Persuasive communication

Centre for Language Studies | Faculty of Arts | Radboud University Nijmegen

Lettica Hustinx

Assistant Professor


Lettica studied Dutch language and culture in Nijmegen and graduated on psycholinguistics. In 1996 she got her PhD (in psycholinguistics) on topic shift markers in texts at the Radboud University Nijmegen. After a number of research projects and a part time position as a lecturer at Tilburg University, she was appointed as an assistant professor in discourse studies at the Dutch Language and Culture department as well as at the department of Communication and Information Sciences at the Radboud University Nijmegen.


Currently, Lettica focuses on persuasive messages in text, with a main interest in how linguistic features influence the persuasion process and the beliefs and opinions of readers. A number of research lines can be distinguished. A first line aims at establishing effects of exemplars, i.e. vividly written stories in which the probability or desirability of a cause or consequence of an event is illustrated. A second line of research investigates the role of language style, such as vividness, language intensity and concreteness. Recently she is particularly interested in the role of concrete and vivid language on the perception of truth.

Finally, in collaboration with Carel Jansen (RUG) and Leon de Stadler (University of Stellenbosch) Lettica studies the effect of health messages relating to HIV-Aids in South-Africa.

Most of her research in all these fields uses an experimental paradigm.


Exemplars, persuasion, style, vividness, language intensity, perception of truth


Key publications

Hoeken, H., Hornikx, J. & Hustinx, L. (2012). Overtuigende teksten. Onderzoek en ontwerp. Tweede herziene druk. Bussum: Coutinho.

Hustinx, L. & de Wit, E. (2012). Kunnen levendige getuigenissen je achter de tralies doen belanden? Een experimenteel onderzoek naar het effect van levendig taalgebruik op oordelen over schuld bij leken en ‘experts’. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 34(3), 213-228.

Graaf, A.M. de & Hustinx, L.G.M.M. (2011). The effect of story structure on emotion, transportation, and persuasion. Information Design Journal, 19(2), 140-152.

Hustinx, L & Karreman, J. (2010). Coherentieanalyse. In: P.J. Schellens en M. Steehouder (Red.), Tekstanalyse. Methoden en toepassingen, 2e gewijzigde druk. Assen: Van Gorkum.

Hoeken, H. & Hustinx, L. (2009). When is statistical evidence superior to anecdotal evidence in supporting probability claims? The role of argumentation type. Human Communication Research, 35(4), 491-533.

Hoeken, H. & Hustinx, L.G.M.M. (2007). The impact on responsibility stereotypes in fund-raising letters. Communication Research, 34(6), 596-617.