Much has been made of the speed and constancy of modern politics. Whether watching cable news, retweeting political posts, or receiving news alerts on our phones, political communication now happens continuously and in real time. Traditional research methods often do not capture this dynamic environment. Early studies that guided the study of political communication took place at a time when transistors and FM radio, television, and widely distributed films technologically changed the way people gained information and developed knowledge of the world around them. Now, the environment has transformed again through digital innovations.
This book provides one of the first systematic assessment of real-time methods used to study the new digital media environment. It features twelve chapters—authored by leading researchers in the field—using continuous or real time response methods to study political communication in various forms. Moreover, the authors explain how viewer attitudes can be measured over time, message effects can be pin-pointed down to the second of impact, behaviors can be tracked and analyzed unobtrusively, and respondents can naturally respond on their smartphone, tablet, or even console gaming system. Leading practitioners in the field working for CNN, Microsoft, and Twitter show how the approach is being innovatively used in the field.
Political Communication in Real Time is a welcome addition to the growing field of interest in "big data" and continuous response research. This volume will appeal to scholars and practitioners in political science and communication studies wishing to gain new insights into the strengths and limitations of this approach. Political communication is a continuous process, so theories, applications, and cognitive models of such communication require continuous measures and methods.
'This volume offers fascinating explorations of technologies that are changing how we measure and understand voting behavior. There are lessons in here for scholars and campaign practitioners alike.' - John Sides, George Washington University
'Like many scholars of political communication, I struggle with how to measure today’s multi-platform communication environment in real time—and people’s responses to those messages. Schill, Kirk and Jasperson’s "Political Communication in Real Time" is the book I’ve been waiting for, a trusted source for the latest on how to tap what people are saying and thinking right now on social and digital media. My research will be the better for it.' - Travis N. Ridout, Washington State University
'A well-researched, thorough analysis of the history and impact of Real Time Response methods and Moment to Moment data collection. Validating much of what we know, and uncovering many new and fascinating findings, this book will become required reading for everyone looking to benefit from in-the-moment research.' - David Paul, founder and CEO, Dialsmith, developer of the Perception Analyzer real time response system
'This book is an important contribution to the emerging field of real-time response measurement. It brings together social and behavioral scientists and practitioners using real-time response techniques in business contexts. It provides interdisciplinary insights and international perspectives. It enlarges our understanding of real-time measurement by highlighting a broad variety of techniques capturing human reactions to reality on a second-by-second basis. It teaches us how to employ real-time response techniques in- and outside the laboratory. This book is a must-read for every scholar interested in how to open the black box of human information processing in political communication.' - Prof. Dr. Jürgen Maier, Universität Koblenz-Landau
'This book offers great insights in the various fascinating ways of analyzing political communication continuously in real time. It is a must-read for everyone interested in innovative research methods used to study the effects of verbal and nonverbal communication.'- Prof. Dr. Marcus Maurer, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz