Research

Annenberg Faculty Receives Grant for Tobacco Regulatory Science Research

The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Rutgers University announced yesterday that they have received one of nine grants from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) new round of Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS). The grant is for five years and totals $18 million. As part of UPenn TCORS, Annenberg Professor Joseph N. Cappella will receive funding to study ways to correct misperceptions about the next generation of “reduced harm” tobacco products.

Annenberg Presentations at NCA 2018

The National Communication Association’s 104th annual convention, “Communication at Play,” will take place November 8-11 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Below are the presentations being contributed by Annenberg faculty and graduate students, organized by date and time. Most events will take place at the Salt Palace Convention Center, although a few sessions will meet at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center.

Thursday, November 8

8:00am – 9:15am

Thinking Beyond Yourself Can Make You More Open to Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Public health messages often tell people things they don’t want to hear: Smokers should stop smoking. Sedentary people need to get moving. Trade your pizza and hot dogs for a salad with lean protein.

For many people, these messages trigger our natural defenses. They make us feel bad about ourselves and our choices, leading our subconscious to reject the healthy encouragement.   

People Who Don't Read the News Are Better at Predicting Which Articles Will Go Viral, Study Finds

Figuring out how to make articles and videos go viral is the holy grail for any content creator. Although a magic formula remains elusive, in recent years, neuroscientists have forecasted which content will go viral by showing it to a small number of people and observing their brain activity.

Now, they’ve taken that research a step further, looking at which people are best at predicting what will go viral.

Educational Program Successful at Reducing Forced Sex in South African Adolescents

Southern Africa has some of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world, with 20 percent of adolescent girls and boys reporting that they have been forced to have sex. In many cases, they are also the perpetrators: in one survey, 12 percent of boys and 5 percent of girls admitted they have forced someone else into sex.

Given that forced sex experiences are linked to increased rates for HIV, depression, suicide, substance use, and early pregnancy — and it is a problem that spans the globe — it is an area ripe for public health interventions.

In the Brain, Dislike and Dehumanization Are Not the Same Thing

Conventional wisdom has long assumed that talking about people in dehumanizing terms — as dogs or pigs or pests — was simply an extreme expression of dislike for them. But according to new research, dehumanization and dislike are processed by two completely separate regions of the brain, which suggests that they may be two different psychological processes.

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