Dr. Meital Balmas-Cohen


Academic Background and Fields of Interest

Meital Balmas is a senior lecturer (US Associate Professor) in the Department of communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

She completed her Ph.D. and master’s degree at the Hebrew University. In 2012-2013, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Balmas-Cohen is the recipient of various awards for her achievements in research, including Research grant from the German Israeli Foundation (GIF) Young Scientist program and The Alon Fellowships for Outstanding Young Researchers on the behalf of The Israeli academy of science. Her research interests include political communication, political psychology and public opinion. Her work has been published in several scholarly journals including American Journal of Political Science (AJPS), Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Party Politicsthe International Journal of Public Opinion Research, and American academy for political and social sciences (ANNALS).



  • Balmas, M PI. &  Sheafer, T PI. (2010). Candidate Image in Election Campaigns: Attribute Agenda Setting, Affective Priming, and Voting Intentions. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 22: 204-229.
  • Sheafer, T PI., Shenhav, S PI. & Balmas, M PI. (2013). Politicians as Communicators. In Reinemann, C. (Ed.), Handbook of Communication Science (pp. 211-230). Berlin: deGruyter Mouton.
  • Balmas, M PI. & Sheafer, T PI. (2013). Leaders First, Countries After: Political Personalization in the International Media Arena. Journal of Communication, 63: 454-475.
  • Balmas, M PI. & Sheafer, T PI. (2014). Charismatic Leaders and Mediated Personalization in the International Arena. Communication Research, 41: 991-1015.
  • Balmas, M PI., Rahat, G PI., Sheafer, T PI. & Shenhav, S PI. (2014). Two Routes to Personalized Politics: Centralized and Decentralized Personalization. Party Politics, 20: 37-51.
  • Balmas, M. (2014). When Fake News Become Real: Combined Exposure to Multiple News Sources and Political Attitudes of Inefficacy, Alienation and Cynicism. Communication Research, 41: 430-454.
  • Balmas, M PI. & Sheafer, T PI. (2015). Personalization of Politics. The International Encyclopedia of Political Communication (pp. 944-951). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Balmas, M PI., Sheafer, T PI. & Wolfsfeld, G PI. (2015). Enemies Also Get Their Say: Press Performance During Political Crises. International Journal of Communication, 9: 154–174.
  • Soroka, S PI., Young, L PI. & Balmas, M PI. (2015). Bad News or Mad News? Sentiment Scoring of Negativity, Fear, and Anger in News Content. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 659: 108-121.
  • Friedman, E PI., Kampf, Z PI. & Balmas, M PI. (2017). Exploring Message Targeting at Home and Abroad: The Role of Political and Media Considerations in the Rhetorical Dynamics of Conflict Resolution. International Journal of Communication.
  • Balmas, M. (2017). Bad News: The Changing Coverage of National Leaders in Foreign Media of Western Democracies. Mass Communication and Society, 20: 663-685.
  • Balmas, M. (2018). Tell me who is your Leader, and I will Tell you who you are: Foreign Leaders' Perceived Personality and Public Attitudes Toward their Countries and Citizenry. American Journal of Political Science, 62: 499-514.
  • Balmas, M. (2019). National leaders’ personality cues and Americans’ attitudes toward their countries. International Journal of Public Opinion Research31(4), 694-71
  • Balmas, M., & Halperin, E. (2021). I care about your plight, but only if I like your leader: The effect of national leaders’ perceived personality on empathy and pro-social behavior towards their citizenry. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Recent Activities and Awards

  • 2019: Research grant from The HUJI-FUB Joint Seed Funding

  • 2018 Holder of the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Lectureship in Social Sciences

  • 2014: Research grant from the German Israeli Foundation (GIF) Young Scientist program: "I am the state!: Projection of Leaders Image on Their Countries in the International Arena".

  • 2014: The Alon Fellowships for Outstanding Young Researchers on the behalf of The Israeli academy of science.

  • 2012-13: Postdoctoral fellowship, Columbia University, the Department of Political Science