Scott Althaus

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Scott Althaus is Merriam Professor of Political Science, Professor of Communication, and Director of the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also has faculty appointments with the School of Information Sciences and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. His work with the Cline Center applies text analytics methods and Artificial Intelligence algorithms to extract insights from millions of news stories in ways that produce new forms of knowledge that advance societal well-being around the world. His own research interests explore the communication processes that support political accountability in democratic societies and that empower political discontent in non-democratic societies. His interests focus on four areas of inquiry: (1) how journalists construct news coverage about public affairs, (2) how leaders attempt to shape news coverage for political advantage, (3) how citizens use news coverage for making sense of public affairs, and (4) how the opinions of citizens are communicated back to leaders. He has particular interests in popular support for war, data science methods for extreme-scale analysis of news coverage, cross-national comparative research on political communication, the psychology of information processing, and communication concepts in democratic theory. His current projects include using data mining methods to help journalists cover terrorist attacks in responsible ways and a book manuscript to be published by Cambridge University Press about the dynamics of popular support for war in the United States.


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • JA Political science (General)
  • Q Science (General)
  • Z665 Library Science. Information Science
  • ZA4050 Electronic information resources
  • ZA4450 Databases

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Research Output 1996 2018

opinion poll
survey research

What’s good and bad in political communication research? Normative standards for evaluating media and citizen performance

Althaus, S., Jan 1 2012, The SAGE Handbook of Political Communication. SAGE Publications Inc., p. 97-112 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

political communication
communication research

A Progressive Supervised-learning Approach to Generating Rich Civil Strife Data

Nardulli, P. F., Althaus, S. & Hayes, M., Aug 1 2015, In : Sociological Methodology. 45, 1, p. 148-183 36 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

sociocultural factors
data collection method
socioeconomic factors

When War Hits Home: The Geography of Military Losses and Support for War in Time and Space

Althaus, S., Bramlett, B. H. & Gimpel, J. G., Jun 1 2012, In : Journal of Conflict Resolution. 56, 3, p. 382-412 31 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Priming Patriots: Social Identity Processes and the Dynamics of Public Support for War

Althaus, S. & Coe, K., Jan 1 2011, In : Public Opinion Quarterly. 75, 1, p. 65-88 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

public support
attitude change
Identification (control systems)
military conflict
Data storage equipment

Honors & Recognition

David Easton Award

Scott Althaus (Recipient), 2004


political science
social science

Goldsmith Book Prize

Scott Althaus (Recipient), 2004


public policy