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Dhavan V. Shah

Maier-Bascom Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

About Professor Shah

Dhavan V. Shah is Maier-Bascom Professor at the UW-Madison, Director of the Mass Communication Research Center (MCRC) and Scientific Director in the Center for Health Enhancement System Studies (CHESS). Housed in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with appointments in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Marketing, and Political Science, his research focuses on communication influence on social judgments, civic and political engagement, and health support and behavior. He teaches courses on strategic communication, public opinion, research methods, political communication, media psychology, and information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Highlighted Research

Toward Computational Social Science: Big Data in Digital Environments

The exponential growth of structured and unstructured social data has confronted social scientists with a unique challenge: How can researchers best use computational tools to analyze such data with the goal of understanding individuals and their interactions within social systems? … Continue reading

News Frames and National Security: Covering Big Brother

Did media coverage contribute to Americans’ tendency to favor national security over civil liberties following the 9/11 attacks? How did news framing of terrorist threats support the expanding surveillance state revealed by Edward Snowden? Douglas M. McLeod and Dhavan V. … Continue reading


University Activities

This transdisciplinary center conducts research and development of innovative health systems, especially information and communication services, in order to optimize individuals’ health behaviors, quality of life, and access to services. Click here for more information about CHESS.

Research group studying the interplay of mass media, social context and modes of engagement in civic and political life. Past work focused on lifestyle politics and political consumerism; recent work has shifted to communication ecologies and polarized politics. Click here for more on CCCP.

This research group examines the influence of health communication, especially information technologies such as social and mobile media, on optimizing health behaviors, quality of life, emotional coping, and access to needed services. Click here for more information on HITS

This research team explores the social and psychological influences of social media, especially political blogs, video-sharing sites, and other user-created content, using surveys, experiments, content analysis, and other methods. Click here for more on SMAD

This cross-university team conducts research on the role of mass media, social networking, and interpersonal conversation on civic participation, campaign engagement, and youth socialization into public life. For more information on SPEC, click here.