Professor of Communication


Communication (PhD)
Communication Management (MCG)


UCS: 213-740-0945


201 Kerckhoff

More Sheila




Health Communication
Narrative Persuasion

Center Affiliation

The Norman Lear Center

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.  1n 2018, Dr. Murphy was elected a Fellow of the International Communication Association for her achievements in the study of human communication.


Manuscripts Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Frank, L.B.*, Murphy, S.T., & Ball-Rokeach, S. (In press). Personal network analysis and health among Latinas. International Review of Social Research.

Villanueva, G., Broad, G., Gonzalez, C., Ball-Rokeach, S.J., & Murphy, S. (In press). Communication asset mapping: An ecological field application toward building healthy communities. International Journal of Communication.

Hether, H.J.*, Murphy, S.T., & Valente, T.W. (In press). Evidence for a hierarchy of social support on prenatal social networking sites.  Digital Health.

Moran, M.B.*, Chatterjee, J.*, Frank, L.B.*, Murphy, S.T., Zhao, N.*, Chen, N.*, & Ball-Rokeach, S. (In press). Individual, cultural and structural predictors of vaccine safety confidence and influenza vaccination among Hispanic female subgroups. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

Meng, J., McLaughlin, M., Pariera, K., & Murphy, S. (2016). A Comparison Between Caucasians and African Americans in Willingness to Participate in Cancer Clinical Trials: The Roles of Knowledge, Distrust, Information Sources, and Religiosity. Journal of Health Communication, 1-9. Read article here.

Moran, M.B.*, Frank, L.B.*, Chatterjee, J.S.*, Murphy, S.T., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2016). A pilot test of the acceptability and efficacy of narrative and non-narrative health education materials in a low health literacy population.  Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 9(1), 40-48. doi: 10.1080/17538068.2015.1126995. Read article here.

Moran, M.*, Frank, L.B.*, Chatterjee, J.S.*, Murphy, S.T., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2016). Information scanning and vaccine safety concerns among African American, Mexican American, and non-Hispanic White women.  Patient Education and Counseling, 99(1), 147-153. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2015.08.016 PMID: 26321294. Read article here.

Moran, M.B.*, Frank, L.B.*, Zhao, N.*, Gonzalez, C., Thainiyom, P.*, Murphy, S.T., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2016). An argument for ecological research and intervention in health communication.  Journal of Health Communication, 21(2), 135-138. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2015.1128021. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Frank, L.B.*, Chatterjee, J.S.*, Moran, M.B.*, Zhao, N.*, Amezola de Herrera, P. & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2015). Comparing the relative efficacy of narrative versus non-narrative health messages in reducing health disparities using a randomized trial. American Journal of Public Health. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302332. Read article here.

Frank, L.B.*, Murphy, S., Chatterjee, J.S.*, Moran, M.B.*, & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2015). Telling stories, saving lives: Creating narrative health messages. Heath Communication, 30(2), 154-163. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2014.974126 PMID: 25470440. Read article here.

Moran, M.B.*, Murphy, S.T., Chatterjee, J.S., Amezola, P., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2014, in press). Mexican-American Mothers’ Perceptions Regarding Vaccinating their Daughters Against HPV and Recommended Strategies to Promote Vaccine Uptake. Women’s Reproductive Health, 1(2), 106-119. Read article here.

Baezconde-Garbanati, L.A., Chatterjee, J.*, Frank, L.B.*, Murphy, S., Moran, M.*, Werth, L.N.*, Zhao, N.*, Amezola de Herrera, P., Mayer, D., Kagan, J., & O’Brien, D. (2014). Tamale Lesson: A case study of cancer narrative health communication intervention. Journal of Communication in Healthcare. doi: 10.1179/1753807614Y.0000000055. Read article here.

Zhao, N.*, Huh, J., Murphy, S.T., Chatterjee, J.S., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2014). Self-construal as a predictor of Korean American women’s intention to vaccinate daughters against Human Papillomavirus. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 5(2), 96-105. PMC4278380. Read article here.

Moran, M.B., Murphy, S.T., Frank, L.B.*, & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2013). The ability of narrative communication to address health-related social norms. International Review of Social Research, 3(2), 131-149. PMC3812237. Read article here.

Baezconde-Garbanati, L., Murphy, S.T., Moran, M.B., & Cortessis, V.K. (2013). Reducing the Excess Burden of Cervical Cancer Among Latinas: Translating Science into Health Promotion Initiatives.  California Journal of Health Promotion, 11(1), 45-57. PMC3936034. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Frank, L.B., Chatterjee, J.S., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2013). Narrative versus non-narrative: The role of identification, transportation, and emotion in reducing health disparities. Journal of Communication, 63(1), 116-137. doi: 10.1111/jcom.12007. Read article here.

Hether, H.J.*, Murphy, S.T., & Valente, T.W. (2014). It's better to give than to receive: The role of social support, trust, and participation on health-related social networking sites. Journal of Health Communication, 19(12), 1424-1439. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2014.894596. Read article here.

Pariera, K.L.*, Hether, H.J.*, Murphy, S.T., de Castro Buffington, S., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2013). Portrayals of reproductive and sexual health issues on primetime television. Health Communication, 29, 698-706. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2013.7746 PMC3907116. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Hether, H. J., Felt, L. J., & de Castro Buffington, S.  (2012). Public diplomacy in prime time: Exploring the potential of entertainment education in international public diplomacy. American Journal of Media Psychology, 5, 5-32. Read article here.

Frank, L.B., Chatterjee, J.S., Chaudhuri, S., Lapsansky, C., Bhanot, A., & Murphy, S.T. (2012). Conversation and compliance: Role of interpersonal discussion and social norms in public communication campaigns. Journal of Health Communication, 17(9), 1050-1067. Read article here.

Moran, M.B., Murphy, S.T., & Sussman, S. (2012). Campaigns and cliques: Variations in effectiveness of an anti-smoking campaign as a function of adolescent peer group identity.  Journal of Health Communication, 17(10), 1215-1231. Read article here.

Chen, N. & Murphy, S.T. (2011). Examining the role of media coverage in trust in public health agencies in H1N1 influenza prevention.  International Journal of Public Health, 3(1), 45-52. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Frank, L. B., Moran, M., & Woodley, P.  (2011).  Involved, transported or emotional? Exploring the determinants of change in entertainment education.  Journal of Communication, 61(3), 407-431. Read article here.

Hether, H.*, & Murphy, S. (2010). Sex roles in health storylines on prime time television: A content analysis.  Sex Roles, 62(11), 810-821. doi: 10.1007/s11199-009-9654-0. Read article here.

Chatterjee, J.S.*, Frank, L.*, Bhanot, A., Murphy, S., & Power, G.* (2009). The importance of interpersonal discussion and self-efficacy in knowledge, attitude, and practice models.  International Journal of Communication, 3, 607-634. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Cody, M.J., Glik, D., Ang, A., & Frank, L.*  (2009).  Predictors of preparedness and compliance in natural disasters and terrorist attacks.  JAMA: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 3(2), 1-10.  doi: 10.1097/DMP.0b013e3181a9c6c5. Read article here.

Frank, G., Murphy, S.T., Kitching, H.J., Garfield, D.M., & McDarment, N.  (2008).  The Tule River tribal history project: Evaluating a California tribal government's collaboration with anthropology and occupational therapy to preserve indigenous history and promote tribal goals, Human Organization, 67(4), 430-442. Read article here.

Hether, H.J.*, Huang, G.*, Beck, V., Murphy, S.T., & Valente, T.W.  (2008). Entertainment-education in a media-saturated environment: Examining the impact of single and multiple exposure to breast cancer storylines on two popular medical dramas, Journal of Health Communication, 13(8), 808-823. Read article here.

Walters, C.* & Murphy, S.T.  (2008). Framing the Olympic games: Impact of American television coverage on attitudes toward international cooperation and foreign policy in the united states. American Journal of Media Psychology, 1, Nos. 1/2 (Winter/Spring 2008), 76-102. Read article here.

Valente, T.W., Murphy, S.T., Beck, V., Greene, J., Huang, G.*, & Gusek, J. (2007). Evaluating a minor storyline on ER about teen obesity, hypertension and 5 a Day. Journal of Health Communication, 12(6), 551-586. Read article here.

Wilkin, H.A.*, Valente, T.W., Murphy, S.T., Cody, M.J., Huang, G.*, Beck, V., Carrasquillo, M., & Slan, L. (2007). Does entertainment education work with Latinos in the United States? Identification and the effects of a Telenovela breast cancer storyline. Journal of Health Communication, 12(5), 455-469. doi: 10.1080/10810730701438690. Read article here.

Appleby, P.R.*, Marks, G., Ayala, A., Miller, L.C., Murphy, S.T., & Mansergh, G. (2005). Consideration of future consequences and unprotected anal intercourse among men who have sex with men. Journal of Homosexuality, 50(1), 119-133. Read article here.

Castañeda, L., Murphy, S.T., & Hether, H.J. (2005). Teaching print, broadcast and online journalism concurrently: A case study assessing a convergence curriculum. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 60(1), 57-70. Read article here.

Kennedy, M.G., Murphy, S.T., & Beck, V. (2004) Entertainment education and multicultural audiences: An action and research agenda. The Community Psychologist, 37(2), 16-19.

Miller, L.C., Murphy, S.T., Clark, L., & Moore, J. (2004). Hierarchical messages for introducing multiple HIV prevention options:  Promise and pitfalls.  AIDS Education and Prevention, 16(6), 2004, 509-525. Read article here.

Saul, J., Moore, J., Murphy, S.T., & Miller, L.C. (2004). Relationship violence and women’s reactions to male- and female- controlled HIV prevention methods. AIDS and Behavior, 8(2), 207-214. Read article here.

Bryant, J.A.*, Murphy, S.T., & Cody, M.J. (2002). Online Sales: Profit without question. Tobacco Control, 11(3), 226-227. Read article here.

Frank, G., Blackhall, L.J., Murphy, S.T., Michel, V., Azen, S.P., Preloran, H.M., & Browner, C.H.  (2002). Ambiguity and hope: Disclosure preferences and narrative practices among elderly Mexican Americans concerning terminal cancer, a case story. Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics, 11(2), 117-126.

Blackhall, L. J., Frank, G., Murphy, S.T., & Michel, V.  (2001). Bioethics in a different tongue: The case of truth-telling. Journal of Urban Health, 78(1), 59-71. Read article here.

Frank, G., Fishman, M.A., Crowley, C.A., Blair, B., Murphy, S.T., Montoya, J.*, Hickey, M.P., Brancaccio, M., & Benisimon, E.M. (2001). New stories/New Cultures: Applying occupational science to after-school enrichment.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55(5), 501-508. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T. (2001). The nonconscious discrimination of emotion: Evidence for a theoretical distinction between affect and emotion. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 32(1), 9-15. doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.36.2.129.

Rader, M., Marks, G., Mansergh, G.*, Crepaz, N., Miller, L.C., Appleby, P.R.*, & Murphy, S.T. (2001). Preferences about the characteristics of future HIV prevention products among men who have sex with men. AIDS Education & Prevention, 13(2):  149-152. Read article here.

Coover, G.E. & Murphy, S.T.  (2000). The communicated self: Exploring the interaction between self and social context. Human Communication Research, 26(1), 125-147. Read article here.

Crepaz, N., Marks, G., Mansergh, G.*, Murphy, S.T., Miller, L., & Appleby, P.R.* (2000). Age-related risk for HIV infection in men who have sex with men: Examination of behavioral, relationship and serostatus variables. AIDS Education and Prevention, 12(5), 405-415. Read article here.

Mansergh, G.*, Marks, G., Miller, L., Appleby, P.R.*, & Murphy, S.T. (2000). Is "knowing people with HIV/AIDS" associated with safer sex in men who have sex with men?  AIDS, 14(12), 1845-51. Read article here.

Marks, G., Mansergh, G.*, Crepaz, N., Murphy, S.T., Miller, L., & Appleby, R.* (2000). Future HIV prevention options for men who have sex with men: Intention to use a microbicide during anal intercourse. AIDS & Behavior, 4(3), 279-287. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Miller, L.C., Moore, J., & Clark, L.C. (2000). Preaching to the choir: Preference for female-controlled methods of HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention. American Journal of Public Health, 90, 1135-1137. Read article here.

Monahan, J.*, Murphy, S.T., & Zajonc, R.B. (2000). Subliminal mere exposure: Specific, general and diffuse effects. Psychological Science, 11(6), 462-466. Read article here.      

Monahan, J.*, Murphy, S.T., & Miller, L.C. (1999). When women imbibe: Alcohol and the illusory control of HIV risk. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23(3), 643-651. Read article here.

Blackhall, L., Frank, G., Murphy, S.T., Michel, V., Palmer, J.M.*, & Azen, S.  (1999). Ethnicity and attitudes toward life-sustaining technology. Social Science and Medicine, 48, 1779-1789. Read article here.

Frank, G., Blackhall, L.J., Michel, V., Murphy, S.T., Azen, S.P., & Park, K. (1998). A discourse of relationships in bioethics: Patient Autonomy and end-of-life decision making among elderly Korean Americans. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 12(4), 403-423. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Monahan, J.L.*, & Miller, L.C.  (1998). Inference Under the Influence: The impact of alcohol and inhibition conflict on women’s sexual decision-making. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24(5), 517-528. Read article here.

Blackhall, L.J., Murphy, S.T., Frank, G., Michel, V., & Azen, S. (1996). Patient-physician communication: Respect for culture, religion and autonomy. JAMA, 255(2):109. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Palmer, J.*, Azen, S., Frank, G., Michel, V., & Blackhall, L. (1996). Ethnicity and advance care directives. The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 24(2), 108-117. Read article here.

Power, J.*, Murphy, S.T., & Coover, G.* (1996). Priming prejudice: How stereotypes and counter-stereotypes influence attribution of responsibility and credibility among ingroups and outgroups. Human Communication Research, 23(1), 36-58. Read article here.

Blackhall, L., Murphy, S.T., Frank, G., Michel, V., & Azen, S. (1995). Ethnicity and attitudes toward patient autonomy. JAMA, 274(10), 820-825. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Monahan, J.*, & Zajonc, R.B. (1995). Additivity of nonconscious affect: The combined effects of priming and exposure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 589-602. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., & Zajonc, R.B. (1994). Nieswiadome wplywy w procesach afedtywnych i poznawczyc. (The role of optimal and suboptimal affective stimuli.) Przeglad Psychologiczny,36, 266-299.

Murphy, S.T. & Zajonc, R.B.  (1993). Affect, cognition and awareness: Priming with optimal and suboptimal stimulus exposures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 723-739. Read article here.

Reifman, A., Klein, J.G., & Murphy, S.T. (1989). Self‑monitoring and age. Psychology and Aging, 4, 245‑246. Read article here.

Zajonc, R.B., Murphy, S.T., & Inglehart, M. (1989). Feelings and facial efference: Implications of the vascular theory of emotion. Psychological Review, 96, 395-416. Read article here.

Zajonc, R.B., Adelmann, P.K., Murphy, S.T., & Niedenthal, P.M. (1987). Convergence in the physical appearance of spouses. Motivation and Emotion, 11, 335-346. Read article here.

Cameron, O.G., Lee, M.A., Kotun, J., & Murphy, S.T. (1986). Circadian fluctuation in anxiety disorders. Biological Psychiatry, 21, 567-568. Read article here.

Cameron, O.G., & Murphy, S.T. (1984). Periodic Fluctuations in Anxiety: Circadian and Menstrual. Psychosomatic Medicine, 46(1), 76.


Peer-Reviewed Articles Currently Under Review

Gillig, T.K.*, & Murphy, S.T. Fostering support for LGBTQ youth?: The effects of an adolescent media portrayal on young viewers. Under review at the International Journal of Communication.

Moran, M.B.*, Gonzalez, C., Zhao, N.*, Chen, N.*, Thainiyom, P., Ball-Rokeach, S., & Murphy, S.T. Field observation of communication hotspots in Los Angeles. Under review at SAGE Research Methods Cases.

Walter, N.*, Murphy, S.T., Frank, L.B.*, & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. Each medium tells a different story: The effect of message channel on narrative persuasion. Under review at Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

Walter, N.*, Murphy, S.T., Frank, L.B.*, & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. The strength of bridging social capital: The case study of normative behavior, Latinas, and cervical cancer. Under review at Communication Research.

Zhao, N.*, Murphy, S.T., Ball-Rokeach, S.J., Frank, L.B.*, and Moran, M.B. Neighborhoods and perceived norms: Understanding the impact of neighborhoods on perceived norms and cancer screening. Under review at Health Communication.

Chen, N.-T.N.*, Moran, M.B.*, Zhao, N.*, Ball-Rokeach, S., Murphy, S.T. The effects of mass media and local communication resources on health. Under review at Communication Research.

Murphy, S.T., Hether, H.*, Frank, L.*, de Castro Buffington, S., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. Preventing cancer in primetime: Using an entertainment media to reach underserved Latinas. Under review at Social Science and Medicine.


Peer-Reviewed Articles in Preparation

Gillig, T.K.* & Murphy, S.T. Do transgender portrayals change hearts and minds?: The influence of media narratives on viewers’ attitudes toward transgender people. In preparation for submission to Sex Roles.

Chatterjee, J.S., Frank, L.B., Moran, M.B., Murphy, S.T., & Baezconde-Garabanati, L. A comparison of A comparison of women’s knowledge, attitudes and intent to vaccinate their daughters and sons against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). In preparation for submission to Pediatrics.

Gonzalez, C., Bollinger, B., Moran, M., Zhao, N., Ball-Rokeach, S.J., Murphy, S.T. Identifying links between transnational health activities and cervical cancer screening. In preparation for submission to Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health.

Moran, M.B., Unger, J., Gonzalez, C., Sutton, J., Murphy, S.T., Ball-Rokeach, S., Baezconde-Garbanati, L. How do Latina smokers differ from non-smokers? Sociocultural correlates of smoking behavior among Latinas in Los Angeles County. In preparation for submission to Ethnicity & Disease.


Book Chapters

Sangalang, A., Murphy, S.T., Cody, M. (2015). Narrative Persuasion. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Communication, Ed. Patricia Moy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chen, N.*, & Murphy, S.T. (2013). Examining the role of media coverage and trust in public health agencies in H1N1 influenza prevention. In J. Merrick & M. Lemal (Eds.), Health risk communication (43-52). New York: Nova Science.

Frank, L.B.*, Chaudhuri, S.T., Bhanot, A., & Murphy, S.T. (2011). Jasoos Vijay: Self-efficacy, collective action, and social norms in the context of an HIV and AIDS television drama. In A. Skuse, M. Gillespie, & G. Power (Eds.), Drama for development: Cultural translation and social change (201-222). New Delhi: Sage India Publications. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T. (2010). Focus Groups. Es Tiempo. Design Matters, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California (57-63).

Murphy, S.T., Wilkin, H.A.*, Cody, M.J., & Huang, G.C.* (2009). Health Messages in Primetime Television. In Kunkel, Jordan, Manganello and Fishbein (Eds.), Media Messages and Public Health: A Decisions Approach to Content Analysis (173-191). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Kennard, C. & Murphy, S.T. (2005). Characteristics of War Coverage by Female Correspondents. In Phil Seib (Ed.), Media and Conflict in the 21st Century. (127-140). Palgrave MacMillian, St. Martin’s Press.

Murphy, S.T. (2000). Feeling without thinking: Affective Primacy and the Nonconscious Processing of Emotion. In J. Bargh and D. Apsley (Eds.), Unraveling the complexities of social life. (39-53). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T. (1998). A Mile Away and a World Apart: The impact of independent interdependent views of the self on US-Mexican communications. In J. Power and T. Byrd (Eds.), US-Mexico Border Health: Issues for Regional and Migrant Populations (3-23). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T. (1998). The impact of factual versus fictional media portrayals on cultural stereotypes. In E. Katz and J.J. Strange (Eds.), The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (Vol. 560, 165-178). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Read article here.

Zajonc, R.B., Murphy, S.T., & McIntosh, D.N. (1993). Brain temperature and subjective emotional experience. Handbook of Emotion. (Chapter 15, 209-220). New York: Guilford Press.


Monographs and Reports

Huang, G.C., Murphy, S.T., de Castro Buffington, S., Nahm, S., Singer, C. & Felt, L.J.* (2010). Impact of global health topics in US television and transnational audiences. Los Angeles: California: University of Southern California, Annenberg Norman Lear Center, Hollywood, Healthy, & Society Program. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T., Hether, H.J.*, & Rideout, V.  (2008). How healthy is primetime? An analysis of health content in popular primetime television programs. A Kaiser Family Foundation Report. Read article here.

Murphy, S.T. & Cody, M.J. (2003). Developing a Research Agenda for Entertainment Education and Multicultural Audiences. Report for The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read article here.

Aarons, R., & Murphy, S.T. (2000). Lesbians and gays in the newsroom. New London, CT: Day Publishing Company.