Dr. Benjamin K. Smith
Benjamin K. Smith’s research interests lie within the domains of public opinion, informal learning, and mass communication, with a focus on how issues, events and actors are portrayed in news media, and the effects of these portrayals on the formation, updating and expression of beliefs, attitudes, and opinions. In addressing these questions, he employs a multi-disciplinary approach, bridging theories and research paradigms from mass and political communication, political science, cognitive and social psychology, and media sociology. He also employs a variety of analytical approaches, choosing the method that best answers the question at hand, whether that be computational text analysis, inductive framing analysis or multilevel structural equation mixture modeling.
Dr. Smith earned his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018, where he studied public opinion, media communication, and quantitative methods. He earned his M.S. in Communication from Portland State University, and his B.S. in Communication, with Concentration in Public Relations, from Southern Utah University. He has previously served as Research Director at the non-profit Institute for Methods Innovation, as a Visiting Scholar at the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies, and was the co-founder and lead research analyst of a boutique public relations firm, Personal Branding Pros, LLC.