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The Ohio State University

College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication

The Ohio State University School of Communication
David Ewoldsen
David Ewoldsen
Professor and Associate Director, Undergraduate Programs, Professor of Psychology (by courtesy)
(614) 247-5446
(614) 292-2055
School of Communication
The Ohio State University
3168 Derby Hall
154 North Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210-1339


B.A., Iowa State University (Communication Studies, minors in history& political science)
M.A., University of Northern Iowa (Communication Studies)
Ph.D., Indiana University (Psychology & Communication Studies)
Postdoctoral fellow, Vanderbilt University (Cognitive Sciences)

Research Interests:

Media Psychology

Health Communication

Attitudes & Persuasion

Some of the current research projects in the lab include:

Media & stereotypes

Implicit attitudes & attitude accessibility

Comprehension & message processing

Categorization as a mechanism for attitude change

Video games & cooperative play

Video games & affiliation motivation

Quick Introduction:

Media psychology.


What I try to focus on in my courses is teaching students how to theorize so that they may play an active role in the development of ideas in whatever career path they choose to follow. Thus, a central part of my teaching is trying to get students to conjecture about which advances we need to make in the theories of a particular content domain. I believe that we also need to focus more attention on teaching students how to apply theories. A major focus in my courses is trying to teach students how we can use the various theories discussed in class to address practice issues.

I have three primary research foci: media psychology, attitudes and persuasion, and health communication. My research on media psychology primarily focuses on the processes involved in comprehending media messages, though I conduct research on a wide variety of topics related to the media including prosocial effects of playing violent video games, racism and the media, romantic media and conceptions of romance, product placements, and the interaction between the media and culture. My research on persuasion is largely concerned with attitude and norm accessibility. Accessibility refers to the ease by which something is activated from memory or comes to mind. For example, you attitude toward cockroaches probably comes to mind relatively easily (“Yuch!!!”) when you see a cockroach which suggests the attitude is very accessible from memory. Attitudes and norms that are more accessible from memory are more predictive of a person’s behavior. Within the area of health psychology, my research focuses on the influence of attitudes and norms on people’s health related behaviors (particularly smoking and substance abuse). In addition, I am interested in how people respond to health related messages.