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Professor of Communication and Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication, The Ohio State University

I received my Ph.D. in 1989 from the University of Missouri. I am a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, where I hold the Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication. I also am a professor of communication science at the VU University Amsterdam, where I teach and do research in the summer. Previously, I was a professor at Iowa State University (1990-2003) and at the University of Michigan (2003-2010). I am an Associate Editor for the scientific journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. For over 30 years I have studied the causes, consequences, and solutions to the problem of human aggression and violence. In the wake of the Newtown shooting, I co-chaired an advisory committee to the National Science Foundation on youth violence. Our committee published a report on youth violence that was distributed to each member of Congress and to each state Governor. I testified before Congress on the contents of this report. An article that extends this report was published in American Psychologist. I was a member of President Obama’s committee on gun violence. I received the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Media Psychology and Technology Award from the American Psychological Association in 2014. I received the Kurt Lewin Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues for “outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action” (jointly with Craig Anderson) in 2017. (The list of past winners of the Kurt Lewin Award is like a Who’s Who of social scientists, including a Nobel Prize winner — Gunnar Myrdal in 1952. My academic grandfather, Daniel Katz, won it in 1966.) I will give a G. Stanley Hall Lecture at the American Psychological Association meeting in 2018. (The list of past lectures includes one by my academic father — Russell G. Geen in 1983.) I have published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, which have been cited over 50,000 times (ranked #2 among communication scholars). My research has challenged several myths (e.g., guns make people safer, mentally ill people are violent, violent media have a trivial effect on aggression, venting anger reduces aggression, violent people suffer from low self-esteem, violence and sex sell products, media warning labels reduce audience size). One of my colleagues even calls me the “myth buster.” My research has been repeatedly funded by federal grants (e.g., NSF, NIH), has been published in the top scientific journals (e.g., Science, PNAS), and has been featured extensively in the mass media (e.g., BBC, New York Times).


  • –present
    Professor of Communication and Psychology, Ohio State University