Robin Nabi

Media Effects & Health Communication

Contact Phone


Office Location

SSMS 4137


Persuasion, Emotion, Mass Media Effects, Health Communication



Robin Nabi joined the Department of Communication in 2004 after six years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona. Prof. Nabi received her PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, and her research interests focus on the interplay between emotion and cognition in understanding the effects of mediated messages. Specific interests include the effects of discrete emotions on the cognitive processing and persuasive effect of social issue/health messages, the role of emotion in perception of risk and decision-making, and the effects of entertainment media on attitude and behavior change. Her work has appeared in several journals, including Communication Theory, Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, and Cognition and Emotion. Prof. Nabi has also served or is serving on the editorial boards of several journals, including Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, and Journal of Communication. She is a past co-editor of Media Psychology and chair of the Mass Communication Division of the International Communication Association.

Prof. Nabi’s teaching interests include social influence, health communication, communication and emotion, and mass media effects. Her current research projects focus on the role of emotion in media use and perceptions of health threats, the emotional framing of health news, the persuasive effects of humor, and perceptions of reality-based TV.


PhD 1998 Communication Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania
MA 1994 Communication Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania
AB 1990 Government Harvard University

Academic Positions

Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

Assistant Professor, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Research Interests

Emotion, social influence, and decision-making

Mass media messages and health

Social and psychological effects of the mass media

Teaching Experience

Theories of Social Influence (graduate)
Emotion and Media Effects Seminar (graduate)
Mass Media Effects Research Seminar (graduate)
Survey of Health Communication Research (graduate)
Theories of Mass Communication (undergraduate)
Communication and Emotion (undergraduate)
Persuasion (undergraduate)
Introduction to Mass Media Effects (undergraduate)
Communication Theory (undergraduate)
Health Communication (undergraduate)



Peer-Reviewed Publications

Nabi, R. L., & Riddle, K. (accepted for publication) Personality traits as moderators of the cultivation effect. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.

Nabi, R. L., Roskos-Ewoldsen, D., & Dillman-Carpentier, F. (in press). Subjective knowledge and fear appeal effectiveness: Implications for message design. Health Communication.

Nabi, R. L. (2007). Determining dimensions of reality: A cognitive mapping of reality TV programs. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 51, 371 - 389. 

Nabi, R. L., Moyer-Guse, E., & Byrne, S. (2007). All joking aside: A serious investigation into the persuasive effect of funny social issue messages. Communication Monographs.

Nabi, R. L., Finnerty, K., Domschke, T., & Hull, S. (2006). Does misery love company? Exploring the therapeutic effects of TV viewing on regretted experiences. Journal of Communication, 56, 689-706.

Nabi, R. L., Stitt, C., Halford, J., & Finnerty, K. (2006). Emotional and cognitive predictors of the enjoyment of reality-based and fictional television programming: An elaboration of the uses and gratifications perspective. Media Psychology, 8, 421-447.

Dillard, J. P., & Nabi, R. L. (2006). The persuasive influence of emotion in cancer prevention and detection messages. Journal of Communication, 56, s123-139.

Nabi, R. L., & Krcmar, M. (2004). Conceptualizing media enjoyment as attitude: Implications for mass media effects research. Communication Theory, 14, 288-310.

Nabi, R. L., Biely, E. N., Morgan, S. J., & Stitt, C. (2003). Reality-based television programming and the psychology of its appeal. Media Psychology, 5, 303-330.

Nabi, R. L., & Hendriks, A. (2003). The persuasive effect of host and audience reaction shots in TV talk shows. Journal of Communication, 53, 527-543.

Nabi, R. L. (2003). “Feeling” resistance: Exploring the role of emotionally evocative visuals in inducing inoculation. Media Psychology, 5, 199-223.

Nabi, R. L. (2003). The framing effects of emotion: Can discrete emotions influence information recall and policy preference? Communication Research, 30, 224-247.

Nabi, R. L. (2002). Anger, fear, uncertainty, and attitudes: A test of the cognitive-functional model. Communication Monographs, 69, 204-216.

Nabi, R. L. (2002). The lay versus theoretical meaning of disgust: Implications for emotion research. Cognition and Emotion, 16, 695-703.

Segrin, C., & Nabi, R. L. (2002). Does television viewing cultivate unrealistic expectations about marriage? Journal of Communication, 52, 247-263.

Nabi, R. L., Southwell, B., & Hornik, R. (2002). Predicting intentions vs. predicting behaviors: A look at actions to prevent domestic violence. Health Communication, 14, 429-449.

Fishbein, M., Hall-Jamieson, K., Zimmer, E., von Haeften, I., & Nabi, R. (2002). Avoiding the boomerang: The need for experimental tests of the relative effectiveness of anti-drug public service announcements prior to their use in a national campaign. American Journal of Public Health, 92, 238-245.

Nabi, R. L., & Sullivan, J. L. (2001). Does television viewing relate to engagement in protective behaviors against crime?: A cultivation analysis from a theory of reasoned action perspective. Communication Research, 28, 802-825.

Nabi, R. L., & Horner, J. R. (2001). Victims with voices: How abused women conceptualize the problem of spouse abuse and implications for intervention and prevention. Journal of Family Violence, 16, 237-253.

Nabi, R. L. (1999). A cognitive-functional model for the effects of discrete negative emotions on information processing, attitude change, and recall. Communication Theory, 9, 292-320.

Nabi, R. L. (1998). The effect of disgust-eliciting visuals on attitudes toward animal experimentation. Communication Quarterly, 46, 472-484.