Steven Corman is being honored for his service to the United States military and its allies related to his research on verbal and written communication within organizations. His current research focuses on how Islamist extremists use narrative (story) to further their own aims, and how military officials and American diplomats can craft effective countermeasures.
Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Corman was approached by the United States military to participate in workshops designed to find effective ways to topple terrorist networks. In 2005, Corman became the director of the Center for Strategic Communication at ASU, which coordinates research focused on combating terrorism, promoting national security, and successfully engaging in public diplomacy worldwide.
Currently, Corman and his collaborators are involved in two multiyear, multimillion dollar external grant projects. The first project, “Identifying Terrorist Narratives and Counter-Narratives,” is funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense under the Human Social Culture Behavior Research Program and seeks to better understand Islamic extremists and the way they use stories well known in the Islamic world to frame contemporary events and persuade audiences to adopt their ideology. The second project, “Toward Narrative Disruptors and Inductors,” is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and studies the neurobiology of narrative comprehension and persuasion.
He is the author of two books: “Weapons of Mass Persuasion” and “Master Narratives of Islamist Extremism.” Corman’s work has earned him and his research team numerous accolades. In 2011, he received the Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievements and Contributions from the Human Social Culture Behavior Modeling Program of the U.S. Department of Defense. He received an Applied/Public Policy Research Award from the International Communication Association in 2009 for “Weapons of Mass Persuasion.” In 2009 he also won ASU’s Faculty Achievement Award in Defining Edge Research: Best Professional Application.