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Josh Averbeck

313 Memorial Hall
(309) 298-1059
Personal Webpage: Averbeck's Personal Website

Josh Averbeck is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Western Illinois University. He started with graduate career here at Western Illinois University then completed a Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Oklahoma. Josh primarily teaches courses in the persuasion track of the major.

Josh's work has been published in Communication Monographs, Journal of Communication, and Human Communication research. He has two primary areas of research that often intersect. The first is language expectations and persuasiveness. These projects seek to expand Language Expectancy Theory by examining the predictors and outcomes of particular language expectancy. Linguistic complexity, semantic complexity, sidedness, and affect are some of the language variables used in these projects.

The other area of research is ironic message production and processing. Ironic messages are common in our interactions and serve an important persuasive function. I look at what motivates us to produce ironic messages and what condition affect ironic message reception.

Current Projects

The first is a collaboration with a hospital nursing staff to examine the language nurses use in order to design teaching tools to improve nurse-patient communication. Data analysis will involve coding and comparisons of communication satisfaction scores.

Irony and dissonance will be examined in the other project. Ironic messages consist of counterattitudinal content. Typically, such content could arouse dissonance. Positive and negative ironic messages will be compared to literal messages to discover whether irony is a mechanism to minimize dissonance and maximize persuasive outcomes.


Ph.D. in Communication, University of Oklahoma - 2011
M.A. in Communication, Western Illinois University - 2007
B.A. in General Science, North Central College – 2004

Teaching Areas

Health Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Research Methods

Research Interests

Persuasive Message Design
Language Use
Language Expectations
Message Processing




Josh Averbeck