Olivia Bullock

Portrait of Dr. Olivia Bullock

Olivia Bullock

Assistant Professor of Communication, Director of Undergraduate Communication Program



Room 303, 600 21st Street, NW Washington DC 20052


  • Persuasion
  • Information Processing
  • Risk, health, and science communication

Dr. Bullock’s research focuses on how message design can reduce barriers to information processing, and how effective information processing evoked through message design can facilitate persuasion. She explores these ideas in risk, health, and science communication contexts. In addition to her research, Dr. Bullock is also a communication practitioner, with previous experience working in public relations and advertising for agencies in Washington, D.C., and as a consultant on the Department of Health and Human Services’ “We Can Do This” COVID-19 vaccine campaign. 

COMM 1025 - Introduction to Communication

COMM 4150 - Persuasion

Shulman, H.C., Sweitzer, M., Coronel, J., Bullock, O.M., Bond, R., & Poulsen, S. (in press). Predicting vote choice and election outcomes from ballot wording: The role of processing fluency in low information direct democracy elections. Political Communication.

DeAndrea, D.C. & Bullock, O.M. (2021). How communicating about discrimination influences attributions of blame and condemnation. Human Communication Research. doi: 10.1093/hcr/hqab016

Shulman, H.C., Bullock, O.M., & Riggs, E.E. (2021). The interplay of jargon, motivation, and fatigue while processing COVID-19 crisis communication over time. Journal of Language and Social Psychology. doi: 10.1177/0261927X211043100

Bullock, O.M., Shulman, H.C., & Huskey, R. (2021). Narratives are persuasive because they are easier to understand: Examining processing fluency as a mechanism of narrative persuasion. Frontiers in Communication. doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2021.719615

Coronel, J.C., Bullock, O.M., Shulman, H.C., Sweitzer, M.D, Bond, R.M., & Poulsen, S. (2021). Eye movements predict large-scale voting decisions. Psychological Science. doi: 10.1177/0956797621991142

Bullock, O.M. & Shulman, H.C. (2021). Utilizing framing theory to design more effective health messages about tanning behavior among college women. Communication Studies. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2021.1899007

Appiah, O., Eveland, W.P., Bullock, O.M., & Coduto, K.D. (2021). Why we can’t talk openly about race: The impact of race and partisanship on respondents’ perceptions of intergroup conversations. Group Processes & Interpersonal Dynamics. doi: 10.1177/1368430220967978

Bullock, O.M. & Hubner, A.Y. (2020). Candidates’ use of informal communication on social media reduces credibility and support: Examining the consequences of expectancy violations. Communication Research Reports37(3), 87-98. doi: 10.1080/08824096.2020.1767047

Shulman, H.C. & Bullock, O.M. (2020). Don’t dumb it down: The effects of jargon in COVID-19 crisis communication. PLOS One15(10): e0239524. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239524

Eveland, W.P., Coduto, K.D., Appiah, O., & Bullock, O.M. (2020). Listening during political conversations: Traits and situations. Political Communication37(5), 656-677. doi: 10.1080/10584609.2020.1736701

Shulman, H.C., Dixon, G., Bullock, O.M., & Colon-Amill, D. (2020). The effects of jargon on processing fluency, self-perceptions, and scientific engagement. Journal of Language and Social Psychology39(5-6), 579-597. doi: 10.1177/0261927X20902177

Bullock, O.M. & Shulman, H.C. (2020). Framing. International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology. doi: 10.1002/9781119011071.iemp0268

Bullock, O.M., Colon-Amill, D., Shulman, H.C., & Dixon, G. (2019). Jargon as a barrier to effective science communication: Evidence from metacognition. Public Understanding of Science28(7), 845-853. doi: 10.1177/0963662519865687

Shulman, H.C. & Bullock, O.M. (2019). Using metacognitive cues to amplify message content: A new direction in strategic communication. Annals of the International Communication Association43(1), 24-39. doi: 10.1080/23808985.2019.1570472

Dixon, G., Bullock, O.M., & Adams, D. (2018). Unintended effects of emphasizing the role of climate change in recent natural disasters. Environmental Communication, 13(2), 135-143. doi: 10.1080/17524032.2018.1546202

Ph.D., The Ohio State University

M.A., The Ohio State University

B.A., American University