What inspires your research?

Why should people care?

Who benefits from your results?

How does your research make a difference in the world?

Why are some messages more effective in producing change in people's attitudes, knowledge, and behavior?

These are some of the questions that continue to guide my research program.

As you can see from reviewing my CV, I'm primarily interested in exploring how (and why) messages impact attitudes and behaviors in instructional, organizational, health, and other applied communication contexts.

Synthesis Study

This project involves the categorization and synthesis of instructional communication research published in the past fifteen years (over 500 publications!). I'm collaborating with two of our doctoral students, Kody Frey and Nick Tatum.

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International Study

This collaborative study with Drs. Tim and Deanna Sellnow at the University of Central Florida applies the IDEA model and empirical evidence collected in the United States to test the role instructional risk messages in communicating about food safety in Sweden.

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Cohesion Study

This study seeks to clarify Janis' Groupthink hypothesis--which describes faulty group decision making as a consequence of highly cohesive groups--by testing the relationship between cohesion and groupthink in undergraduate collaborative teams.

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This project focuses on developing an undergraduate quantitative communication research methods textbook that provides students with the knowledge to explain how people come to understand, organize, and use information contained in messages.

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For as long as I can remember I've been interested in understanding how messages impact attitudes and behaviors. I'm convinced that who we are influences how we process messages, and, in turn, can be used to determine whether messages will be perceived as appropriate and effective. As such, my research program focuses on how specific message characteristics interact with individual preferences to improve sustained attitude and behavior change--regardless of context.


I am a scientific realist. While my research is informed by a variety of research methodologies and theoretical orientations, my preference is to plan and orchestrate quantitative experimental research designs as an integral member of collaborative interdisciplinary research teams. My orientation allows me to test message characteristics (in applied settings) that are informed by theory, receiver-focused, and culturally sensitive (within and across different populations) using appropriate parametric statistics.

In Progress

Instructional Risk and Crisis Communication in Sweden
Methods and Results DUE June 1, 2017.

Instructional Communication Research Categorization and Synthesis
First Draft DUE July 1, 2017.

Get in Touch

Please contact me if my focus or expertise in quantitative methodologies, parametric data analysis, or technology might lead to a meaningful interdisciplinary research collaboration!

  • Phone:
    (859) 257-9538
  • Email:
  • Address:
    310A LCLI Little Library
    Lexington, KY 40506-0224