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 focuses on cognitive and emotional processing of media and health communication. Specifically, his research examines the processes and effects that occur when humans are exposed to mediated messages by using psychophysiological and self-report indicators of cognition, emotion, and motivation. Current work in this area includes examining how different message features of anti-tobacco messages (e.g., disgust, deception, smoking cues, threat, etc.) and individual differences (e.g., smoking status, withdrawal, motivational reactivity, etc.) influence viewers' reception or rejection of the message and behavioral intentions. He has more recently explored how different body sizes of fashion models influence viewers' body image concerns and their attention to and memory of body-positivity campaigns. Dr. Clayton and colleagues have also examined how animation in Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) depression drug messages influences viewers’ attention to and memory of drug side effects. Other areas of research have examined how separation from technology (e.g., iPhone separation) influences users' performance on cognitive tasks and psychological and physiological responses. Dr. Clayton and colleagues have also examined the various effects of social media usage on health-related outcomes. His research has been published in top-tier journals including Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication; Communication Monographs; Journal of Health Communication; Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media; Health Communication; Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising; and Computers in Human Behavior, among others. His research has 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; Health Communication; Psychology of Advertising