Skip to main content

Elisabeth Bigsby

Profile picture for Elisabeth Bigsby

Contact Information

3001 Lincoln Hall, 702 South Wright Street Urbana, IL 61801
Associate Professor


Elisabeth Bigsby studies persuasive health and environmental messages, such as anti-smoking campaigns, with a particular interest in how message features influence how people perceive and process those messages. Dr. Bigsby's overall goal is to understand why messages succeed or fail, and thus contribute to best practices in designing persuasive messages.

Prior to UIUC, Dr. Bigsby held positions at Northeastern University in Boston and the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.  Before completing her graduate studies, Dr. Bigsby spent three years working in the not-for-profit sector, including one year as an AmeriCorps volunteer. 

Research Interests

Health Communication
Message Effects
Information Acquisition


Ph.D., Communication, University of Georgia
M.A., Health Communication, Michigan State University
B.A., Communication, Michigan State University

Awards and Honors

Illinois Foundations Fellow, Fall 2020

Courses Taught

CMN 345: Visual Media Effects
CMN 421: Persuasion Theory & Research
CMN 529: Message Design & Effects

CMN 529: Meta-Analysis in Communication
CMN 595: eHealth (HCOM)

Additional Campus Affiliations

Associate Professor, Communication

Recent Publications

Hovick, S. R., Rhodes, N., Bigsby, E., Thomas, S., & Freiberger, N. (2023). Exploring direct and indirect predictors of heart disease information seeking. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 16(1), 21-29.

Bigsby, E., & Morrow, E. (2022). Health Messaging During a Pandemic: How Information Type and Individual Factors Influence Responses to COVID-19 Messages. American Behavioral Scientist. Advance online publication.

Bigsby, E., Hovick, S. R., Tan, N. Q. P., Thomas, S. N., & Wilson, S. R. (2022). Information Seeking and Risk Reduction Intentions in Response to Environmental Threat Messages: The Role of Message Processing. Risk Analysis, 42(10), 2160-2175.

Bigsby, E., & Albarracín, D. (2022). Self- and Response Efficacy Information in Fear Appeals: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Communication, 72(2), 241-263.

Hovick, S. R., Bigsby, E., Wilson, S. R., & Thomas, S. (2021). Information Seeking Behaviors and Intentions in Response to Environmental Health Risk Messages: A Test of A Reduced Risk Information Seeking Model. Health communication, 36(14), 1889-1897.

View all publications on Illinois Experts