Marisa Laudadio: Summer Research Experience

Research assistant Marisa Laudadio is a double major in political science and communication.  An active student in the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University, Marisa competed for and was granted a summer research fellowship to study in The Message Laboratory in the summer of 2017. 

Marisa describes her summer research experience below:

This summer I had the opportunity to conduct my own research project under the direction of Dr. Seitz. My research explored two questions: 1) is it possible to utilize publicly available comments left on news sources’ social media pages to ascertaining public opinion about a controversial issue? and 2) what is public opinion about international adoption?

I used thematic analysis and the qualitative data analysis software NVivo to identify recurring themes in the public available comments I gathered. I also identified commonly held perceptions and misperceptions pertaining to both international and domestic adoption. I am currently in the process of writing the results from my research into a paper to be published in an undergraduate research journal.

I had never done an in-depth literature review before, so learning how to conduct one and then actually doing one was an invaluable experience. The background information and greater understanding I gained about my research topic were essential when formulating my research questions and conducting my data analysis. I also greatly benefited from learning how to conduct thematic analysis and becoming familiar with NVivo.

Overall, my summer research and time working with Dr. Seitz were rich, informative experiences that persuaded me to pursue a career in social science research studying different forms of political communication.

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