410.650.01 | AY 2012-2013 - 2nd Term | 4 Credit(s)
MW 1:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    Rajiv Rimal
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Information not required for this course type

  • Course Description
    Readings, lectures, discussions, and exercises prepare students to apply selected social-psychological and health communication theories and research to the development of effective health messages. Emphasizes critical thinking skills in analyzing core elements of persuasive communication and the applicability of social science theory to health campaigns. Also emphasizes theory. It is designed with the old adage that there is nothing more practical than a good theory. Although the application of theory in designing effective messages is an important element of the course, the primary focus is on understanding various theoretical approaches to effective message design, cognitive processing, and attitude change.
  • Intended Audience
    Undergraduates with prior exposure to and further interest in social psychology; Master’s students with an interest in understanding how theory informs message design; Ph.D. students interested in health communication research.
  • Methods of Assessment
    Student evaluation based on an exam and a final project.
  • Prerequisites
    Previous course in psychology, preferably social psychology, required of undergraduates

    Additional Faculty Notes:
    If you are an undergraduate student registered in this course, please confirm with me ( that you fulfill the prerequisites. Otherwise, you may not receive a grade.

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    • Cialdini, R.C. (2009). Influence: Science and practice (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
    • Perloff, R. M. (2007). The dynamics of persuasion: Communication and attitudes in the 21st century  (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    • Additional readings



  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Welcome Message

    Undergraduate students: Please obtain permission from the instructor (send email to Dr. Rimal, before registering in order to determine whether you meet the prerequisites. Otherwise, you may not receive a grade for the course.

  • Course topics

    Refer to syllabus

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at