Andrew Flanagin


Office Location

SSMS 4311


Media and Digital Communication, Computer Mediated Communication, Media Psychology, Credibility, Social Media, Persuasion & Social Influence, Collective Action

Google Scholar profile

Dr. Flanagin's research considers processes of social influence in digitally-mediated environments, with emphases on the use of social media for information sharing and assessment; people’s perceptions of the credibility of information gathered and presented online; the impacts on metacognition of near-ubiquitous access to information-saturated environments; and processes of collective organizing as influenced by the use of contemporary technologies.


Andrew Flanagin received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Theory and Research from the Annenberg School for Communication, at the University of Southern California. Prior to this, he earned a B.A. in Sociology and American Studies from Yale University and worked for several years as a Management Systems Consultant, Systems Analyst, Computer Programmer, and a Foreign Liaison and Technology Transfer Specialist. These experiences reflect his overarching interest in the use of technologies in contemporary society.

Professor Flanagin's research broadly considers processes of social influence in digitally-mediated environments. Related to this research program, Professor Flanagin teaches courses on the Internet and Web, social media, research methods, statistics, collaborative technologies, communication theory, and the social and historical co-evolution of technologies.

Professor Flanagin is former Director of the Center for Information Technology & Society at UCSB (, which is dedicated to research and education about the cultural transitions and social innovations associated with technology.


Ph.D. Communication Theory and Research, Annenberg School for Communication,
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 1996
Dissertation Advisor: Peter Monge

M.A. Communication Theory and Research, Annenberg School for Communication,
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 1995

B.A. Sociology and American Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; cum laude graduate
Senior Thesis Advisor: Alan Trachtenberg


Books and Monographs

Bimber, B., Flanagin, A. J., & Stohl, C. (2012). Collective action in organizations: Interaction and engagement in an era of technological change.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2010).  Kids and credibility: An empirical examination of youth, digital media use, and information credibility.  Cambridge: MIT Press.

Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (Eds.) (2008). Digital media, youth, and credibility. Cambridge: MIT Press.


Refereed Journal Articles & Proceedings

Schaewitz, L., Flanagin, A. J., Hoss, T., Kölmel, L, Metzger, M. J., Winter, S., & Krämer, N. C. (2022). Social sharing of political disinformation: Effects of tie strength, message balence, and corrective information on evaluations of political figures. Western Journal of Communication, 1-23.

Flanagin, A. J. & Lew, Z. (2022). Individual inferences in web-based information environments: How cognitive processing fluency, information access, active search behaviors, and task competency affect metacognitive and task judgments. Media Psychology, 1-19.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., Mena, P., Jiang, S., & Wilson, C. (2021). From dark to light: The many shades of sharing, misinformation online. Media and Communication, 9(1).

Flanagin, A. J., McKenzie, G., & Abeyta, A. (2020). Location in location-less environments: The role of geospatial concordance in online information evaluation. New Media & Society.

Flanagin, A. J. (2020). The conduct and consequence of research on digital communicationJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication25(1), 23-31.

Jiang, S., Metzger, M., Flanagin, A. J., & Wilson, C. (2020). Modeling and measuring expressed (dis)belief in (mis)information. In Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM’20)

Pasquetto, I., et al. (2020). Tackling misinformation: What researchers could do with social media dataHarvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review, 1(8).

Flanagin, A. J., Winter, S., & Metzger, M. J. (2018). Making sense of credibility in complex information environments: the role of message sidedness, information source, and thinking styles in credibility evaluation onlineInformation, Communication & Society, 1-19.

Krämer, N. C., Preko, N., Flanagin, A. J., Winter, S., & Metzger, M. (2018, April). What do people attend to when searching for Information on the Web?: An eye-tracking study. In Proceedings of the Technology, Mind, and Society (p. 19). ACM.

Flanagin, A. J. (2017). Online social influence and the convergence of mass and interpersonal communicationHuman Communication Research43(4), 450-463.

Winter, S., Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2016).  Selective use of news cues: A multiple-motive perspective on information selection in social media environmentsJournal of Communication, 66, 669-693.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., Markov, A., Grossman, R., & Bulger, M.  (2015).  Believing the unbelievable: Understanding young people’s information literacy beliefs and practices in the United StatesJournal of Children and Media, 3, 325-348.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., & Nekmat, E. (2015).  Comparative optimism in online credibility evaluation among parents and childrenJournal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59(3), 509-529.

Metzger, M. J., Hartsell, E., & Flanagin, A. J. (2015).  Cognitive dissonance or credibility? A comparison of two theoretical explanations for selective exposure to biased news content. Communication Research.

Nekmat, E., Gower, K., Gonzenbach, W. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2015).  Source effects in the micro-mobilization of collective action via social mediaInformation, Communication, and Society, 18(9), 1076-1091.

Flanagin, A. J., Hocevar, K., & Samahito, S. (2014).  Connecting with the user-generated web: How shared social identity impacts online information sharing and evaluationInformation, Communication, and Society, 17(6), 683-694 .

Flanagin, A. J., Metzger, M. J., Pure, R., Markov, A., & Hartsell, E. (2014).  Mitigating risk in ecommerce transactions: Perceptions of information credibility and the role of user-generated ratings in product quality and purchase intentionElectronic Commerce Research, 14, 1-23.

Hocevar, K., Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2014).  Social media self-efficacy and information evaluation onlineComputers in Human Behavior, 39, 254-262.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2013).  Trusting expert- versus user-generated ratings online: The role of information volume, valence, and consumer characteristicsComputers in Human Behavior, 29, 1626-1634.

Jatowt, A., Lim, E., Ding, Y., Miura, A., Tezuka, T., Dias, G., Tanaka, K., Flanagin, A. J., & Dai, B. T. (Eds.) (2013).  Social Informatics – 5th International Conference, SocInfo 2013, Kyoto, Japan, November 25-27, 2013, Proceedings (2013). Volume 8238 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer.

Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2013).  Credibility and trust of information in online environments: The use of cognitive heuristicsJournal of Pragmatics, 59, 210-220.

Agrawal, D., Bamiem, B., Budak, C., El Abbadi, A., Flanagin, A. J., & Patterson, S. (2011).  Data-driven modeling and analysis of online social networks.  Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Web-Age Information Management (WAIM), Volume 6897/2011, 3-17.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2011). From Encyclopedia Britannica to Wikipedia: Generational differences in the perceived credibility of online encyclopedia information. Information, Communication, and Society, 14(3), 355-374.

Flanagin, A. J., Metzger, M. J., Pure, R., & Markov, A. (2011). User-generated ratings and the evaluation of credibility and product quality in ecommerce transactions. Proceedings of the 44th Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science.

Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2011).  Using web 2.0 technologies to enhance evidence-based medical informationJournal of Health Communication, 16, 45-58.

Zorn, T. E., Flanagin, A. J., & Shoham, M. (2011). Institutional and non-institutional influences on information and communication technology adoption and use among nonprofit organizations. Human Communication Research, 37(1), 1-33.

Flanagin, A. J., Flanagin, C., & Flanagin, J. (2010). Technical code and the social construction of the Internet. New Media & Society, 12(2), 179-196.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2010). The perceived credibility of online encyclopedias among children. Proceedings of the Fourth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, 239-242.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., & Medders, R. (2010). Social and heuristic approaches to credibility evaluation online. Journal of Communication, 60(3), 413-439.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2008). The credibility of volunteered geographic information. GeoJournal, 72, 137-148.

Flanagin, A. J. (2007). Commercial markets as communication markets: Uncertainty reduction through mediated information exchange in online auctions. New Media & Society, 9(3), 401-423.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2007). The role of site features, user attributes, and information verification behaviors on the perceived credibility of web-based information. New Media & Society, 9(2), 319-342.

Flanagin, A. J., Stohl, C., & Bimber, B. (2006). Modeling the structure of collective action. Communication Monographs, 73, 29-54.

Yao, Z. M., & Flanagin, A. J. (2006). A self-awareness approach to computer-mediated communication. Computers in Human Behavior, 22, 518-544.

Bimber, B., Flanagin, A. J., & Stohl, C. (2005). Reconceptualizing collective action in the contemporary media environment. Communication Theory, 15, 365-388.

Flanagin, A. J. (2005). IM online: Instant messaging use among college students. Communication Research Reports, 22, 175-187.

Palomares, N., & Flanagin, A. J. (2005). The potential of electronic communication and information technologies as research tools: Promise and perils for the future of communication research. In P. Kalbfleisch (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 29 (pp. 147-185). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Flanagin, A. J., Park, H. S., & Seibold, D. R. (2004). Group performance and collaborative technology: A longitudinal and multilevel analysis of information quality, contribution equity, and members' satisfaction in computer-mediated groups. Communication Monographs, 71, 352-372.

Flanagin, A. J., & Waldeck, J. H. (2004). Technology use and organizational newcomer socialization. The Journal of Business Communication, 41, 137-165.

Fulk, J., Heino, R., Flanagin, A. J., Monge, P., & Bar, F. (2004). A test of the individual action model for organizational information commons. Organization Science, 15, 569-585.

Lemus, D., Seibold, D. R., Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2004). Argument and decision making in computer-mediated groups. Journal of Communication, 54, 302-320.

Waldeck, J. H., Seibold, D. R., & Flanagin, A. J. (2004). Organizational assimilation and communication technology use. Communication Monographs, 71, 161-183.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2003). The perceived credibility of personal Web page information as influenced by the sex of the source. Computers in Human Behavior, 19, 683-701.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., Eyal, K., Lemus, D. R., & McCann, R. (2003). Credibility in the 21st century: Integrating perspectives on source, message, and media credibility in the contemporary media environment. In P. Kalbfleisch (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 27 (pp. 293-335). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., & Zwarun, L. (2003). College student Web use, perceptions of information credibility, and verification behavior. Computers & Education, 41, 271-290.

O'Sullivan, P. B., & Flanagin, A. J. (2003). Reconceptualizing "flaming" and other problematic messages. New Media & Society, 5, 69-94.

Flanagin, A. J. (2002). The elusive benefits of the technological support of knowledge management. Management Communication Quarterly, 16, 242-248.

Flanagin, A. J., Tiyaamornwong, V., O'Connor, J., & Seibold, D. R. (2002). Computer-mediated group work: The interaction of member sex and anonymity. Communication Research, 29, 66-93.

Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2002). Audience orientations toward new media. Communication Research Reports, 19, 338-351.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2001). Internet use in the contemporary media environment. Human Communication Research, 27, 153-181.

Flanagin, A. J., Monge, P. R., & Fulk, J. (2001). The value of formative investment in organizational federations. Human Communication Research, 27, 69-93.

Flanagin, A. J. (2000). Social pressures on organizational website adoption. Human Communication Research, 26, 618-646.

Flanagin, A. J., Farinola, W. J. M., & Metzger, M. J. (2000). The technical code of the Internet / World Wide Web. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 17, 409-428.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2000). Perceptions of Internet information credibility. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 77, 515-540.

Taylor, J., Flanagin, A. J., Cheney, G., & Seibold, D. R. (2000). Organizational communication research: Key moments, central concerns, and future challenges. In W. Gudykunst (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 24 (pp. 99-137). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Flanagin, A. J. (1999). Theoretical and pedagogical issues in computer-mediated interaction and instruction: Lessons from the use of a collaborative instructional technology. The Electronic Journal of Communication / La revue Žlectronique de communication [Online], 9. Available: (secure web site).

Monge, P. R., Fulk, J., Parnassa, C., Flanagin, A. J., Rumsey, S., & Kalman, M. (1999). Cooperative interagency approaches to the illegal drug problem. International Journal of Police Science and Management, 2, 229-241.

Monge, P. R., Fulk, J., Kalman, M., Flanagin, A. J., Parnassa, C., & Rumsey, S. (1998). Production of collective action in alliance-based interorganizational communication and information systems. Organization Science, 9, 411-433.

Fulk, J., Flanagin, A. J., Kalman, M., Monge, P. R., & Ryan, T. (1996). Connective and communal public goods in interactive communication systems. Communication Theory, 6, 60-87.


Refereed and Invited Book Chapters

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (in press). Source credibility. In J. Van den Bulck (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology. Wiley-Blackwell.

Hocevar, K. P., Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2018). Source credibility, expertise, and trust in health and risk messaging. In R. Parrott (Ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message Design and Processing (pp. 178-194). Oxford University Press.

Hocevar, K. & Flanagin, A. J. (2017). Online research methods, quantitative.  In J. Matthes (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. Wiley Publishing.

Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2015).  Psychological approaches to credibility assessment online. In S. S. Sundar (Ed.), The Psychology of Communication Technology (pp. 445-466).  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2014).  Digital media and perceptions of source credibility in political communication.  In K. Kenski & K. H. Jameson (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Political Communication.  Oxford University Press.

Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2014).  Online health information credibility.  In T. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Health Communication (pp. 976-978), Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., Medders, R., Pure, R., Markov, A., & Hartsell, E. (2013). The special case of youth and digital information credibility.  In S. Apostel & M. Folk (Eds), Online credibility and digital ethos: Evaluating computer-mediated communication (pp. 148-168).  Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Pure, R. A., Markov, A. R., Mangus, J. M., Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., & Hartsell, E. H. (2013). Understanding and evaluating source expertise in an evolving media environment. In T. Takševa (Ed.), Social Software and the Evolution of User Expertise: Future Trends in Knowledge Creation and Dissemination (pp. 37-51). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Hartsell, E., Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2012).  Contemporary news production and consumption: Implications for selective exposure, group polarization, and credibility.  In B. St. John & K. Johnson (Eds.), News with a view: Journalism beyond objectivity (pp. 238-257). Jefferson, NC:McFarland Press.

Flanagin, A. J., & Bator, M. (2011).The utility of information and communication technologies in organizational knowledge management. In H. E. Canary & R. D. McPhee (Eds.), Communication and organizational knowledge: Contemporary issues for theory and practice (pp. 173-190).  Mahwah, NJ: Routledge/LEA.

Flanagin, A. J., Pearce, K., & Bondad-Brown, B. (2009). The destructive potential of electronic communication technologies in organizations. In P. Lutgen-Sandvik & B. Davenport-Sypher (Eds.), The destructive side of organizational communication: Processes, consequences, and constructive ways of organizing (pp. 229-251). Mahwah, NJ: Routledge.

Bimber, B., Stohl, C., & Flanagin, A. J. (2008). Technological change and the shifting nature of political organization. In A. Chadwick & P. N. Howard (Eds.), Handbook of Internet and Politics (pp. 72-85). New York: Routledge.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2008). Digital media and youth: Unparalleled opportunity and unprecedented responsibility. In M. J. Metzger & A. J. Flanagin (Eds.), Digital media, youth, and credibility (pp. 5-27). Cambridge: MIT Press.

Metzger, M. J., & Flanagin, A. J. (2008). Introduction. In M. J. Metzger & A. J. Flanagin (Eds.), Digital media, youth, and credibility (pp. 1-4). Cambridge: MIT Press.

Flanagin, A. J. (2004). The challenges of radical change: The case of technological implementation in a governmental organization. In J. Keyton & P. Shockley-Zalabak (Eds.), Case studies for organizational communication: Understanding communication processes (pp. 120-127). Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing.

Flanagin, A. J. (2002). The impact of contemporary communication and information technologies on police organizations. In H. Giles (Ed.), Law enforcement, communication, and community (pp. 85-105). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Seibold, D. R., & Flanagin, A. J. (2000). Potential "sites" for building common ground across metatheoretical perspectives on organizational communication. In S. R. Corman & M. S. Poole (Eds.), Perspectives on organizational communication: Finding common ground (pp. 175-185). New York: Guilford.

Monge, P., Fulk, J., Parnassa, C., Flanagin, A. J., Rumsey, S., & Kalman, M. (1996). Cooperative interagency approaches to the illegal drug problem. In M. Pagon (Ed.), Policing in central and eastern Europe: Comparing firsthand knowledge with experience from the west (pp. 279-289). Ljubljana, Slovenia: College of Police and Security Studies.


Other Publications (Technical Reports, White Papers, Essays, and Assessments)

Aakhus, M., Ballard, D., Flanagin, A. J., Kuhn, T., Leonardi, P., & Miller, K. (2011).  Communication and materiality: A conversation from the CM CafeCommunication Monographs, 78(4), 557-568.

Flanagin, A. J. & Dailey, R. (2003). Curricular assessment of regular academic year versus summer session instruction. Prepared for the Curricular Assessment and Planning Program, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Bimber, B., Almeroth, K., Patton, R., Chun, D., Flanagin, A. J., & Liu, A. (2002). The future of technology and the university. Prepared for the Center for Information Technology and Society, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Flanagin, A. J., & Park, H. (2001). Virtual organizations and the organization of the virtual: Potentials and pitfalls of information-sharing in a networked world. Prepared for Outhink Incorporated, San Jose, CA.

Flanagin, A. J. (1998). Internet web site adoption and usage survey. Prepared for the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce, Santa Barbara, CA.

Fulk, J., Monge, P., Flanagin, A. J., Kalman, M., Parnassa, C., & Ryan, T (1995). The chiefs' view of the Los Angeles County Regional Criminal Information Clearinghouse, 1994. Prepared for the Police Chiefs' Association of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA.