|Richard M. Perloff, Professor of Communication, is a scholar of persuasion and political communication perceptions and effects. The author of academic textbooks on persuasion and political communication, as well as theoretical review articles on mass communication, he holds a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science.
Professor Perloff teaches the popular persuasion course, classes in political communication and mass media and society, and the graduate persuasion course, a mainstay in the graduate curriculum since the 1980s. He enjoys teaching immensely and is known as an enthusiastic, energetic professor.
As a scholar, one of his emphases has been the intersection between social psychology and mass mediated communication. In his textbook, The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes in the 21st Century, (5th ed. published in 2014), he offered a scholarly and accessible introduction to core issues in the field, including definitions (persuasion, coercion, attitudes, the myth of brainwashing), the nature of attitudes, social psychological and communication theories of persuasion, and applications to advertising and health campaigns. The book, named as an Outstanding Book by Choice when it was first published in 1993, is a major scholarly textbook on persuasion.
Professor Perloff is well-known in academic circles for his work on the third-person effect, the perception that mass communication exerts a stronger impact on others than the self. As a result of this work and leadership in the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR), Perloff was named a MAPOR Fellow in 2003.
In addition to the third-person effect reviews, Professor Perloff wrote a theoretical rejoinder and statement about the role of theory in mass communication that appeared in the November, 2013 issue of the journal, Communication Theory. In 2014 the article received the Amsterdam School of Communication Research McQuail Award for the best article advancing communication theory that was published in a peer-reviewed journal the previous year. Another of his theoretical articles, this concerned with social media impact on women¿s body image concerns, appeared in the interdisciplinary journal, Sex Roles.
He has written other scholarly textbooks, including Political Communication: Politics, Press, and Public in America, published in 1998, and The Dynamics of Political Communication: Media and Politics in a Digital Age, published in 2014.
Professor Perloff grew up in Chicago and West Lafayette Indiana, famously dubbed in the 1960s ¿the hotbed of student rest.¿ He did his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan (serving as an editorial page editor of The Michigan Daily), received a Master¿s from the University of Pittsburgh, a doctorate in mass communications from the University of Wisconsin, and a postdoctoral fellowship in social psychology and communication from Ohio State University.
His writing for the popular press includes letters to The New York Times and The New Yorker applying communication concepts and the third-person effect to political and media controversies, as well as a number of journalistic features. These include articles on the 50th anniversary of the Eichmann trial and a two-part series on two young adults¿ discovery of Orthodox Judaism for The Cleveland Jewish News, and on wheelchair basketball for Cleveland Scene. The features won awards from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists and the Press Club of Cleveland respectively.
A long-time member of the communication faculty at Cleveland State University, he served as chair and founding director of the School of Communication from 2003 to 2011, shepherding through three new undergraduate majors and a Ph.D. track. He has been on the Cleveland State communication faculty for more than 35 years. Professor Perloff is, in addition, an early morning swimmer, daily newspaper reader, and morning devotee of black coffee, bagel, and yogurt.