College Directory

Frank Waddell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Department of Journalism

Office: 3067 Weimer Phone: 352-294-1627 Email:


Dr. T. Franklin Waddell is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications.

His current research interests are at the intersection of new technology and online storytelling including work related to automated news, the psychology of online comments, and the effects of social television.

Dr. Waddell’s research has been published in a variety of journals including first author articles at Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, New Media & Society, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Communication Monographs, Digital Journalism, Journalism Studies, Electronic News, Journal of Media PsychologyInternational Journal of CommunicationPsychology of Popular Media CultureCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, and ACM CHI, among other outlets. His work has also earned top paper honors at divisions of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr, Waddell teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in research methods, communication theory, and mass communication statistics. In 2017, he was awarded for “Outstanding Service on Behalf of Graduate & Professional Students” by the University of Florida Graduate Student Council. In 2018, he was awarded the “Excellence Award for Assistant Professors” at the University of Florida.

Areas of Expertise

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Communication Technology, Disinformation / Misinformation, Media Psychology and Media Effects, Trust


Ph.D., Mass Communication, Pennsylvania State University, 2016
M.A., Communication, Virginia Tech, 2012
B.A., Communication, Virginia Tech, 2010



Sample Publications

Huang, Y., & Waddell, T. F. (Forthcoming). The impact of ad customization and content transportation on the effectiveness of online video advertising. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising.

Lanier, M., Waddell, T. F., Tamul, D., Elson, M., Ivory, J. D., & Przybylski, A. (Forthcoming). Virtual reality check: Statistical power, reported results, and the validity of research on the psychology of virtual reality and immersive environments. Computers in Human Behavior. doi:

Waddell, T. F. (Forthcoming). When inspiration comes with baggage: How prior moral transgressions affect feelings of elevation and disgust. Communication Research Reports. doi: 10.1080/08824096.2019.1641479

Waddell, T. F., Bailey, E., Weber, M., Ivory, J. D., & Downs, E. (Forthcoming). When media violence awakens our better nature: The effect of unpleasant violence on reactivity toward and enjoyment of media violence. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.

Waddell, T. F. (Forthcoming). Attribution practices for the man-machine marriage: How perceived human intervention, automation metaphors, and byline location affect the perceived bias and credibility of purportedly automated content. Journalism Practice. doi: 10.1080/17512786.2019.1585197​

Waddell, T. F. (Forthcoming). Can an algorithm reduce the perceived bias of news? Testing the effect of machine attribution on news readers’ evaluations of bias, anthropomorphism, and credibility. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

Waddell, T. F. (2018). When comments and quotes collide: How exemplars and prior attitudes affect news credibility. Journalism Studies. doi: 10.1080/1461670X.2018.1533415

Waddell, T. F. (2018). The authentic (and angry) audience: How comment authenticity and sentiment impact news evaluation. Digital Journalism. doi: 10.1080/21670811.2018.1490656​

Waddell, T. F. (2018). A robot wrote this? How perceived machine authorship affects news credibility. Digital Journalism. doi: 10.1080/21670811.2017.1384319

Waddell, T. F. (2017). This tweet brought to you by a journalist: How comment gatekeeping influences online news credibility. Electronic News.

Waddell, T. F. (2017). What does the crowd think? How online comments and popularity metrics affect news credibility and issue importance. New Media & Society.

Waddell, T. F., & Bailey, A. (2017). Inspired by the crowd: The effect of online comments on elevation and universal orientation. Communication Monographs. doi: 10.1080/03637751.2017.1369137

Waddell, T. F. (2017). The effect of counter-exemplars and victim expectations on crime perceptions and hostile attitudes towards racial minorities. International Journal of Communication.

Waddell, T. F., & Bailey, E. (2017). Is social television the “anti-laugh track?” Testing the effect of negative comments and canned laughter on comedy reception. Psychology of Popular Media Culture.

Waddell, T. F., & Sundar, S. S. (2017). #thisshowsucks! The overpowering influence of negative social media comments on television viewers. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.

Waddell, T. F., Bailey, E., & Davis, S. E. (2017). Does elevation reduce viewers’ enjoyment of media violence? Testing the intervention potential of inspiring media. Journal of Media Psychology. doi:

Waddell, T. F. (2016). The allure of privacy or the desire for self-expression? Identifying users’ gratifications for ephemeral, photograph-based communication. Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19(7), 441-445. doi: doi:10.1089/cyber.2015.0677

Waddell, T. F., & Ivory, J. D. (2015). It’s not easy trying to be one of the guys: The effect of avatar attractiveness, avatar sex, and user sex on the success of help-seeking requests in an online game. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59(1), 112-129. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2014.9982 21.

Waddell, T. F., Sundar, S. S., & Auriemma, J. (2015). Can customizing an avatar motivate exercise intentions and health behaviors among those with low health ideals? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 18(11), 687-690. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2014.0356


Research Keywords

Online News, Automated Journalism, Social Television, Media Violence

Research Areas

  • Media Effects, Media Psychology