Research and Creative Interests:

  • moral psychology
  • race and media
  • media violence
  • cognitive science.

My program of research could broadly be described as media psychology.  That is, I am interested in why people consume certain types of content and how this content affects them and my work is informed by what we know about mental processes. I have research projects currently in progress in three focus areas:

  • Media violence:
    • I’m working on developing a better understanding of how and why people consume violent content. 
  • Moral choice in video games:
    • My interest in the appeal of media violence has expanded into thinking about what happens in video games when players are given choices about their violent activity.
    • I’m also interested in how the moral (or immoral) choices players make impact their enjoyment of and emotional reactions to the game.
  • Race and selective exposure:
    • My third research focus involves examining the impact of the race of characters in entertainment media on selective exposure to that content.
    • I am exploring whether that perception is accurate, and if so, why outgroup audiences would practice selective avoidance and how this effect could be overcome. I’ve also looked at the effects of exposure to certain types of portrayals of outgroups on audience emotions/attitudes/behaviors.
Past Affiliations
Media Studies, Media Studies, Media Studies, Multimedia Communication, Multimedia Communication, Multimedia Communication, Journalism, Journalism, Journalism, Film Studies, Film Studies, Film Studies, Cognitive Science
MA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Speech Communication, 2006
PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Speech Communication, 2006
BA, DePauw University, Psychology, 1997
media violence race and media moral psychology racism or race relation