As part of her doctoral project at the University of Warsaw, Magdalena Góralska is observing the online discourse surrounding Lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks.
According to Góralska, Lyme disease is so well suited as an object of research in communication studies because there are several myths surrounding this disease. These range from disagreement about how best to protect oneself from ticks and disease transmission to a long list of symptoms to a wide variety of treatment recommendations. In online debates, these disagreements intensify and grow into outright controversies.
In her mixed-methods approach, she combines surveys of people affected by Lyme disease with content analyses of media reports on the topic. She hopes to use her research to better understand and positively influence the information situation about this disease.