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Communication Technology/CMC

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Communication Technology and Computer - Mediated Communication

The study of communication and technology involves research into how technologies influence our world including our perceptions of space, time, power, and identity, as well as how technological changes affect the mediation of information and present us with ethical and moral challenges. Both the message and the medium influence our human ecology. Increasingly, access to technology equals opportunity and power. How did mass printing affect culture generally and literacy specifically? Across cultures and over time, who has been encouraged to read and who has not and why? Why were the letters on the first mechanical keyboards arranged as they were? How does one write hundreds of Chinese characters on a small Western-style computer keyboard or text on a cellular phone? How has cellular phone service influenced criminal enterprises and guerrilla warfare? The invention of air conditioning greatly reduced the building of front porches on homes, which in turn greatly reduced communication among neighbors who used to spend hot evenings out on their porches chatting. Internet companies are purposefully mixing social with commercial messages and have greatly accelerated the diffusion of innovations including commercial and political campaign messages. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta now works with Facebook to detect the initial spread of viruses because people who are sick stay home and write about their symptoms giving the CDC the most effective early-warning of clusters of outbreaks. Terrorism and criminal behavior is thriving via the Internet. Electronic banking, medical record keeping, and so forth compound issues regarding privacy.

Enabled by advances in computing and telecommunications, individuals, groups, societies, and devices are now readily able to interact across time and distance. University of Oklahoma graduate students can enroll in courses designed to transcend specific tools by exploring the theories, processes, and applications of communication technologies to prepare students for jobs in an ever-evolving yet ubiquitously online business world. They can deepen their study of communication and technology as well as broaden their understanding by applying theory and research findings in coursework focusing on politics, interpersonal relationships, intercultural interactions, and organizational processes. Collaboration between faculty and students at all levels in the Department of Communication produce leading scholarship including researching how online tools can be used to better detect deception (Dunbar), affect long-distance friendships and social support (Johnson), help professionals share information and be socialized into the workplace (Lee), deliver health and crisis communication (Miller), meet challenges of cyber-terrorism and cyber-bullying (E. Kramer), and how technology of all sorts from integrated satellite systems to electrical refrigeration and nuclear powered warships change/enable our behaviors, beliefs, values and expectations (E. Kramer). Graduate scholars leave OU prepared to teach and research contemporary issues impacted by technologies and the messages and meanings they generate intentionally and unintentionally.

Typical Graduate Level Course Offerings

Comm 5363 Communication and Technology
Comm 6023 Communication Research Task Groups
Comm 6960 Directed Readings

Current Faculty with Research and/or Teaching Interests

Recent Dissertations in Communication Technology/CMC

Bingham, C. (2017). An ethnography of Twitch streamers: Negotiating professionalism in new media content creation. (Film and Video Studies, University of Oklahoma).

Piercy, C. (2017). Strength of weak ties and the modern job search. University of Oklahoma.

Castleberry, Garret (2015). Imitating and Innovating a Critical Television Studies Model for Communication.

Lane, Brianna. (2015).  The influence of online cues and warranting values on impression formation.


Recent Research Funding in Communication Technology/CMC

Elena Bessarabova -- Co-PI, “Opinion Spam in Digital Rulemaking: Techniques, Effects, and Interventions," National Science Foundation, EAGER, 2022-2024 ($300,000) – Funded 

Elena Bessarabova -- Research Collaboration Partner, Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics, research consortium at Jyväskylä University; interdisciplinary project “#Agents-Young People’s Agency in Social Media” funded by Academy of Finland (Vilma Luoma-aho, JSBE PI, 2019-2022) – €1,000,000

Claude Miller and Matthew Jensen, Co-PI’s: “Teaching Bias Mitigation through Training Games with Application in Credibility Attribution,” Division of Information & Intelligent Systems, National Science Foundation ($549,000), 2015-2017 – Funded.

Recent Representative Faculty and Graduate Student Publications in Communication Technology/CMC

Banas, J. A., Keating, D. M., Palomares, N. A., Richards, A., Rains, S. A., & Joyce, N. (2022) When Machine and Bandwagon Heuristics Compete: Understanding Users’ Responses to Conflicting AI and Crowdsourced Fact-Checking. Human Communication Research, 48, 430-461.

Rains, S. A., Keating, D. M., Banas, J. A., Richards, A., & Palomares, N. A. (2020). The state and evolution of communication research: A topic modeling analysis of 20,000 journal article abstracts from 1918-2015. Computational Communication Research, 2, 203-234.

Banas, J. A., Bessarabova, E., & Massey, Z. B. (2020). Reducing prejudice via mediated contact: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 46, 120-160. doi:10.1093/hcr/hqaa004

Banas, J. A., Dibble, J. L., Bessarabova, E., & Drouin, M. (2021). Simmering on the back burner or playing with fire? Examining the consequences of back burner digital communication among ex partners. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24, 473-479. 

Chiu, M. M., Oh, Y. W., Kim, J.-N., & Cionea, I. A. (2022). Serving the greater social good for personal gain: Effects of polite disagreements in online debates. Communication Research, 49(3), 451-473.

Cionea, I. A., & Johnson, A. J. (2022). Conflict management on Facebook: Relationship between conflict styles, incivility, conflict tactics, and outcomes. In J. K. Jameson & M. F. Hannah (Eds.), Contemporary trends in conflict and communication: Technology and social media (pp. 123-138). De Gruyter.

Dunbar, N. E., Miller, C. H., Lee, Y-H., Jensen, M. L., Anderson, C., Adams, A. S., Elizondo Cecena, F. J., Thompson, W., Massey, Z., Nicholls, S. B., Ralston, R., Donovan, J., Mathews, E., Roper, B., & Wilson, S. (2018). Reliable deception cues training in an interactive video game. Computers in Human Behavior, 85, 74-85

Edy, Jill A. and Patrick C. Meirick.  (2019). A Nation Fragmented: The Public Agenda in the Information Age. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Johnson, A. J., & Cionea, I. A. (2020). An exploratory mixed-method analysis of Twitter interpersonal arguments, characteristics, goals, and stress. In J. E. Rosenbaum and G. Bouvier (Eds.), #Talking points: Twitter and civic debate. Palgrave-Macmillan.

Johnson, A., Lee, S., Cionea, I., & *Massey, Z. (2018). The benefits and challenges of new media for intercultural conflict. In Bilge, N., & Marino, M. I. (Eds.), Reconceptualizing new media and intercultural communication in a networked society (pp. 171-197). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-3784-7.ch007

Kramer, E. M., Adkins, G., Miller, G., & Kim, S. H. (in press). Techno-Narcissism and Death Denial: The Absurd Extinction Vortex. NY: Hampton Press.

Lee, Y-H., Dunbar, N., Miller, C. H., Bessarabova, E., Jensen, M., Wilson, S. N., Elizondo, J.,  Burgoon, J., & Valacich, J. (2021). Mitigating bias and improving professional decision-  making through digital game play. In J. Raessens, B. Schouten, J. Jansz, T. De la Hera Conde-Pumpido, M. Kors, & R. Jacobs (Eds.), Persuasive Gaming in Context. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press.

Miller, C. H., Dunbar, N. E., Jensen, M. L., Massey, Z., Lee, Y-. H., Nicholls, S. B., Anderson, C., Adams, A. S., Elizondo Cecena, F. J., Thompson, W., & Wilson, S. N. (2019). Training law enforcement officers to identify reliable deception cues with an interactive digital game. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 9, (3), 1-23.

Wong, N. C. H., Massey, Z., Barbati, J., Bessarabova, E., Banas, J. A. (accepted). Theorizing prejudice reduction via mediated intergroup contact: Extending the intergroup contact theory to media contexts. Journal of Media Psychology.