Dr. Bailey’s research uses experimental and psychophysiological methods to study the dynamics of complex human media interactions. Her research program seeks to discover and explicate the complex interactions between relevant individual, environmental and media characteristics during media use which have significant downstream effects on important human behaviors (e.g. learning, decision making, behavior change and enjoyment). Much of her research program is rooted in biological and evolutionary perspectives including embodied, situated cognition and motivated cognition.

Much of her current research focuses on how differences in the portrayal of food in food advertisements interact with individual differences (e.g. diet, current hunger, eating motivations, and motivational reactivity) to alter dynamic processing, attitudes toward different types of foods and behavioral choices of what to consume. However, she is also developing work examining other biologically relevant communication phenomena such as the perception of procedural justice in police body-worn camera social media footage and how sexual resource constraints affect attraction perception and mate choice in online dating contexts.

Dr. Bailey is also the director of the Communication Emotion and Cognition Lab. The mission of this laboratory is to examine how biologically, psychologically and sociologically relevant factors interact to affect how individuals cognitively and emotional process and respond to different types of information in various contexts.

She is affiliated with the Murrow Center for Media and Health Promotion Research.


Dr. Bailey teaches undergraduate strategic communication classes and graduate level classes in media psychology and psychophysiological methods.

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Bailey currently teaches Principles of Advertising (ComStrat 380), Message Design for Communication Campaigns (ComStrat 477), and Media Planning (ComStrat 382).

At the graduate level, Dr. Bailey has taught seminars in media psychology with an emphasis in biological approaches to communication and psychophysiological methods applied to communication research.

Professional Experience

Prior to joining the faculty at The Murrow College, Dr. Bailey worked as a researcher for a small research company exclusively contracted to Disney Media Networks. She worked setting up the biometric laboratory in their facilities and conducted research examining the effectiveness of different ad models for ABC, ESPN and other Disney-owned media outlets.

Dr. Bailey has also been contracted to set up and conduct training for other psychophysiological laboratories across the country.

Selected Publications

Bailey, R.L. (In Press). Modern foraging: Availability of food and current hunger influence motivational processing of food advertisements. Appetite.

Bailey, R. L. & Wang, T. (In Press). Motivated processing of fear appeal messages in obesity prevention videos. Health Communication

Bailey, R. L. (In Press). Influencing Eating Choices: Biological Food Cues in Advertising and Packaging Alter Trajectories of Decision-Making and Behavior. Health Communication.

Park, B. & Bailey, R.L. (In Press). Application of Information Introduced to dynamic message processing and enjoyment. Journal of Media Psychology.

Yegiyan, N. & Bailey, R.L. (2016). Food as risk: How eating habits and food knowledge affect reactivity to pictures of junk and healthy foods. Health Communication, 31(5), 635-642.

Koruth, J. K., Lang, A., Potter, R.F., & Bailey, R.L. (2015). A comparative analysis of dynamic and static indicators of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system activation during TV viewing. Communication Methods and Measures, 9(1), 78-100. Special Issue on Evolution, Biology and Brains- Methodological Innovations in Communication Science

Lang, A., Bailey, R. L., & Connolly, S. (2015). Encoding systems and evolved message processing: Pictures enable action, words enable thinking. Media and Communication, 3(1).

Bailey, R.L. (2015). Processing food advertisements: Initial biological responses matter. Communication Monographs, 82(1), 163-178. Special Issue on Biological Approaches to Communication

Bailey, R.L., Potter, R.F., Lang, A., & Pisoni, D.B. (2015). Modulating executive functioing: Trait motivational reactivity and resting HRV Cognition & Emotion, 29(2), 138-145.

Lang, A., & Bailey, R.L. (2015). Understanding information selection and encoding for a dynamic, energy saving, evolved, embodied, embedded perspective. Human Communication Research, 41(1), 1-20.

Lang, A., Gao, Y., Potter, R., Lee, S., Park, B., & Bailey, R. L. (2015). Conceptualizing audio message complexity as available processing resources. Communication Research, 42(6), 759-778.

Bailey, R.L., Fox, J.R., Grabe, M.E., (2013). The influence of message and audience characteristics on TV news grazing behavior. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 57(3), 318-337. *Alphabetical authorship

Norris, R. L., Bailey, R.L., Bolls, P.D., & Wise, K.R. (2012). Effects of emotional tone and visual complexity on processing health Information in prescription drug advertising. Health Communication, 27(1), 42-48.

Bailey, R. L., Wise, K., R. & Bolls, P. D. (2009). How avatar customizability affects children’s arousal and subjective presence during junk food-sponsored online video games. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(3), 277-283.

Recent Grants

2016 WSU Grand Challenges Seed Grant Competition: Procedural Justice in Police-Community Interactions, $52,023
2015 WSU New Faculty Seed Grant: Using Biological Predispositions for Healthy Advantages in Food Choice, $20,050
2014 WSU CAHNRS Research Initiative for Human Sciences: Effect of the Use of Child-Centered Phrases on Young Children’s Liking and Consumption of Healthy Foods, $33,500

Selected Honors

ComGrad Award for Outstanding Mentorship, Washington State University, 2015
Rossy Award for Outstanding Mentorship, Washington State University, 2014
College of Arts & Sciences Dissertation Fellowship ($10,000), Indiana University, 2013
Top Student Paper, Information Systems Division, International Communication Association 2012
Top 3 Faculty Paper, Information Systems Division, International Communication Association 2011