Zachary Massey

Assistant Professor

Areas of Expertise
  • Communication regulatory science
  • Public Health
  • Health Communication
  • Science Communication

Zachary Massey’s research investigates how strategic science communication can improve public health and wellness. This research focuses on three areas:

  1. Developing and testing warning messages to promote health behaviors and warn about health risks.
  2. Researching social influences to understand how social context impacts individual behavior.
  3. Conducting media intervention research designed to improve decision-making.  

Dr. Massey is a team scientist with experience working on multi-disciplinary research projects. He earned a Ph.D. in 2019 from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied health communication and persuasion. In 2021, Dr. Massey completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Georgia State University School of Public Health. As a postdoc, he worked on projects funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and collaborated on projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Massey joined the Missouri School of Journalism in 2021 as an Assistant Professor in Strategic Communication.

Dr. Massey uses qualitative and quantitative methods. He has published in high-impact journals in areas related to his research program, including public policy (e.g., International Journal of Drug Policy), research methods (e.g., Communication Methods and Measures), and theory development (e.g., Journal of Media Psychology). He directs the Science Communication and Health Lab at the University of Missouri. Dr. Massey is the principal investigator on a K01 award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Past works can be found at the following sites: 

5 Recent Representative Publications 

Popova, L., Massey, Z. B., & Giordano, N. A. (Accepted for publication). Warning labels as a public health intervention: Effects and challenges for tobacco, cannabis, and opioid medications. Annual Review of Public Health.

Massey, Z. B. & Cionea, I. A. (2023). A new scale for measuring identity insecurity. Communication Methods and Measures, 17(1), 40-58.

Massey, Z. B., Duong, H. T., Churchill, V., & Popova, L. (2022). Examining smokers’ reactions to smoking and COVID-19 risk messages: An experimental study. International Journal of Drug Policy102, 103607. 

Bessarabova E. B. & Massey, Z. B. (2023). The effects of death awareness and reactance on texting-and-driving prevention. Risk Analysis. 00, 1-13.

Churchill, V., Fairman, R. T., Brown, D., Massey, Z. B., Ashley, D. L., & Popova, L. (2023). “I get the flavors and it makes me love vaping more”: How and why youth users modify electronic nicotine delivery systems. 25(11), 1791–1797. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Updated: January 9, 2024