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Publications- By topic

The persuasive power of narratives

Despite the tendency to see popular narratives, particularly those shown on television as unedifying, audiovisual and print-based narratives have received increasing attention in communication research and theory as vehicles for positive change. In fact, there is a growing body of research to suggest that, under certain circumstances, narratives are superior to didactic arguments. More specifically, narratives or stories are useful tools to target diverse populations, alleviate disparities, and positively affect knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors across a number of social domains. 

Relevant publications:

1. Walter, N., Murphy, S. T., & Gillig, T. K. (2017). To walk a mile in someone else’s shoes: Stigma reduction through interactive storytelling. Human Communication Research, 44, 31-57. 


2. Walter, N., Murphy, S. T., Frank, L., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2017). Each medium tells a different story: The effect of message channel on narrative persuasion. Communication Research Reports, 34, 161-170.


3. Walter, N., Murphy, S. T., Frank, L. B.,& Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2017). Who cares what others think? The role of Latinas’ acculturation in the processing of HPV vaccination narrative messages. International Journal of Communication, 11, 4946-4964.




strategic health messages

Recent decades have witnessed a growing interest in understanding the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and social factors that influence and shape health-related attitudes and behavior. As a health communication scholar, my primary interest is to address health disparities using innovative theoretical frameworks. In particular, my studies focus on normative influence, self-affirmation, and mechanisms of social capital to reduce health disparities in various contexts including tobacco use, water conservation, cervical cancer, and infection control. 


Relevant publications:

1. Walter, N., Robbins, C., Murphy, S. T., & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2017). The weight of social networks: Can ethnic media mitigate the effect of social isolation on obesity among Latinas? Ethnicity & Health. 1-14.


2. Walter, N., Murphy, S. T., Frank, L. B.,& Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2017). The strength of bridging social capital: The case study of normative behavior, 2. Latinas and cervical cancer. Communication Research.


3. Walter, N., Demetriades, S. Z.,& Murphy, S. T. (2016). Involved, united, and efficacious: Could self-affirmation be the solution to California’s drought? Health Communication, 32, 1161-1170.






media effects

Though technological and social changes have complicated our understanding of mass media, studies of media effects have proven to be among the most enduring and productive paradigms in communication research. This changing communication environment affords scholars a unique opportunity to assess the relevancy of traditional frameworks in a blurred and highly bifurcated reality. My core interest in this area of research concerns the role played by collective-level emotions, communication ecologies, and attempts to debias misinformation. 


Relevant publications:

1. Walter, N., Cody, M. J., Xu, L. Z., & Murphy, S. T. (2018). A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar: A meta-analysis of humor effects. Human Communication Research. 


2. Walter, N., & Murphy, S. T. (2018). How to unring the bell: A meta-analytic approach to correction of misinformation. Communication Monographs.


3. Walter, N., Billard, T. J., Murphy, S. T. (2017). On the boundaries of framing terror: Guilt, victimization, and the 2016 Orlando shooting. Mass Communication & Society, 20, 849-868.





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