Dr. Sheila Murphy is a Full Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Trained in social psychology, Dr. Murphy specializes in identifying the individual, interpersonal, community, ethnic and cultural level factors that shape people’s knowledge, attitudes and practices. She is also an expert on the use of stories or narratives – in contrast to more traditional interventions – to change individual and normative beliefs and behavior on topics ranging from human trafficking, condom use, stereotyping, cancer screening, water conservation, and acceptance of marginalized groups such as Muslims, undocumented immigrants and transgender individuals.
For the past 25 years, Dr. Murphy has designed and/or evaluated persuasive interventions using a wide variety of methodological tools including experiments, large-scale surveys, focus groups, content analysis, social network analysis, multilevel analysis and field observation in order to paint a more complete picture of a particular problem.
Dr. Murphy has received the American Public Health Association’s Public Health Education Award, The Top Translational Research Award in Health Communication and the National Institutes of Health Common Fund Award. For her work on persuasive narrative Dr. Murphy recently received the 2015 Everett M. Rogers Award given to “an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to advancing the study and/or practice of public health communication” by the American Public Health Association. In 2018, Dr. Murphy was elected a Fellow of the International Communication Association for her achievements in the study of human communication.