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Accomplished media psychologist joins Cronkite School faculty

Portrait of new ASU Cronkite facutly member Ashley Landrum.

Cronkite Associate Professor Asheley R. Landrum

September 06, 2023

Asheley R. Landrum, a renowned media psychologist who studies how the public interacts with science communication, has joined Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as an associate professor. 

Landrum is one of the foremost experts in examining science conspiracy theories, engagement with science media, epistemic trust, media psychology, the public’s understanding of science, science curiosity, and science and health misinformation.

Her research has delved into how people’s values and worldviews influence how they select and process science information from childhood into adulthood. 

“Asheley is an established researcher who has done phenomenal work examining how people respond to science communication and misinformation,” said Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. “She will serve as a valuable asset to the entire Cronkite community and will help us advance our understanding of these issues.”

Landrum will begin her role at the school with work that examines the relationship between generative AI and climate misinformation; she will also teach courses in misinformation and strategic communication.

“I earned my PhD in psychological sciences, and my driving question — before I even started graduate school — was and still is ‘Why do people believe weird things?’” Landrum said. “So throughout my 15 years conducting research, I’ve looked at different factors, from the experts that people trust for information to the sources from which they get that information.”

Landrum was drawn to the Cronkite School for its expertise in media literacy (including its BA in digital media literacy and the school’s News Co/Lab) and potential research opportunities.

“I’m really excited to help continue to build the research presence of the school,” she said.

Landrum previously worked at Texas Tech University’s College of Media and Communication, where she served as assistant professor, associate professor and interim assistant dean for research. Prior to Texas Tech, Landrum was the Howard Deshong Postdoctoral Fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s consensus panel: Understanding and Addressing Misinformation about Science.

Landrum received her PhD in psychological sciences and a Master of Science in applied cognition and neuroscience from The University of Texas at Dallas. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and English with a minor in biology from The University of Texas at Austin.

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