Mason Doctoral Student

Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Communication
George Mason University


Justin is a doctoral student and Presidential Scholar in the Department of Communication at George Mason University. His general research interests include persuasion, behavior change, statistical methods, message design, and framing.

Some of his specific areas of inquiry include the influence of political identity, lifestyle changes, and adaptation discourse on global warming beliefs and behaviors.

He is currently exploring ways to expand the analytical potential of the Center’s Six Americas climate change audience segments. Through the geographic location of the Center’s survey participants, he is working to link their beliefs with factors such as regional climate impacts, transportation options, and weather patterns.

Another strand of Justin’s research focuses on how personal lifestyle changes influence further behavior. For instance, how can communicators effectively encourage people to scaffold from one behavior change to another one, or convey both the need for personal behavior change and also systemic societal policy shifts? Through experimental research during his Master’s program, Justin found that news framing of compact fluorescent light bulb use could influence mental associative networks and the salience of social policy in environmental thinking.

In his spare time, Justin enjoys hiking, climbing, cycling and vegan cooking.


MA (’10), Communication, University of Washington
BA (’04) with General Honors, Political Science, University of Chicago

Selected Publications:

Does Green Behavior Spill Over? The Role of Media in Snowballing Change. Paper presented at the Conference on Communication and the Environment (COCE), El Paso, June 2011.

The Framing of Lifestyle Politics: Can Personal Messages Promote Collective Action? Paper presented at the International Communication Association Conference, Boston, May, 2011.

Development and Testing of an Instrument to Assess Organization’s Use of
Strategic Communication (with M. Weathers, P. Baldwin, C. Botan, J. Graf, E. Maibach, J. Thaker, and K Ticknor). Paper presented at the International Communication Association Conference, Boston, May, 2011.