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James D Robinson

Professor Emeritus


College of Arts and Sciences: Communication


Email: James D Robinson


  • Ph.D., Purdue University, 1982
  • M.A., West Virginia University, 1979
  • B.A., University of the Pacific, 1978
  • A.A., West Valley College, 1976


Dr. James D. Robinson's scholarship focused on the way things are portrayed in the media. He examined TV portrayals of a variety of topics including aging, religiosity, family configurations sexual harassment and marriage. More recently, his work focused on how audience members use information found in the media to help them deal with illnesses including type II diabetes and cancer. His research has been published in numerous top journals, such as Journalism Quarterly, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Sex Roles, Health Communication, Journal of Broadcasting, Sociology of Religion and more.

Dr. Robinson served on the editorial board of many journals, including Journal of Communication, Communication Quarterly, Communication Education, and Communication Research Reports. He is currently on the editorial board of Health Communication. He has served as a manuscript reviewer for many of our field's top journals, and has served UD as our department's Director of Graduate Studies for many years.

Research interests

  • Social influence theory
  • Media portrayals, media effects, media use
  • Health communication

Selected publications

Tian, Y., & Robinson, J. D. (2008). "Media use and health information seeking: An empirical test of complementarity theory." Health Communication, 23(2), 184-190.

Tian, Y., & Robinson, J. D. (2008). "Incidental health information use and media complementarity: A comparison of senior and non-senior cancer patients." Patient Education and Counseling, 71(3), 340-344.

Thompson, T.L., Robinson, J. D., & Kenny, R. W. (2004). "Family conversations about organ donation." Progress in Transplantation, 14(1), 49-55.

Turner, J.W., Robinson, J. D., Alaoui, A., Winchester, J., Neustadtl, A., Levine, B., Collmann, J., & Mun, S. K. (2003) "Media attitudes vs. media use: Understanding the contribution of context to the communication environment of telemedicine interactions." Health Care Management Review. 28(2), 95-106.

Thompson, T., Robinson, J. D., & Kenny, R. (2003). "Gender differences in family conversations about organ donation." Sex Roles, 49, 587-596.