Research group for media use and audience studies

Erik Knudsen and Mikael Poul Johannesson with new article in Political Communication

New Methodology Article in prestigious International Journal

Eirik Knudsen og Mikael Poul Johannesson

Postdoc Erik Knudsen and PhD Candidate Mikael Poul Johannesson have written an article on a methodological innovation in the social sciences that can be used to study phenomena in the field of media studies. The article is published in the prestigious Journal of Political Communication (ranked as the 8th best Journal in media studies) and is a result of the multidisciplinary DIGSCORE and the research group for media use and audience studies.

In the article, Knudsen and Johannesson argues that the method ”conjoint experiment” will contribute to answering multidimensional and causal questions. They explain the method step-by-step using two different empirical examples of how the method can be innovated to study phenomena in the field of media studies.

Read the article here


This paper calls attention to what is arguably the most notable advancement in survey experiments over the last decade: conjoint designs. The benefit of conjoint design is its capacity to study and compare the causal effects of several dimensions simultaneously. Although survey experiments have long been a preferred method for assessing causal effects, the method falls short when studying multidimensional causal relations.Researchers face a trade-off between a lack of statistical power or a restriction in experimental conditions. Conjoint designs solve this problem by letting the researcher vary an indefinite number of factors in one experiment. This method is quickly gaining ground in social and political science but has yet to be widely practiced in political communication research. This article argues that conjoint designs are ideal for studying political communication effects and highlights the possible benefits of using and innovating conjoint designs in political communication research. We make available sample scripts and demonstrate the value of this methodological technique through empirical examples of trust in news media and selective exposure to political news.