Junck Research Colloquium with Russell Clayton

Friday, September 21, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm

Freedom Forum Conference Center

About the event

The Junck Colloquium with Russell Clayton of Florida State University will occur Friday, Sept. 21, in the Freedom Forum Conference Center from noon to 1:30 p.m.


Russell Clayton, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor
School of Communication, Florida State University

Who Fights, Who Flees? Integrating Theories of Defensive Message Processing

Defensive processing of health messages has been investigated under a variety of theoretical lenses including the Limited Capacity Model of Motivated Mediated Message Processing (LC4MP; Lang, 2006, 2009)—which includes by extension—the defense cascade model (Bradley, Codispoti, Cuthbert, & Lang, 2001), as well as Psychological Reactance Theory (PRT; Brehm, 1966). Each of these models has resulted in years of fruitful inquiry, as well as substantial evidence and predictive power for examining the processes and effects that unfold when humans are exposed to media messages. The LC4MP successfully predicts cognitive, emotional, and physiological responses associated with evolutionary-based defensive responses to highly arousing and unpleasant media messages (Bradley et al., 2001; Lang, 2006; 2009).

Psychological reactance theory successfully predicts defensive responses including anger and counterarguments (called reactance) when media messages threaten viewers’ freedom and autonomy. Thus, psychological reactance has been offered as one cause for message rejection (Brehm, 1966; Quick, Shen, & Dillard, 2013). In this presentation Dr. Clayton will provide initial evidence as to how both of these theories can be integrated to explain how message recipients defend against threatening health messages and how, ultimately, the LC4MP and psychological reactance theory yield the same cognitive, emotional, and physiological defensive responses. Dr. Clayton will also provide recommendations for which type of content is likely to reduce defensive processing of health promoting public service announcements.

About the Junck Colloquium

The Mary Junck Research Colloquium series was formally established in 2007 to nurture an intellectually vibrant climate with both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary shades, by scheduling scholarly presentations on diverse topics.

The speakers represent various disciplines and units on campus as well as other universities and organizations in the Triangle. The series has been particularly successful in attracting scholars and researchers of national and international renown from within the United States and abroad. The series attracts a diverse audience comprising faculty, graduate students and researchers from around the Triangle.