David Silva

David Silva

School of Communication Studies
Assistant Professor
Office Location:
201J Taylor Hall
Contact Information


David E. Silva, Ph.D. conducts research on digital discussion, social media, and how online spaces can improve (or get in the way) of conversations that benefit our democracy.

Using both experimental and data-centric methods, Dr. Silva tries to keep track of what is happening online and how perceptions of what seems normal are a product of both other people’s behaviors and the presentation of digital trace data. He draws heavily on theories from the fields of social and cognitive psychology as well as deliberative dialogue.

He teaches as an assistant professor in the School of Communication Studies and in the School of Emerging Media and Technology at Kent State University. He got his Ph.D. from Washington State University with a minor in statistics. While at WSU, Silva served as Vice President for the Graduate and Professional Student Association while teaching and conducting research for the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. More about his current work and projects can be found at dataesilva.wordpress.com (https://dataesilva.wordpress.com/).


Hutchens, M. J., Silva, D. E., Hmielowski, J. D., & Cicchirillo, V. J. (2019). What's in a username? Civility, group identification, and norms. Journal of Information Technology & Politics. doi: 10.1080/19331681.2019.1633983 (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19331681.2019.1633983?journalCode=witp20)

Silva, D. E., Hutchens, M. J., Donaway, R. R., & Beam, M. A., (2018). 300 million clicks and political engagement via Facebook in the 2016 American presidential election: How online activity changes across time and sources, Mass Communication & Society, 21(6), 742-762. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2018.1497660 (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15205436.2018.1497660)

Wang, M., & Silva, D. E. (2018). A slap or a jab: An experiment on viewing uncivil political discussions on Facebook, Computers in Human Behavior, 81, pp. 73-83. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.11.041 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563217306799)


Ph.D., Washington State University Edward R Murrow College of Communication, M.A., Washington State University, B.A., Northwest Nazarene University