Stereotypes & intergroup communication

Stereotypes, as a cognitive scheme, are at the core of human behavior. As such, they may drive various social actions in both stable and unstable times and intensify during periods of crisis. The use of stereotypes is widespread across cultures, nations, and time. This project includes public opnion polls, expiremental studies, and content anlysis.

Public opinion polls were used to present and validate a new scale for measuring stereotypical perceptions in intergroup relations—a scale which shows that these perceptions play a significant role in the dynamics of public opinion in political conflict. These findings illustrate that stereotypical perceptions of outgroups as “feminine” are associated with decreased perceptions of them as threatening, decreased willingness to violate their human rights, and increased support for compromise. In addition, it was found that perceiving the ingroup as feminine is associated with decreased empathy toward Palestinians, as well as decreased support for political compromise.

Experimental studies that were designed and conducted in Israel and Germany also examined the causal effect of stereotypical media coverage on attitudes, emotions, and perceptions toward outgroups. The results show that gender stereotypes have a significant effect on public opinion, emotions, and social behavior, and that they evince different effects in different political and cultural contexts.

Comparative content analysis was used to systematically map the ways in which stereotypes are used in mainstream and digital media across various localities, with the goal of understanding whether there are cultural differences at play and, if so, what they are. The ongoing comparative quantitative content analysis that aims to map the use of stereotypes in mainstream media includes a representative sample of newspapers over three years (2016-2018) in five countries—the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Germany, and Israel.


Media, public opinion, and activism

To what extent might perceptions and representations of activism shape public opinion and behavior? This question has been examined in two contexts:

In one study, we examined this question using a unique set of data that includes seven public opinion polls, two experiments, and a content analysis conducted before, during, and after the 2011 protest movement in Israel. The findings show that perceptions of public opinion and media shape attitudes toward participation in protests and willingness to participate in this movement.

In another project, Dr. Gilly Hartal and I investigated how LGBT and Queer activism might affect public opinion in relation to the LGBT and Queer communities in Israel. We offer a new theoretical perspective on the importance of activism in promoting support for LGBT and Queer rights. Using a quasi-experimental setting, we examine the role of activism in predicting tolerance towards LGBT and Queer individuals and communities.


Media, public opinion, and behavior during the COVID-19 infodemic

Times of crisis are by nature unique; however, they reveal phenomena, processes, and social inequalities that are sometimes less evident during stable times. Together with Dr. Elizabeth Sommerlad, I am investigating the role of media (in terms of both technologies and discourses) and social biases in shaping public opinion and behvior during the COVID-19 infodemic. We offer a theoretical framework for the effects of media and information in the coronavirus era while also comparatively studying questions related to the digital divide during coronavirus in Israel and Germany.

In 2020, we also created the Network for Interdisciplinary Media and Communication Research (NIMCR), a new alliance of young researchers engaged in interdisciplinary research in the fields of media and communication, currently focusing on issues related to COVID-19.



Publications by Prof. Dr. Yossi David


Doctoral Dissertation

David, Y. (2018). Gendering Political Conflict: Gender Perceptions and Public Opinion in the Israel-Palestinian Conflict. Supervisor: Prof. Ifat Maoz. Date: September 2018.


Articles in Refereed Journals

David, Y. (forthcoming). The biopolitics of imaginary “Others:” Between threat and (in)security. QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking.

David, Y. (2021). Gendering political conflict: The racialized and dehumanized use of gender on Facebook. Feminist Media Studies.

David, Y. (2021). Public opinion, media, and activism: The differentiating role of media use and perceptions of public opinion on political behavior. Social Movement Studies.

David, Y. & Baden, C. (2020). Reframing community boundaries: The erosive power of new media spaces in authoritarian societies. Information, Communication and Society, 23(1), 110–127.

Kampf, Z., & David, Y. (2019). Too good to be true: The effect of conciliatory message design on compromising attitudes in intractable conflict. Discourse and Society, 30(3), 264–286.

David, Y., Rosler, N., & Maoz, I. (2018). Gender-empathic constructions, empathy and support for compromise in intractable conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 62(8), 1727–1752.

Baden, C. & David, Y. (2018). On resonance: A study of culture-dependent reinterpretations of extremist violence in Israeli media discourse. Media Culture and Society, 40(4), 514–534.

David, Y., Hartal, G., & Pascar, L. (2018). The Right to Jerusalem: The Danger of Queer Safe Spaces. Borderlands E-journal, 17(1), 1-26.

Pascar, L., Hartal, G., & David, Y. (2018). Queering safety? An introduction. Borderlands E-journal, 17(1), 1-11.

David, Y., Shamir, J., & Simpser, A. (2017). When (Facebook) status and (socioeconomic) status took to the street: Communications, political involvement, and the climate of opinion in the summer 2011 protests in Israel. Megamot, 52(1), 359–390. [Hebrew]

David, Y., Rosler, N., Ellis, D., & Maoz, I. (2016). Gendering human rights: Threat and gender perceptions as predictors of attitudes towards violating human rights in asymmetric conflict. Peace and Conflict Studies, 23, 1–26.‏

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, N., & David, Y. (2016). Is the violence of Tag Mehir a state crime? British Journal of Criminology, 56(5), 835–856.‏

David, Y., & Maoz, I. (2015). Gender perceptions and support for compromise in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 21(2), 295–298.‏

Hartal, G., David, Y., & Pascar, L. (2014). Safe space. Mafte’akh: Lexical Review of Political Thought, 8(1), 93–120. [Hebrew]


Chapters in Collections

Herzog, H., & David, Y. (2020). Protesters and voters: Gender and generation protests expression in the 2013 election. In M. Shamir, H. Herzog, & N. Chazan (Eds.), Gender gaps in Israeli politics (173–198). Jerusalem: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. [Hebrew]

David, Y., & Sommerlad, E. (forthcoming). Media and Information in Times of Crisis: The Case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infodemic. In G. Andrews, V. Crooks, J. Pearce and J. Messina (Eds.), COVID-19 and Similar Futures: Geographical perspectives, issues and agendas. Berlin: Springer.

Sommerlad, E., & David, Y. (forthcoming). Digital Inequalities in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Israel and Germany. In S. Brunn & D. Gilbreath (Eds.), COVID-19 and an Emerging World of Ad Hoc Geographies. Berlin: Springer.