Timothy R. Levine, PhD


Timothy R. Levine is a Professor in the Department of Communication at Michigan State University where his wife (Dr. Hee Sun Park) is also on the faculty. Prior to MSU, Dr. Levine held appointments at University of Hawaii, Manoa and Indiana University, Bloomington. He has been on the faculty at MSU since 1999.


Born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, he obtained his BS in Psychology from Northern Arizona University in 1985, his MA in Communication from West Virginia University in 1986, and Ph.D. in 1992 from MSU. At WVU, he studied under Buddy Wheeless and Jim McCroskey, and at MSU under Frank Boster, Gerald Miller, Jack Hunter, and Steve McCornack. The influence of each of these mentors can be seen in his research. Boster directed Levine’s dissertation, a behavioral experiment examining the effects of social power on compliance-gaining message use and subsequent message effectiveness.


Dr. Levine’s research interests are diverse, and he has sustained programs of research on interpersonal communication, communication and personal relationships, persuasion and social influence, intercultural communication, communication traits, and measurement validation. He is perhaps most well known for his work on deception and deception detection. He has led teams looking at the “probing effect” and “veracity effect” and is co-author of Information Manipulation Theory and the Park-Levine Probability Model of Deception Detection. He is currently working on a new theory of deception called Truth Default Theory. Curiosity about communication processes has led Dr. Levine to publish more than 100 refereed articles in main stream communication journals, and among these, 38 articles in Communication Monographs and Human Communication Research. Levine’s research on deception has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Selected articles can be found here.


Always adapting a quantitative, scientific approach to research, Dr. Levine’s research is methodologically diverse. He is most proud of his elegant experimental designs. He prefers simple, focused, and tightly controlled experiments that maximize internal, measurement, and ecological validity producing results that replicate. Levine also has published open- and closed-ended questionnaire research, observational research involving behavioral coding, experimental and quasi-experimental program evaluations, meta-analyses, measurement validation studies, Monte Carlo simulations, tests of mathematical models, formative qualitative research, and methodological rants. The history and philosophy of statistical significance testing is a more recent methodological interest of Dr. Levine’s.


Dr. Levine teaches undergraduate classes in persuasion, argumentation, and communication and relationships. He teaches in the doctoral core at MSU and covers classes on theory building, research design, and measurement, as well as graduate seminars on deception and research classics. Levine is active in advising both MA and PhD students.


Dr. Levine was a founding Associate Editor of Communication Methods and Measures journal and Dr. Levine is currently serving on numerous editorial boards. He has been an associate editor for Human Communication Research and Communication Research Reports. He is also very active in university service, participating in several standing and ad hoc committees.