Hans Hoeken wins John E. Hunter Award for the best meta-analysis of the past two years

Kale bomen in de vorm van hoofden met vogels die van het ene hoofd naar het andere hoofd vliegen © iStockphoto.com/wildpixel
© iStockphoto.com/wildpixel

During the conference of the International Communication Association in Paris, Professor of Communication & Information Sciences Hans Hoeken and Professor of Argumentation and Debate Daniel O’Keefe (Northwestern University) were presented with the John E. Hunter Meta Analysis Paper Award. They received the award for an article in which they investigated how much influence the design of communication messages has on their persuasive power.

Study of communication messages

For their article ‘Message Design Choices Don't Make Much Difference to Persuasiveness and Can't Be Counted On - Not Even When Moderating Conditions Are Specified’ in Frontiers in Psychology, Hoeken and O’Keefe reviewed dozens of meta-analyses. They then mapped thirty different ways of presenting a message and examined the extent to which these reinforce the persuasiveness of the message and how consistent such an effect is. Their main conclusion: the design makes very little difference.

Prof. dr. Hans Hoeken. Foto: Ed van Rijswijk
Prof. Hans Hoeken. Photo: Ed van Rijswijk

“Plenty of competition”

The John E. Hunter Meta Analysis Paper Award was presented for the best meta-analysis of the past two years. “I am very glad - and also rather proud - that we received this award,” says Hoeken in a comment. “The communication science field is large – more than 4,000 scientists from all over the world participated in the conference. They certainly don’t all work on meta-analyses, but still: plenty of competition.”

Earlier, Ben Tiggelaar wrote a column about Hoeken and O’Keefe’s research in the NRC (in Dutch).