Professor Russell is a leading researcher at the intersection of entertainment and marketing. She is keenly interested in how people consume stories: narrative processing (including biometric studies to assess cognitive processing), narrative persuasion (the ability of stories, and messages therein, to persuade), the experience of narratives (how and why people enjoy reading and re-reading stories; or what happens when a narrative ends), and the use of narratives methodologically to understand lived experiences and identify processes such as resilience or addiction.
She has published over 60 academic articles in business journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research or the Journal of Advertising as well as health and prevention-focused journals such as the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Addiction and Psychological Services. She has received funding for her research on the nature and impact on youth of substance messages in entertainment through grants from the United States’ National Institutes of Health and France’s Institut National du Cancer. She speaks at public policy, health and prevention research conferences as well as at advertising and entertainment academic conferences internationally. In 2018, she was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship from the European Union for a project on media literacy for at-risk youth.