healthier, and more comfortable lives. Still, public support to scientific research is wavering, with large numbers of people uninterested or even hostile towards science. This has serious social consequences, from the anti-vaccination community to the recent “post-truth” movement. Such lack of trust in science was first justified as lack of knowledge, leading to the “Deficit Model” (1, 2). As an increase in scientific information did not ensure a greater appreciation, this model was largely rejected in favor of “Public Engagement Models” (3). These offer more nuanced, two-way communication pipelines between experts and the general public, strongly respecting non-expert knowledge and values, and often leading to unexpected or mixed results (4). Therefore, we still lack testable and general theories of public understanding of science, allowing for more targeted and informed approaches. Based on the analysis of the large Science and Technology Eurobarometer dataset (5), we propose a new way to measure confidence, using variations in answers to knowledge questions, and find evidence that a combination of confidence and knowledge is a good predictor of attitudes towards science. This result holds across countries, years, education levels and age. It is contrary to current views, that place knowledge as secondary, and in line with findings in behavioral psychology, particularly the Dunning-Kruger effect, as negative attitudes peak at intermediate levels of knowledge. We further propose a new testable and theoretical model, and discuss how this can inform science communication.”