Faculty Feature of the Month

January 29, 2021 - Ireland Ingram

January’s HRCC featured Faculty Member of the Month is Dr. Monique Mitchell Turner. Dr. Turner is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. Prior to this appointment, she served as Associate Dean of MPH programs at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. Turner is trained in persuasion and employs that expertise in health and risk communication; with a particular focus on message design and evaluation, risk perception, and cognitive processing of health risk communication (including risk judgment and decision making). Turner’s main focus is on the role that emotions play in the underlying psychosocial processes explaining message effects; her work has examined the effects of guilt, shame, anger, and fear (etc) in the cognitive impacts of public health messaging. Turner is the author of the Anger Activism model—a behavioral theory explaining when anger is constructive versus deleterious. As the former director of the Center for Risk Communication Research at the University of Maryland, Turner’s research has been funded by organizations such as Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), and the Centers for Disease Control. Turner is the former Senior Editor of Health Communication and is the former associate editor of Communication Research Reports. She is the past chairperson of both the Communication and Social Cognition Division of the National Communication Association and the Health Communication Division of the International Communication Association.

About her research:

“My research program is at the intersection of persuasion and social influence, social cognition and emotion, and risk perception and behavior. Specifically, I examine the psycho-social processes through which risk and health messages affect outcomes like decision making, emotions, cognitive processing, and behavior. Much of my research examines the role of emotional appeals in perceptions of risk, risk behaviors, and cognitive responses to messages; my work outlines the conditions under which emotions like anger, guilt, sadness, and shame can lead to beneficial versus deleterious outcomes. I have applied this work to a variety of contexts, including antibiotic resistance, teen pregnancy, obesity, tobacco use, and sexually transmitted infections.”