Welcome to my website

I am an Assistant Professor of Communication at George Washington University. I completed my PhD in Communication at Ohio State University. My research is motivated by understanding how message design can reduce barriers to information processing, and how information processing evoked through message design can facilitate engagement and persuasion. I explore these relationships in health, science, and political contexts. I teach core communication classes and persuasion.

Publication Highlight

Jul 2019

Jargon As A Barrier To Effective Science Communication: Evidence From Metacognition

Citations: 80

Bullock, O.M., Colon-Amill, D, Shulman, H.C., & Dixon, G.

Public Understanding of Science


In this experiment (N = 650), we examine the negative consequences of jargon on individuals’ perceptions of emerging scientific technology and aim to explain these effects. We find that the presence of jargon impairs people’s ability to process scientific information, and that this impairment leads to greater motivated resistance to persuasion, increased risk perceptions, and lower support for technology adoption. These findings suggest that the use of jargon undermines efforts to inform and persuade the public through the cognitive mechanism of metacognition.

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Latest Publications

For a copy of any of the articles listed below, please feel free to email me through my website contact form.

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Jul 2022 New Article!

Predicting Vote Choice And Election Outcomes From Ballot Wording: The Role Of Processing Fluency In Low Information Direct Democracy Elections

Shulman, H.C., Sweitzer, D.M, Bullock, O.M., Coronel, J.C., Bond, R.M., & Poulsen, S.

Political Communication

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Nov 2021

How Communicating About Discrimination Influences Attributions Of Blame And Condemnation

Citations: 1

DeAndrea, D.C., & Bullock, O.M.

Human Communication Research

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Oct 2021

The Interplay Of Jargon, Motivation, And Fatigue While Processing COVID-19 Crisis Communication Over Time

Citations: 12

Shulman, H.C., Bullock, O.M., & Riggs, E.E.

Journal of Language and Social Psychology

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Sep 2021

Narratives Are Persuasive Because They Are Easier To Understand: Examining Processing Fluency As A Mechanism Of Narrative Persuasion

Citations: 9

Bullock, O.M., Shulman, H.C., & Huskey, R.

Frontiers in Communication

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May 2021

Eye Movements Predict Large-scale Voting Decisions

Citations: 1

Coronel, J.C., Bullock, O.M., Sweitzer, M.D., Bond, R.M., Poulsen, S., & Shulman, H.C.

Psychological Science

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Mar 2021

Utilizing Framing Theory To Design More Effective Health Messages About Tanning Behavior Among College Women

Citations: 16

Bullock, O.M., & Shulman, H.C.

Communication Studies

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As a former public relations practitioner, and an advocate of sharing scholarship publicly, I always enjoy it when my research makes it into the news. Check out this popular press coverage of some of my publications.

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Jun 2021

For Political Candidates, Making Jokes Online Might Backfire

Read The British Psychological Society Story
Jun 2021

New Research Shows Candidates Who Use Humor on Twitter May Find the Joke Is on Them

Read Sci Tech Daily Story

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