I am a postdoctoral researcher in the field of computational social science at the Max-Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. My research focuses on public discourse in online enviornments and the role of digital media for democratic politics. While integrating psychological and political science perspectives, I aim to use digital trace data and online experiments to better understand social phenomena such as climate change skepticism, online hate speech and political polarization.

I hold a PhD in political science (Dr. rer. pol.) from the Hertie School in Berlin. Previously, I graduated from the University of Oxford, UK, with a MSc degree in Social Data Science, and from the University of Kassel, Germany, with a BSc and MSc degree in Psychology. I worked as a teaching assistant for the MSc courses “Introduction to Data Science” of the MSc in Data Science for Public Policy and for the course “Statistical Modeling & Causal Inference” of the policy analysis track at the Hertie School. Before that, I worked as a research consultant at the Hertie School’s Data Science Lab and at the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR) in Kassel.

I am futher interested in

  • Public opinion, political trust and political polarization.
  • Methodological questions of measurement and causal inference.
  • The public perception of climate change, environmental behavior and science communication.
  • Platform design interventions, content moderation and platform regulation.

Most recent work

Oswald, L. (2024). More than news! Mapping the deliberative potential of a political online ecosystem with digital trace data. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 11(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-024-03115-0

Oswald, L. (2023). Effects of Preemptive Empathy Interventions on Reply Toxicity among Highly Active Social Media Users. SocArXiv

Lorenz-Spreen, P.*, Oswald, L.*, Lewandowsky, S., & Hertwig, R. (2022). A systematic review of worldwide causal and correlational evidence on digital media and democracy. Nature Human Behaviour, DOI: 10.1038/s41562-022-01460-1.

Oswald, L., Munzert, S., Barberá, P., Guess, A., and Yang, J. (2022). Beyond the tip of the iceberg? Exploring Characteristics of the Online Public with Digital Trace Data. SocArXiv

See all publications


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