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Debra Worthington

Debra Worthington


School Director

Communication & Journalism

Debra Worthington

Contact Me


219 Tichenor Hall

Office Hours

Monday 8:30 - 11:30 am


PhD, University of Kansas

MA, Wichita University

BA, Auburn University

About Me

Debra Worthington has been an active teacher and communication scholar for over 30 years. She is a strong advocate of active student learning. Active learning student experiences emphasize interactive and collaborative student discussions, activities, and assignments, enhanced with the strategic use of technology. Her goal is to empower students so that they take what they have learned in the classroom and use it to enrich their personal and professional lives. 

Her early research focused on psychosocial issues affecting juror decision making and courtroom communication. She eventually became interested in factors affecting juror listening. Since then, she has published numerous articles related to listening, particularly in the area of measurement and assessment. She is lead author of one of the principal textbooks in listening, Listening: Processes, Functions, and Competency, and lead editor on The Sourcebook of Listening Research:  Methodology and Measures. Her research has received multiple top paper, top convention, and top panel awards, among them are the Ralph G. Nichols Listening Award, the Burton Award for Legal Achievement, and the ILA Researcher of the Year Award. Her research has been recognized by organizations such as the American Society of Trial Consultants, the European Communication Research and Education Association, and the International Listening Association, as well as by multiple divisions of the National Communication Association, the Eastern Communication Association, and the Southern Communication Association.  In 2017, she was inducted into the International Listening Association’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her outstanding research, teaching, and service to the field of listening. She has received multiple research contracts and grants from public and private organizations and is past president of the International Listening Association. 

When she's not researching, she enjoys traveling with her family, gardening, baking (with great success and even greater failures), and playing "go fish" with the feline members of the family. 

Research Interests

effects of psycho-social and communication processes on juror decision-making, listening and information processing



  • Worthington, D. L., Bodie, G. D., & Fitch-Hauser, M. (forthcoming). Listening: Processes, Functions and Competency (3rd ed). Routledge.
  • Bodie, G. D., Worthington, D. L., & Beyene, Z. (Eds.). (2023). Listening, Community Engagement, and Peacebuilding: International Perspectives. Routledge.
  • Worthington, D. L., & Bodie G. D. (Eds.) (2020). The Handbook of Listening. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Worthington, D. , & Bodie, G. D. (Eds.) (2018). The Sourcebook of Listening Research: Methodology and Measures. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Worthington, D. L., & Fitch-Hauser, M. (2018). Listening: Processes, Functions and Competency (2nd ed).  New York: Routledge.
  • Worthington, D. L., & Bodie, G. D. (Eds.) (2017). The Sourcebook of Listening Research: Methodology and Measures. West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.

Article-length Publications

  • Worthington, D. L., Keaton, S., Imhof, M, & Valikoski, T-R. (2016). Impact of noise sensitivity on mobile phone attitudes and behaviors. Mobile Media and Communication, 4, 3-18.
  • Worthington, D. L., & Levasseur, D. (2015). To provide or not to provide course PowerPoint slides: The impact of instructor-provided slides upon student attendance and performance. Computers & Education, 85, 14–22.
  • Worthington, D. L., Keaton, S., Cook, J., Fitch-Hauser, M., &. Powers, W. G. (2014). A comparative analysis of Hispanic and Anglo-American listening comprehension ability as measured by the Watson-Barker listening test. Journal of Research in Education, 24, 192-203.
  • Bodie, G. D., Worthington, D. L., & Gearhart, C. G. (2013). The listening styles profile-revised (LSP-R): A scale revision and evidence for validity. Communication Quarterly, 61, 75–93.
  • Worthington, D. L, Valikoski, T., Fitch-Hauser, M., Imhof, M., & Kim, S. (2012). Listening and privacy management in cell phone conversations among young adults: A cross cultural Comparison of Finnish, German, Korean, & U.S. American students. Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication, 3, 43-60.
  • Bodie, G., & Worthington, D. L. (2010). Revisiting the Listening Style Profile (LSP-16):  A confirmatory factor analytic approach to scale validation and reliability estimation. International Listening Journal, 24, 69-88

Courses Taught

  • COMM 2410: Small Group Communication
  • COMM 3110: Persuasive Discourse
  • COMM 4470: Health Communication
  • COMM 4700: Legal Communication
  • COMM 4800: Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 4970: Special Topics: Health Message and Design
  • COMM 4970: Special Topics: Health and Media
  • COMM 7000: Communication Theory
  • COMM 7020: Empirical Approaches to Communication Research
  • COMM 7420: Seminar in Persuasion and Attitude Change
  • COMM 7970: Seminar in Instructional Communication