Maxim Alyukov is a researcher and instructor at the School of Advanced Studies, a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki, and a researcher with the Public Sociology Laboratory (Centre for Independent Social Research, Saint-Petersburg). Maxim’s research focuses on political communication, media reception, and political cognition.

Maxim Alyukov

Research Interests:

At the School of Advanced Studies, Maxim takes part in the research team Citizenship Reframed: Reimagining Political Belonging through the Environment, Psychology, and Visuality. Within the team, he attempts to bring contemporary psychological theories, such as information processing approach, to citizenship studies. Specifically, he works on a subproject investigating how people reason about matters of public concern and the structure of political cognition and a subproject focusing on neural foundations of media perception.

In addition, Maxim works on the completion of his dissertation at the University of Helsinki. His dissertation investigates cognitive dimensions of media reception in nondemocracies. Specifically, it seeks to explain how nondemocratic political environments affect the way people engage with information and form political opinions. In order to account for ambiguous findings of prior research regarding whether citizens trust or distrust media in nondemocracies, the study engages with the apparatus of social and political psychology and argues that citizens in nondemocracies lack opportunities, motivation, and cognitive tools to substantively process news. When perceiving news, they rely on the most accessible memories which contain both critical and supportive reactions towards nondemocratic regimes and use cogntitive heursitics based on personal experience and common sense. As a result, they are not be able to form consistent opinions to challenge (or support) authoritarian equilibrium.


Key Terms:

  • Political communication 
  • Political psychology
  • Media effects
  • Political cognition
  • Television
  • Digital media 
  • Political Regimes