Compton wins "Top Paper" Prize

The Institute's Josh Compton has won a “Top Paper” distinction from the Communication Apprehension and Competence Division of the National Communication Association.

The paper, “Re-thinking anxiety: Using inoculation messages to reduce and reinterpret public speaking fears,” authored with Ben Jackson (University of Western Australia-Perth), Ashleigh Thornton (University of Western Australia-Perth), and James Dimmock (University of Western Australia-Perth) tested inoculation-based messages as a way to alleviate damaging public speaking anxiety of college students prior to and during an in-class presentation. Inoculation not only reduced student levels of public speaking anxiety, but also helped the students to re-frame what anxiety remained as more productive and useful for the speakers.

“I am very excited by these findings," Compton writes. "Most good public speakers have anxiety about their speeches, so it’s not only unreasonable but probably unwise to set a goal of completely eliminating all anxiety. These inoculation messages, then, did something pretty remarkable—reduced negative anxiety and then re-channeled what was left toward something much more productive.”