Kristine Nowak



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

Nowak, K. L., Watt, J., & 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., & 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., & 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., & 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. & 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

Kristine Nowak
Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-4080
Mailing Address337 Mansfield Rd, Unit 1259 Storrs, CT 06269
Office LocationARJ 210
CoursesComm 1300-Mass Communication Systems Comm 3600-New Communication Technology Comm 4660-Computer Mediated Communication Comm 5010- Theory Construction and Research Design Comm 5660-Graduate Computer Mediated Communication