Daniel O’Keefe

My work focuses on persuasion—how and why persuasive messages have the effects they do. I have taken up the project of organizing and synthesizing the substantial body of social-scientific research on the effects of messages on persuasion and hence addressing the distinctive problems associated with the development of dependable generalizations about persuasive message effects.


  • Ph.D., Speech Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • A.M., Speech, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • A.B., Speech (Psychology Minor), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (with High College Honors and Departmental Distinction)

Selected Publications

O'Keefe, D. J. (2013). The relative persuasiveness of different message types does not vary as a function of the persuasive outcome assessed: Evidence from 29 meta-analyses of 2,062 effect sizes for 13 message variations. Annals of the International Communication Association, 37, 221-249. 

O'Keefe, D. J. (2015). Message generalizations that support evidence-based persuasive message design: Specifying the evidentiary requirementsHealth Communication, 30, 106-113. 

O'Keefe, D. J. (2016). Persuasion: Theory and research (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.

O’Keefe, D. J. (2018). Message pretesting using assessments of expected or perceived persuasiveness: Evidence about diagnosticity of relative actual persuasiveness. Journal of Communication, 68(1), 120-142. 

O’Keefe, D. J. (2020). Message pretesting using perceived persuasiveness measures: Reconsidering the correlational evidence. Communication Methods and Measures, 14(1), 25-37. 

O’Keefe, D. J. (2021). Persuasive message pretesting using non-behavioral outcomes: Differences in attitudinal and intention effects as diagnostic of differences in behavioral effects. Journal of Communication, 71(4), 623-645. 

O’Keefe, D. J., & Hoeken, H. (2021). Message design choices don’t make much difference to persuasiveness and can’t be counted on—not even when moderating conditions are specified. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 2533.

Recent Awards and Honors

  • 2022: John E. Hunter Meta-Analysis Award, Information Systems Division, International Communication Association
  • 2020: Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award, Health Communication Division, National Communication Association
  • 2019: Innovation in Method Award, Mass Communication Division, International Communication Association
  • 2018: Fellow, International Communication Association
  • 2016, Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence
  • 2010, Galbut Outstanding Faculty Award
  • 2008, Article of the Year Award, Health Communication Division, National Communication Association
  • 2005, Distinguished Scholar Award, Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division, National Communication Association
  • 2004, Best Article Award, International Communication Association
  • 2002, Distinguished Research Award, International Society for the Study of Argumentation