Kristine Nowak


Department of Communication


Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2000


Kristine Nowak is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. She is interested person perception, identity, persuasion, and information processing, and how these processes are influenced by the way the message is presented, with particular attention to how these processes change with the use of social media and new technologies. Several projects have examined how people use different types of avatars in computer mediated interactions and how the perception of those avatars influence identification and self-concept as well as person and message perception. Her research on human computer interaction evaluates systems and makes recommendations for the best type of system design for different messages or goals as well as how the use of specific systems for learning and persuasion. She is also working on some projects to examine the effect of multitasking and constant connectivity on learning and relationship development. Her work has been published in several journals including the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Computers and Human Behavior, Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, and Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments.

Courses Taught

  • Comm 1300: Mass Media Systems
  • Comm 3600: New Communication Technologies
  • Comm 5660: Computer Mediated Communication (graduate level)
  • Comm 5010: Theory Construction and Research Design (graduate level)

Research Affiliations

UConn Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory

Select Publications

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A. and Nowak, K.L. (2018). There is Something I Need to Tell You: Balancing Appropriateness and Efficiency in Modality Choice for Interpersonal Disclosures. Communication Studies. 1-20. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2017.1417878.

Nowak, K. L. and Fox, J. (2018) Avatars and computer-mediated communication: A review of the definitions, uses, and effects of digital representations. Review of Communication Research. 6, 30- 53, doi: 10.12840/issn.2255-4165.2018.06.01.015

Ahn, G., Bostick, J., Ogle, E., Nowak, K.L., McGillicuddy, K., and Bailenson, J. (2016). Experiencing Nature: Embodying Animals in Immersive Virtual Environments Promotes the Inclusion of Nature in Self and Involvement with Nature. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 21 (2016) 399–419. doi:10.1111/jcc4.12173.

Watt, J., Hamilton, M. A., Nowak, K. L., and Christensen, J. (2016). Serious Game, Serious Results: A Case Study with Evidence. Journal of Computer Games and Communication. 1(1), 13-25. doi: 10.15340/2148188111925.

Bellur, S., Nowak, K. L., and Hull, K. (2015). Make it our time: In class multitaskers have lower academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior. 53, 63-70. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.06.027.

Nowak, K. L., Fox, J., and Ranjit, Y. (2015). Inferences about Avatars: Sexism, Appropriateness, Anthropomorphism, and the Objectification of Female Virtual Representations. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. 20(5), 554-569. DOI: 10.1111/jcc4.12130.

Nowak, K. L. and McGloin, R. (2014). The Influence of Peer Reviews on Source Credibility and Purchase Intention. Societies, 4, 689-705; doi: 10.3390/soc4040689.

McGloin, R., Nowak, K. L., and Watt, J. (2014). Avatars and Expectations: Influencing Perceptions of Trustworthiness in an Online Consumer Setting. PsychNology. 1(1-2), 7-28.

Nowak, K. L. (2013). Choosing Buddy Icons that Look Like Me or Represent My Personality: Using Buddy Icons for Self Presence. Computers in Human Behavior. 29. 1456-1464. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2013.01.027.

Hamilton, M. A. and Nowak, K. L. (2010). Advancing a Model of Avatar Evaluation and Selection. PsychNology Journal, 8(1), 33-65.

Nowak, K. L., Watt, J., and Walther, J. (2009). Computer mediated teamwork and the efficiency framework: Exploring the influence of synchrony and cues on media satisfaction and outcome success. Computers in Human Behavior. 25(5), 1108-1119. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2009.05.006.

Nowak, K. L., Hamilton, M. A., and Hammond, C. (2009). The Effect of Image Features on Judgments of Homophily, Credibility, and Intention to Use Avatars in Future Interactions. Media Psychology. 12(1), 50-76. doi: 10.1080/15213260802669433.

Nowak, K. L., Krcmar, M., and Farrar, K. (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). doi: 10.1162/pres.17.3.256.

Farrar, K., Krcmar, M., and Nowak, K. L. (2006). Contextual features of violent video games, mental models and aggression. Journal of Communication. 6(2) 387-405. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2006.00025.x

Nowak, K. L. and Rauh, C. (2005). The influence of the avatar on online perceptions of anthropomorphism, androgyny, credibility, homophily, and attraction. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 11(1), 153-178. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2006.tb00308.x.

Curriculum Vitae

photo of Kristine Nowak
Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-4080
Mailing Address337 Mansfield Rd, Unit 1259 Storrs, CT 06269
Office Location210 ARJ