Michael P. Boyle, Ph.D.

Michael Boyle

Professor and Department Chairperson

E-mail: Michael P. Boyle, Ph.D.

Office: Wayne Hall 204*

Office hours Tuesday & Thursday 2:00-4:00; Wed 3:00-4:00
*Fall 2020 office hours through personal Zoom meeting room
Click to access the room during the times listed above

Courses for Fall 2020:
  • MDC 255: Research Methods

Dr. Boyle's research focuses on how news media present issues to the public, how and why people use media, and the implications of news coverage and media use patterns on subsequent outcomes such as information seeking, public opinion, and perceptions of media effects, falling into two major areas. The first area of his research specifically addresses news treatment of protest groups and how such treatment affects participation in the political process. The second area of his research explores the processes underlying the third-person perception - whereby people typically perceive others to be more affected by media than they are, typically resulting in support for censorship and other regulatory responses. These research studies typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Media content studies that consider what people are reading/watching/etc.
  2. Media processes studies that consider how media effects work.
  3. Media outcomes studies that consider what happens after exposure to the media.

He is the co-author of the research methods textbook Applied Communication Research Methods: Getting Started as a Researcher (the 2nd edition published in Spring 2020). His work has also been published in book chapters, invited volumes, and journals including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Mass Communication & Society, Journal of Broadcast & Electronic Media, Atlantic Journal of Communication, American Behavioral Scientist, International Journal of Press/Politics, and Journal of Communication, among others. Please check out his VITAE  for download in Word format for a full list of publications and selected conference presentations.

His primary teaching areas include Research Methods (COM224/MDC255), Video Production (both MDC217 & MDC317), and Mass Media & Protest (MDC420). Dr. Boyle was instrumental in developing the Media & Culture (MDC) major and minor programs, which are part of the Communication and Media Department. The minor began in Fall 2017 and the major launched in Fall 2018.

At Fall 2011 commencement, Dr. Boyle received the E. Riley Holman Memorial Faculty Award given to a WCU faculty member who uses innovative teaching techniques that foster student creativity. Dr. Boyle was previously the Television Station Faculty Coordinator for Verizon Channel 33: WCCTV (West Chester Community Television). He helped to found the station, which represents a partnership between WCU and West Chester Borough and provides an excellent opportunity for students interested in television and video production to reach a larger audience. The station hit the airwaves in May of 2012.

Dr. Boyle received his B.A. in Media Studies from East Stroudsburg University, his M.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Delaware, and his Ph.D. in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. Boyle happily joined the faculty of West Chester University in 2006.

Recent representative publications:
Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., Schmierbach, M., Appelman, A., & Boyle, M.P. (2020). The Ineffectiveness of Fact-Checking Labels on News Memes and Articles. Mass Communication & Society, 23, 682-704.

Schmierbach, M., & Boyle, M.P. (2020). Concrete examples of abstract others: Testing exemplar availability as an additional explanation for third-person perceptions. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 32, 510-529. 

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., Schmierbach, M., Appelman, A., & Boyle, M.P. (2018). For the Birds: Media Sourcing, Twitter, and the Minimal Effect on Audience Perceptions. Convergence, 26, 350-368.

Boyle, M.P., & McLeod, D.M. (2018). News framing and social protest: Toward a comprehensive model. In P. D'Angelo (Ed.), Doing News Framing Analysis 2: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives. New York: Routledge.

Boyle, M.P. (2015). A tale of two sites: Journalist perspectives and patterns in coverage of Occupy Wall Street. Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, 3, 17-35.

McLeod, D.M., Shah, D.V., Schmierbach, M.G., Boyle, M.P., & Armstrong, C.L. (2015). Group perceptions and expressive action. In D.M. McLeod and D.V. Shah (Eds.), Covering “Big Brother”: How News Frames Shape Support for National Security (pp. 143- 156), New York: Cambridge University Press.

Boyle, M.P., Schmierbach, M., & McLeod, D.M. (2013). Pre-existing factors or media effect?: Understanding the third person perception. Atlantic Journal of Communication, 21, 230-246.

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