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Pat Meirick

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Dr. Patrick C. Meirick

Pat Meirick

Position: Associate Professor
Education: Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2002


Office: Burton Hall Room 117
Office Hours:  Tues 2:50- 4:20 & Friday 11:30-12:30

Fall Courses 2023

  • COMM 3643 - Media and Society
  • COMM 4643 - Mass Media Effects

Academic Interests

Pat Meirick is an associate professor in the Department of Communication specializing in political and mass communication. His research typically examines media effects on individuals, focusing on why people hold the attitudes and beliefs that they do. He has three main research areas: 1) People’s false beliefs about politics and health: What roles do partisanship, affective polarization, “fake news,” and partisan news media use play in explaining them? 2) People’s beliefs about the influence of media messages on others and on themselves: What explains these beliefs, and what consequences might they have? 3) Political advertising: How do message factors like sponsorship and negativity, as well as audience factors like partisanship and political knowledge, explain ad effects? Can ad watches influence the accuracy of political ad campaigns?

He is the author, with Dr. Jill Edy, of A Nation Fragmented: The Public Agenda in the Information Age, which examines why the public that has a harder time agreeing on what the most important issue facing the country is – and what that might mean for democracy.

His work has appeared in such venues as Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Political Communication, Public Opinion Quarterly, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Media Psychology, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Mass Communication and Society, Social Science Quarterly, and Journal of Advertising.

Dr. Meirick is an associate editor for Mass Communication and Society. He has served on the editorial boards of five journals and has reviewed for over 30 others. He is a past head of the Communication Theory and Methodology division of AEJMC. Before entering academia, he worked for seven years as an award-wining newspaper reporter, editor, and columnist.

Representative Publications

Edy, Jill A. and Patrick C. Meirick. (2019). A Nation Fragmented: The Public Agenda in the Information Age. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Edy. Jill A. and Patrick C. Meirick (2018). The fragmenting public: Capacity, diversity and volatility in responses to the “most important problem” question. Public Opinion Quarterly, 82(4), 661-685. DOI:

Meirick, Patrick C., Gwendelyn S. Nisbett, Kylie J. Harrison, Lindsey A. Harvell, Matthew D. Jefferson, Tae-Sik Kim, & Michael W. Pfau. (2018). To tell the truth: Ad watches and the accuracy, tone, and focus of political advertising. Political Communication, 35 (3), 450-69. DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2017.1414089

Meirick, Patrick C. (2016). Motivated reasoning, accuracy, and updating in perceptions of Bush’s legacy. Social Science Quarterly, 97, 699-713DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12301

Meirick, Patrick C. & Elena Bessarabova (2016). Epistemic factors in selective exposure and political misperceptions on the right and left. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 16 (1), 36-68. DOI:10.1111/asap.12101

Meirick, Patrick C. (2013) Motivated misperception? Party, education, partisan news, and belief in “death panels.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 90, 39-57.

Edy, Jill A. and Patrick C. Meirick (2007). Wanted, dead or alive: Media frames, frame adoption, and support for the war in Afghanistan. Journal of Communication, 57, 119-141. (Reprinted in Media Power in Politics, 6th Edition, Doris Graber (Ed.), Washington: Congressional Quarterly Press.)

Meirick, Patrick C. (2004). Topic-relevant reference groups and dimensions of distance: Political advertising and first- and third-person effects. Communication Research, 31, 234-255.