Benjamin K. Smith

Benjamin K. Smith
Graduate Student Researcher

Office Location

2328 Girvetz
Social Sciences & Media Studies Bldg 4419


Areas of Emphasis: Public opinion, mass communication, perceptions of terrorism, research methods, media effects, framing, information processing

Research Method Specializations: Statistical analysis, predictive modeling, network analysis, survey design & analysis, survey experiments, discourse analysis, content analysis


Ph.D. Communication, (anticipated) 2018

M.S. Communication, 2014

B.S. Communication, 2012


Benjamin Smith is a third-year PhD student in UCSB's Department of Communication. He is also a Graduate Research Assistant with UCSB's Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies. He earned his M.S. in Communication from Portland State University, in 2014. His thesis focused on the role of interpersonal communication networks in moderating the effects of mass media. He earned his B.S. in Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations, from Southern Utah University, in 2012.

While broadly focused on public opinion and mass media, Benjamin’s research has looked at a variety of issues across an assortment of contexts. His research has ranged from understanding the way cross-cutting communication moderates reactions to the NSA’s bulk collection of meta-data, to the role of media pundits in promoting post-hoc inoculation from polling results. Current projects include development of a synthesized model for predicting U.S. elections based in part on Wikipedia page views, and a look at the role of print media in shaping perceptions of al Qaeda and global terrorism.


Smith, B. K., Jensen, E., & Wagoner, B. (in press). Quantification. International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy.

Smith, B. K., & Jensen, E. (2015). Critical review of the United Kingdom’s “gold standard” survey of public attitudes to science. Public Understanding of Science, 25(2), 154-170.