Kelly studies the ways that people communicate and learn about controversial political issues, with an emphasis on online interactions. His research includes the study of "selective exposure", the way that attitudes shape the news individuals consume; "affective polarization", the idea that Americans view those with whom they disagree with increasing animosity; and the dissemination and correction of "misperceptions", views that do no align with the best available evidence.
Shows that embedding factual corrections within an inaccurate news story is less effective than presenting them after a short delay among individuals predisposed to believe the falsehood.
Illustrates that, using partisan news sites that affirm one's political affiliations promotes more polarized attitudes toward other citizens. Demonstrates that those sharing the individual's political orientation are seen more favorably, while those holding a different view are seen more negatively.
Discusses that, when choosing among online news stories, people are more attracted to information that affirms their viewpoint than they are repelled by information that challenges that viewpoint.
Disproves the conventional wisdom that Americans' online news consumption grows steadily more insular. Reveals that individuals who use pro-attitudinal news sites, the more likely they are to use counterattitudinal sites than those who don't.
Shows that Democrats and Republicans exhibit different news preferences: Democrats are uniquely attracted to news stories that include pro-attitudinal content, while Republicans have a distinct aversion to one-sided counterattitudinal news. Examines that neither group exhibits a systematic one-sided pro-attitudinal news.
Discusses how using partisan online news makes individuals more likely to believe political falsehoods, even when they know about evidence contradicting those untruths.