Jon D. Morris, Ph.D.

Professor of Advertising

College of Journalism and Communications

2016 Awardee

Jon Morris uses three-dimensional emotional theory to examine emotional response in advertising and marketing communication.

Morris and his colleagues developed AdSAM, the Attitude Self-Assessment Manikin process, from the original SAM, which uses a visual technique to evaluate emotional responses. The tool evaluates emotional states by measuring three dimensions: appeal, engagement and empowerment.

“Utilizing AdSAM, I have conducted academic research that focuses on improving the understanding, usefulness and applicability of marketing communications and advertising by understanding the relationship between emotion and behavior,” Morris said.

Morris collaborated with Dr. Yujin Liu from the McKnight Brain Institute at UF to develop a method that identifies the three dimensions of emotional response in the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The project was funded by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and results have been published in Human Brain Mapping and in The Journal of Advertising Research.

“The fMRI emotion project is in its infancy,” he said. “As this process is developed, it has the potential to offer contributions to the fields of health communications, interpersonal communications, mental health, business and more.”

Morris has published his research for public understanding as well as academia. He has written chapters in The Handbook of Advertising, Fit for the Global Future and The Electronic Election. He has written articles for The Conversation, a journal featuring research news for the public, and he was featured on a radio segment called the “Academic Minute” that was broadcast by 40 public radio stations.

Morris works collaboratively with colleagues in the College of Journalism and Communications and across campus. Morris and one of his Ph.D. students are currently working on new research alongside an ophthalmologist at UF’s College of Medicine to measure eye tracking and emotional response.