I am a Visiting Professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University.

Most broadly, I am interested in how communication affects cooperation and conflict. One branch of my research focuses on theory construction in moral psychology by investigating how individuals and groups form and maintain their systems of morality via communication. The other branch investigates how individual differences and message characteristics affect how people process interactive violence. Theories from communication, moral psychology, metaethics, evolutionary psychology, and social psychology inform both branches. My investigations rely on experimental, content analytic, and survey methodologies. I also build virtual environments to investigate various social scientific phenomena.


Proseminar – R. Yagiz Mungan

Digital Games as an Interdisciplinary Creative Process

R. Yagiz Mungan visited IU Telecom today and gave a presentation for the Media Arts & Sciences Speaker Series. Mungan described his interest in the intersection of art and research as it applies to gaming, interaction  sound, music, and architecture. His belief is that games are simply another artistic medium–like the painter’s canvas or the illustrator’s paper. Because of this perspective, Mungan applies Wagner‘s term Gesamtkunstwerk meaning total work of art that is the amalgam of many art forms in his study of games.

Mungan is currently finishing up his MFA in Electronic and Time-based Art at Purdue University. Recently, he completed a project named Breezes of… It is a game-based installation that toyed with the idea of escapism. In the game, Players explore a virtual tropical environment. External to the game, a real-world pinwheel spins depending on orientation and wind in the virtual environment. See a video of the installation below.

Proseminar – Huub Evers

Huub Evers

Media accountability and transparency in Europe: First results of a comparative study 

On this Friday the 13th, Huub Evers from Fontys University of Applied Sciences shared his trans-European research project, which is part of mediaACT. One of the primary goals of his research was to evaluate the strength of accountability  and self-regulation that occurs in journalism on and offline. I found his information on online accountability most interesting. He described that contemporary online journalism often asks journalists to maintain professional profiles, provide links to sources, and be sensitive to consumer’s feedback via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. However, in surveying 1,732 journalists, Huub found that they tend to be ambivalent about accountability instruments (e.g., press councils) and they believe that consumer criticisms are largely misinformed due to their lack of expertise.

Huub’s research that began in January 2010 will continue until the Summer of 2013. The final goal is to submit policy suggestions to the European Union aimed to strengthen self and press regulation.

Proseminar – Rachel Bailey & Zheng Wang

Rachel Bailey

Motivated cognitive states

T600 was all about dynamic processing. Rachel Bailey of IU Telecom began by sharing her recent work with coauthors Annie Lang and Bridget Rubenking on flow, presence, and transportation. Her driving question was whether these concepts had distinct regions within motivated cognitive state space. Within this space, appetitive and aversive activation comprise the X and Y axes and resource allocation makes up the Z axis. Collecting continuous response measures from participants, Rachel found evidence that these concepts do have defined states. Her findings are beneficial as they identify the relationship between the concepts and to other processing states and behaviors.

Zheng Joyce Wang

Dynamics of media processing and choices

As a wonderful compliment to Rachel’s work, Zheng Wang from The Ohio State University’s School of Communication shared her recent work at the Communication and Psychophysiology Lab (CAP) on media processing. Zheng, an alumna of IU Telecom, developed her own model called Dynamic Motivation Activation (DMA) that identifies how psychophysiological indicators dynamically correspond with message types and individual differences. Further, her work used uses and gratifications to explain and predict multitasking. Interesingly, she found that people’s needs rarely corresponded with their resulting gratifications.