Yphtach Lelkes, Ph.D.

Portrait of Yphtach Lelkes
Assistant Professor of Communication

Yphtach (Yph) Lelkes is an Assistant Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication. He studies public opinion, political psychology, and political communication.

Hie interests lie at the intersection of political communication, public opinion, and political psychology. In the broadest sense, he is interested in the antecedents, structure, and consequences of citizens’ political attitudes. He has focused on three, often overlapping, research questions: (1) What are the roots, structure, and consequences of affective polarization? (2) What is the impact of changes to the information environment on political attitudes? (3) What are the psychological underpinning and structure of political belief systems?

His work appears in top field journals in Communication (Journal of Communication, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication), Political Science (American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics), Psychology (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), as well as general interest journals (PNAS, Nature Human Behavior). 

He takes a problem- rather than methods-based approach to social science. As such, he regularly employ traditional methods (such as surveys, lab & field experiments, and quasi-experiments) as well as more computationally intensive methods (using, e.g., geographic data, huge administrative datasets, and automated text analysis).

He is also the director of the Democracy and Information Group, where he explores these and related issues.

Before joining the University of Pennsylvania, he was faculty at the Amsterdam School of Communication. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Lelkes is a faculty affiliate at the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics and a fellow at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. He also holds a secondary appointment in the Penn Political Science department.


Uploaded on Friday, October 23, 2020 - 10:16am
In recent years, we've seen a trend toward probabilistic political polls that tell us the percentage chance that a candidate will win the election....
Uploaded on Monday, March 25, 2019 - 2:54pm
Annenberg School for Communication Professor Yphtach Lelkes explains the history and growth of affective polarization - the degree to which Democrats...
Courses Taught
  • COMM 113: Data Science for Beginners
  • COMM 431: Is Public Opinion the Voice of the People?
  • COMM 441: The Impact of the Internet, Social Media, and Information Technology on Democracy
  • COMM 522: Introduction to Communication Research
  • COMM 525: Introduction to Political Communication
  • COMM 801: Filter Bubbles, Long Tails, and Information Cascades: Research Methods for a Fragmented Media Environment
  • COMM 855: Polarization and Partisan Discord

Yph Lelkes studies the structure, dynamics, and causes of political attitudes, with a particular emphasis in polarization and American politics. His work lies at the intersection of public opinion, political psychology, and political communication.
Pronouns: he/him

(215) 406-8716
Office Number: 
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Lelkes's Network

  • Media and Communication Effects
  • Media Institutions and Systems
  • Political Communication
  • Center for Media at Risk
  • Democracy & Information Group
  • Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics