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Everyday Media

In everyday life, (mobile) media play an increasingly important role. Many people are online almost all the time: They use social media, listen to podcasts, participate in video conferences, or use voice-based agents like Alexa. The Everyday Media Lab investigates how digital media influence knowledge processes in everyday private and professional life.

For example, the lab examines how YouTube videos or podcasts are used to find answers for knowledge questions and for knowledge acquisition more generally. In particular, the research group is interested in the extent to which parasocial relationships with media persons (i.e., asymmetric relationships) influence these processes. Another research focus is the interaction with voice-based agents such as chatbots.

As algorithms become increasingly significant in everyday media by, for instance, influencing what news are displayed in newsfeeds on social media, the lab also investigates under which conditions people accept algorithmic decisions.

Especially since the Corona pandemic, mobile and hybrid forms of work have become part of everyday (professional) life for many people. The lab investigates, for example, under which circumstances videoconferencing has positive effects for the individual user and the group. In addition, it focuses on the effects of work-related social media use. To do so, it combines experiments and longitudinal survey studies. These research results are relevant for the application field knowledge work with digital media.



Advantages of using social media professionally

More than half a billion people worldwide use professional social online networks such as LinkedIn. The objective of this DFG-funded project is to learn more about the positive effects social networking use provides for knowledge workers. 

Automated interaction with consumers

Innovative technologies based on artificial intelligence enable organizations to increasingly communicate with their consumers in an automated way. This project investigates how users perceive interactions with automated agents, including dialog systems ("chatbots"), but also bots that disseminate information on social media platforms. The overall question to be answered is to what extent factors such as human-like characteristics and communicative behaviour of the agent influence the acceptance of the interaction and the performance of the users. 

digilog@bw – Digitisation in dialogue: AI-based voice assistants as a source of information

AI-based voice assistants have spread rapidly and are playing an increasingly important role in the everyday lives of users. Owners can access a wide range of applications via voice. The assistants are also used for information search and thus provide an alternative to conventional screen-based search engines. The project is dedicated to the question of how voice assistants affect the search for and the evaluation of information.

Informal learning with YouTube

The video-sharing platform YouTube is meanwhile the 2nd largest search engine. “How to…” videos can be found for almost any topic – ranging from make-up tips over solutions for software problems to reparing washing machines. These videos can provide an easy and cheap access to learning opportunities for everybody. How frequently are they used for informal learning and which role does the instructor play?

Morality in social media

Users of and other agents in social media (e.g., firms, institutions, and friends) play an increasingly important role as sources of information in digital societies. This information may include knowledge that leads to moral and normative decisions. In the scope of this present project, it will be explored how social media information may affect users‘ moral foundations and consequently their ethical decision-making. Another focus is to examine the role different psychological processes play in fostering or interfering with these potential relations between moral foundations and ethical decision-making.

Trust and sport consumption

Crises are frequent in sport, be they doping or poor performance. How do such crises influence confidence in athletes and ultimately the demand for sporting events? Most professional athletes and teams now have profiles on social media such as Facebook or Instagram. Do these more direct interactions with athletes (comments, likes) lead to a stronger bond that can mitigate the negative effects of a crisis?

Use of media to cope with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has drastically changed the lives of many people, causing uncertainty, stress and anxiety. This project investigates how people use social media, podcasts, news and entertainment to cope with these feelings. Additionally, we focus on how media use is related to successful coping and how media use is related to knowledge and preventive behavior.

Virtual Meetings in Private, Educational, and Professional Contexts – Effects and Success Factors

With the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many meetings in personal, educational, and professional contexts have been moved to the virtual realm. In a series of experiments and survey studies, this project aims at identifying and better understanding both effects and success factors of virtual meetings. One primary focus of the investigations is individual camera use and its positive and negative effects.

Former Projects