Emily Sydnor, Ph.D.


Southwestern University

Phone: 5128631587

Address: 1001 E. University Ave.

City: Georgetown, Texas - 78626

Country: United States

Research Interests

Political Communication

Political Psychology

Experimental Research



Community Engagement

Political Communication Online

Countries of Interest

United States


Journal Articles:

(2017) Platforms for Incivility: Examining Perceptions Across Different Media Formats, Political Communication

This article investigates how the mix of attributes present across different media shapes perceptions of incivility. I argue that certain modalities, particularly the channel and structure of a media platform, facilitate the perception of media as more uncivil even if the content is kept the same. To test this argument, I conduct two survey experiments in which participants are randomly assigned to treatments in which the substantive content and text remains the same but is packaged to mimic different media types. Generally, audio and video increase awareness of incivility cues as well as participants’ evaluations of negative, emotional, and entertaining tone. There are also differences in the extent to which individuals notice incivility on Twitter than on other text-based media platforms. The social media platform is also particularly entertaining in comparison to the other platforms studied. This article demonstrates that media attributes interact to shape our understanding and identification of uncivil language. Furthermore, it suggests that more attention should be focused on identifying the different sets of characteristics that make incivility more or less likely or salient in political media.

(2017) Easing Political Digestion: The Effects of News Curation on Citizens’ Behavior, Journal of Information Technology & Politics

We focus on “curated news:” a collection of links delivered to one’s inbox, phone, or RSS feed. These digests vary in the extent to which they contextualize the information they present. Some offer headlines with links to the full article, while others summarize and interpret the story for the reader. Using a survey experiment, we vary the amount of contextualization present in a set of curated links. We find that increased curation decreases the likelihood that individuals will seek out the original source of political information, but it does lead people to recall more information about the issues being discussed.

Media Appearances:

TV Appearances:

(2018) KXAN (NBC affiliate)

A discussion of the changing demographics of Williamson County, Texas and how those changes affected the 2018 midterm election results.

(2018) Spectrum News - Austin

The role of incivility in the 2018 midterm elections

Newspaper Quotes:

(2018) Bloomberg News

An explanation of Trump’s status as an outlier in the traditional correlation between presidential approval and economic growth.

(2017) Washington Post

In Fisher's piece, I discuss the role of political incivility online and in face-to-face communication to give context to the shooting at the Congressional softball practice in Alexandria, Va.

(2016) Austin American-Statesman

I discuss the role of gerrymandering in producing uncompetitive Texas elections.

Blog Posts:

(2017) The Monkey Cage

What social science research on incivility can help us understand about Sarah Sanders' expulsion from the Red Hen, among other events.