We are very pleased to announce that Dr Ben Tappin will be joining in January 2023 the Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London and the Centre for the Politics of Feeling as a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow.
At the Centre and over the next three years, Ben will develop his Leverhulme-funded project “Understanding the Power of Political Microtargeting”. Over the last decade, the rise of digital and social media has made it easier for political campaigns to send different types of messages to different types of voters—a strategy known as political microtargeting. And yet, an empirically robust assessment of how effective microtargeting is at changing voters’ political attitudes and behaviour is lacking. Ben’s project will combine content analysis of real-world digital political messaging, large-scale survey experiments, and causal machine learning to answer this timely question.
Ben received his PhD from the Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London for a thesis that investigated the social and political psychology of belief formation, primarily using experiments both online and in the lab. Following his PhD, he joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral researcher in the Human Cooperation Lab. There he developed lines of research on politically motivated reasoning and the influence of political communication on public opinion, using large-scale experiments, multilevel regression, and meta-analysis.