Katharina Hajek

Visiting Student Researcher

Doctorate Researcher, Berlin University of the Arts

CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies
Affiliation period: March 2022 - November 2022
DissertationSocial Psychology and Communication Science
Degrees Communication in Economy and Society :: Berlin University (2015)
Communication Science, Sociology, Economics :: University of Erfurt (2012)

Research Areas

(Digital) reactance, public and political motivation and mobilization (on social media), embodiment of emotion.

Katharina V. Hajek is a doctorate researcher with a special interest in understanding and influencing (digital) public motivation processes that fuel through psychological reactance.

Some of her questions are: how does psychological reactance shape mediated vs. face-to-face communication (link to the OSF registered project)? Do mobilizers use reactance motivation strategically in digital conversation on media such as telegram or Reddit? (How) is this reflected in patterns of communication in (social) media? And what can we learn to prime a more healthy conversational climate in digital communication using (algorithmic) interventions?

Katharina holds the Ph.D. scholarship of the Foundation of the German Economy (sdw). Parallel to her Ph.D., Katharina is a scientific advisor to a start-up that combines data science and emotion psychology to develop a new measure for a new concept of involvement. Before that, she worked for six years in a non-profit foundation as a communications manager in the mental health field and in practical journalism.

In her free time she is spokeswoman for the network of young political communication scientists (German Communication Association, DGPuK), board member of the Human and Social Sciences Association (HSSA) at University of California (UC), Berkeley, and hosts a podcast on mental health ("Nachtspaziergang" – with some English episodes).

In Berkeley, you find her running (p.e. in Tilden park or at the marina), salsa dancing at Comal or watching sunsets.

last updated: November 21st, 2022