Russell Clayton profile picture CCI FSU Tallahassee FL

Russell Clayton, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

(850) 645-9600
UCC 3136

Russell B. Clayton (Ph.D., University of Missouri, 2015) is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Cognition and Emotion Lab (CEL) in the School of Communication. He is also a research affiliate of the Institute for Successful Longevity. Dr. Clayton's research uses psychophysiological methods to investigate audiences’ cognitive and emotional responses to persuasive health communication messages. The bulk of his research investigates responses associated with defensive reactivity (fight-or-flight) to aversive health messages, specifically anti-tobacco PSAs and depression drug DTC commercials. He is also interested in the effect that internal processing/dialogue (counterarguments, social comparisons, etc) has on audiences’ cognitive processing of media messages. His work has been published in top-tier journals including Communication Monographs; Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication; Journal of Health Communication; Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media; & Health Communication, among others. His prior research interests investigated the health and interpersonal outcomes associated with social media usage, which was published in Computers in Human Behavior; & Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. His research has also been widely disseminated in the popular press including Good Morning America, Today Show, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, TIME, NBC, CBS, CNN, Yahoo!, among others.

** If you are a current or prospective student and are interested in learning more about research or working in a media psychology research lab, please feel free to email Dr. Clayton anytime.


  • Ph.D. 2015; University of Missouri, Journalism
  • M.A. 2012; Texas State University, Health Psychology
  • B.S. 2010; Texas State University, Psychology

Research Interests

Media Psychology; Cognitive and Emotional Processing of Health Campaign Messages; Psychophysiology; Experimental Research Methods

Teaching Interests

Mass Communication Theory and Effects; Research Methods; Introduction to Mass Media; Psychology of Advertising; Media Psychophysiology