Robert J. Griffin
Dr. Robert J. GriffinMarquette University

Located Off Campus

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-6787

Professor Emeritus in Journalism and Media Studies


Ph.D: Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1980
Graduate: M.A., Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1977
Undergraduate: B.A., Journalism, Marquette University, 1968

Courses Taught

COMM 4330/5330: Health, Science, and Environmental Communication
COMM 4300/5300: Introduction to Survey Research in Communication Media
COMM 4359: Communicating About Risk
COMM 6002: Research in Action
COMM 6815: Data Analytics and Reasoning in Communication

Research Interests

Environmental, energy, health, science, risk communication

Professional Experience

Appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to the National Research Council's Committee on Emerging Issues and Data on Environmental Contaminants, serving in his capacity as a risk communication researcher, during the committee's 2002-2007 duration.

Research Grant Review Panelist for National Science Foundation’s Decision, Risk, and Management Sciences program. 2004-2006.

Consultant for evaluation of Wisconsin Focus on Energy pilot communication program 1999-2002.

Chair, Communications and Public Information Subcommittee, Milwaukee County Local Emergency Planning Committee. 1988-1998.

University Service:
Chair, Marquette University Board of Graduate Studies, 2009-2012.
President, College Congress, 2009-2010.

Professional Affiliations

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
International Communication Association
Society for Risk Analysis
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Selected Publications

Dong, X., Griffin, R.J., Yang, J., and Dunwoody, S. (2024) Risk Information Seeking and Processing Model. In T.L. Sellnow and D.D. Sellnow (Eds.), Communicating Risk and Safety, (pp. 413-452). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.

Priest, S., Koehler L.A., and Griffin, R.J. (2023) Introduction to Sharon Dunwoody Memorial Issue. Science Communication 45(1): 3-11. 

Fung, T.K.F., Lai, P.Y., and Griffin, R.J. (2024) Communicating socially acceptable risk judgments: The role of impression information insufficiency in the risk information seeking and processing model. World Medical & Health Policy (2024) 1–29.

Pokrywczynski, J., Griffin, R.J., and Calhoun, G.J. (2019). Information seeking among women aged 18-25 about the risk of sexual aggression. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 96 (1): 239–263.

Moyer, C., Griffin, R.J., and Pokrywczynski, J. (2019). Take me out to the Facebook page. Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing, 6 (4): 357–370.

Griffin, R.J., and Dunwoody, S. (2018). Teaching statistical reasoning (or not) in journalism education: Findings and Implications from surveys of US J-chairs. In A. Nguyen (Ed.), News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World. Chapter 15. New York: Bloomsbury.

Fung, T.K.F., Griffin, R.J., and Dunwoody, S. (2018). Testing links among uncertainty, affect, and attitude toward a health behavior. Science Communication, 40 (1): 33-62.

Griffin, R.J. (2016). Scientific uncertainty in media content: Some reflections on this special issue. Public Understanding of Science, 25 (8): 1009-1013.

Griffin, R. J., and Dunwoody, S. (2015). Chair support, faculty entrepreneurship, and the teaching of statistical reasoning to journalism undergraduates in the United States. Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism, 17 (1), 97-118.

Spartz, J. T., Su, L. Y.-F., Griffin, R. J., Brossard, D., and Dunwoody, S. (2015). YouTube, Social Norms and Perceived Salience of Climate Change in the American Mind. Environmental Communication, 9 (4). First published online 25 June.

Moyer, C., Pokrywczynski, J. V., and Griffin, R. J. (2015). The relationship of fans' sports team identification and Facebook usage to purchase of team products. Journal of Sports Media, 10 (1), 31-49.

Dunwoody, S., and Griffin, R.J. (2015). Risk Information Seeking and Processing Model. In H. Cho, T. Reimer, & K. McComas (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Risk Communication (pps. 102-116). Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage.

Dunwoody, S., and Griffin, R.J. (2014). The role of channel beliefs in risk information seeking. In J. Arvai and L. Rivers (Eds.), Effective Risk Communication (Chapter 13). New York: Routledge.

Griffin, R.J., Dunwoody, S., and Yang, J.Z. (2013). Linking risk messages to information seeking and processing. In Charles Salmon (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 36 (Chapter 15). New York: Routledge.

Dunwoody, S., and Griffin, R.J. (2013). The role of channel beliefs in risk information seeking.  In J. Arvai and L. Rivers (Eds.), Effective risk communication (Chapter 13). New York: Routledge.

Dunwoody, S., and Griffin, R.J. (2013). Commentary: Statistical reasoning in journalism education. Science Communication 35(4): 528-538.

Griffin, R.J., and Dunwoody, S. (2013). Promises and challenges of teaching statistical reasoning to journalism undergraduates: Twin surveys of department heads, 1997 and 2008. In B. Brennen (Ed.), Assessing evidence in a postmodern world (pp. 169-196).  Milwaukee WI: Marquette University Press.

Griffin, R.J., Dunwoody, S., and Yang, Z.J. (2012). Linking risk messages to information seeking and processing. In Charles Salmon (Ed.), Communication yearbook 36, chapter 15 (pp. 323-361). London: Routledge.

Griffin, R.J. (2010). Society for risk analysis. In Susanna H. Priest (Ed.), Encyclopedia of science and technology communication (pps. 817-818). Los Angeles: Sage.

Ter Huurne, E., Griffin, R.J., and Gutteling, J. (2009). Risk information seeking among U.S. and Dutch residents: An application of the model of risk information seeking and processing. Science Communication 31, 215-237.

Griffin, R.J., Yang, Z., ter Huurne, E.,  Boerner, F., Ortiz, S.and Dunwoody, S. (2008). After the flood: Anger, attribution, and the seeking of information. Science Communication 29(3), 85-315.

Griffin, R.J., and S. Dunwoody (2008). Environmental communication. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of communication, Vol. IV, 1557-1564.

Dunwoody, S., and Griffin, R.J. (2007). Risk communication, risk beliefs, and democracy: The case of agricultural biotechnology. In D. Brossard, J. Shanahan, and T. C. Nesbitt (Eds.) The public, the media, and agricultural biotechnology, pp. 264-286. CABI.

Powell, M., Dunwoody, S., Griffin, R. and Neuwirth, K (2007). Exploring lay uncertainty about an environmental health risk. Public understanding of science 16, 23-343.

Kahlor, L., Dunwoody, S., Griffin, R. and Neuwirth, K. (2006). Seeking and processing information about impersonal risk. Science Communication 28(2), 163-194.

Communicating toxicogenomics information to nonexperts: A workshop summary. Washington D.C.: National Academies Press. 2005. (Workshop organizer and NRC Emerging Issues committee member.)

Griffin R.J., Neuwirth, K., Dunwoody, S. and Giese, J. (2004). Information sufficiency and risk communication. Media Psychology (6), 23-61.

Kahlor, L., Dunwoody, S. and Griffin, R. (2004). Predicting knowledge complexity in the wake of an environmental risk. Science Communication 26(1), 5-30.

Kahlor, L., Dunwoody, S. Griffin, R., Neuwirth, K. and Giese, J. (2003). Studying heuristic-systematic processing of risk communication. Risk Analysis (special issue on risk communication) 23(2), 355-368.

Griffin, R.J., Neuwirth, K., Giese, J. and Dunwoody, S. (2002). Linking the heuristic-systematic model and depth of processing. Communication Research. 29(6), 705-732.

Kahlor, L., Dunwoody, S. and Griffin, R. (2002). Attributions in explanations of risk estimates. Public Understanding of Science. 11, 243-257.

Dunwoody, S. and Griffin, R. (2002). Judgmental heuristics and news reporting. In M.V.R Gowda and J.C. Fox (Eds.), Judgments, decisions, and public policy. Chapter 7 (pp. 177-198) Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Novotny, V., Clark, D., Griffin, R. and Bartosova, A. (2001). Balancing flood control and ecological preservation/restoration of urban watersheds. In J. Marsalek, F. Sieker, W.E. White, and E. Zeman (Eds.). Advances in urban stormwater and agricultural runoff source controls (pp. 39-56). The Netherlands: Kluver Academic Publishers.

Giese, J.K., Griffin, R. and D.A. Kuemmel (2001). Public perceptions of the midwest's pavements: Explaining the relationship between pavement quality and driver satisfaction. Transportation research record: Journal of the transportation research board 1769, (pp. 61-70.) Washington DC: National Academies Press.

Honors and Awards

Elected as a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis, 2016, for "substantial achievement in science or public policy relating to risk analysis and substantial service to the Society. This is a distinct honor and reflects the major national and international contributions you have made to the discipline of risk analysis," according to the award notice.

Elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society, based on his distinguished contributions to the public understanding of science through research on public use of information to make risk judgments, according to the AAAS citation. 2007.

Received Marquette University's highest career-long teaching honor, the Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, based on student and faculty nominations. May 1997.

Why Marquette

Great students, great colleagues, great curriculum that integrates theory and ethics with professional and scholarly preparation.

Military Service

United States Air Force, Strategic Air Command. 1969-1972. Honorable discharge. USAF Commendation Medal Awarded 1972 (meritorious service). Vietnam-era veteran.