Kirstie Farrar

Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Department of Communication


Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2001


Kirstie M. Farrar is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. She also holds a research affiliation with UConn’s Center for Health Intervention and Prevention. Her research interests include the effects of the mass media on individuals, particularly concerning violent video games and aggression. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, Mass Communication & Society, Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environmentsand the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.

Courses Taught

  • COMM 5300: Mass Communication Theory (graduate level)
  • COMM 4330: Children and Mass Media
  • COMM 4035/4035W: Advanced Media Effects
  • COMM 5002: Communication Research Methods (graduate level)
  • COMM 1000: The Process of Communication
  • COMM 5985: Variable Topics: Children and Mass Media (graduate level)

Research Interests

  • Psychological effects of mass media
  • Children and mass media
  • Mass media, violence, and aggression
  • Contextual features of violent video game play and aggression
  • Sex in the media
  • Television’s impact on family communication patterns

Research Affiliations

UConn Video Game and Media Effects Laboratory

UConn InCHIP (Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy)

Select Publications

McGloin, R., Farrar, K.M., & Fishlock, J. (2015). Violent games and violent controllers: Investigating the use of realistic gun controllers on perceptions of realism, immersion and outcome aggression. Journal of Communication.

Krcmar, M., Farrar, K.M., Jalette, G., & McGloin, R. (2014). Appetitive and Defensive Arousal in Violent Video Games: Investigating Attraction and Effects. Media Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/15213269.2014.888007

Farrar, K.M. (2013). Sex on Television: A Review of Socialization Effects and the Role of Context and Individual Differences. In E. Scharrer (Ed.), Media Effects/Media Psychology, Vol.5. The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, A. Valdivia (Gen.Ed.). Boston, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

McGloin, R., Farrar, K.M., & Krcmar, M. (2013). Video games, immersion, and cognitive aggression: Does the controller matter? Media Psychology, 16 (1), p. 65-87.

Farrar, K.M., Krcmar, M., & McGloin, R. (2013). The Perception of Human Appearance in Video Games: Towards an Understanding of the Effects of Player Perceptions of Game Features. Mass Communication & Society, 16 (3), 299-324.

McGloin, R., Farrar, K.M., & Krcmar, M. (2011). The Impact of Controller Naturalness on Perceived Video Game Realism, Spatial Presence, and Gamer Enjoyment. Presence Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 20 (4), 309-324.

Krcmar, M., Farrar, K.M., & McGloin, R. (2011). The effects of video game realism on attention, retention and aggressive outcomes. Computers in Human Behavior, 27 (1), 432-439.

Krcmar, M., & Farrar, K.M. (2009). Retaliatory aggression and the effects of point of view and blood in violent video games. Mass Communication & Society 12 (1), 115-138.

Nowak, K.L., Krcmar, M., Farrar, K.M. (2008). The causes and consequences of presence: Considering the influence of violent video games on presence and aggression. Presence Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 17(3).

Kunkel, D., Farrar, K.M., Eyal, K., Biely, E., & Donnerstein, E (2007). Sexual socialization messages in entertainment television: Comparing content trends 1997-2002. Media Psychology, 9 (3), 599-622.

Farrar, K.M. (2007). Sexual risk and responsibility, portrayals of. In J.J. Arnett (Ed.), Encyclopedia of children, adolescents, and the media (Vol. 2, pp. 767-768). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Farrar, K.M. (2006). Sexual intercourse on television: Do safe sex messages matter? Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 50 (4) 635-650.

Farrar, K.M., Krcmar, M., & Nowak, K.L. (2006). Contextual features of violent video games, mental models and aggression. Journal of Communication, 56 (2), 387-405.

Farrar, K.M, & Krcmar, M. (2006). Measuring state and trait aggression: A short, cautionary tale.   Media Psychology, 8, 127-138.

Curriculum Vitae

photo of Kirstie Farrar
Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-2632
Mailing Address337 Mansfield Rd, Unit 1259 Storrs, CT 06269
Office Location208 ARJ