Karolien Poels

Full professor

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About Karolien Poels

I am a full professor of Strategic Communication and Persuasive Technologies at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp, Belgium. Currently I am the Chair of the Department of Communication Studies (2018-2021). I am a member of the research group MIOS (Media & ICT in Organizations & Society). I hold a PhD in Social Sciences (Ghent University, 2007). I did my post doc at Eindhoven University of Technology (2007-2009).

Starting in the field of advertising research and emotions, my research has developed in other, mainly ICT areas with a focus on online advertising and social media. I study how individuals use and experience ICT and how these insights can be applied for persuasive communication (advertising, health promotion, crisis communication, consumer/user protection and empowerment).

Currently, I am actively involved in research on digital (commercial) media environments and 'complex' communication:  adolescents’ advertising literacy towards targeted advertising (PhD Brahim Zarouali, 2018), ad tailoring: acceptance and privacy (PhD Evert Van den Broeck, ongoing), transparency and effectiveness of native advertising (PhD Simone Krouwer, ongoing), sustainable advertising strategies for online news media (PhD Dorien Luyckx, ongoing), food advertising (PhD Katrien Maldoy, ongoing). Another line of research involves persuasive technologies (serious games, reflective interfaces, persuasive technology) to tackle online transgressive behavior or promote healthy (coping) behavior: a serious game promoting positive bystander involvement in cyberbullying (PhD Sara Bastiaensens, 2016), automatic monitoring of sexual harrassment on social media (PhD Kathleen Van Royen, 2017), online narratives and interface design targeted at adolescents' mental wellbeing (PhD Sofie Mariën, ongoing) and persuasive context-based health communication (PhD Michelle Symons, ongoing).

From 2013-2018 I was a board member of the Young Academy of Flanders. I am co-founder of DiGRA Flanders, vice-president of NeFCA (Netherlands-Flanders Communication Association), and chair of the Persuasive Communication division from NeFCA.


Sint-Jacobsstraat 2
2000 Antwerpen
Tel. 032655587
Fax 032655798