Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof Joseph Bart Walther

Associate Chair (Faculty), Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Wee Kim Wee Professor

Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences

Phone: (+65)65923633/69083432
Office: WKWSCI 03-06 / WKWSCI 04-41

  • PhD (Communication) University of Arizona 1990
  • MA (Speech Communication) University of Arizona 1984
  • BA(Magna cum laude & Hons) (Speech Comm) University of Arizona 1983
Joseph Walther is a behavioral scientist who has developed several original theories and conducted a number of empirical studies on the interpersonal aspects of computer-mediated communication, with applications in personal relations, online groups, and educational activities. The research examines how people form impressions and get to know one another online, and how they relate to one another personally and/or professionally as they work and/or socialize. The work has been cited frequently in a number of disciplines. Extensions of this work have been made into online dating, deception, collaboration and knowledge-sharing, social network sites, and other social media.

His research has been recognized by two Woolbert Awards from the National Communication Association (NCA) for articles that have led to reconceptualizations of communication phenomena and have stood the test of time, two Knower Awards from the NCA's interpersonal communication division (for the most influential articles in that field), the Steven H. Chaffee Career Achievement Award (for sustained work on a communication research problem over an extended period and generated second-generation work among other scholars) by the International Communication Association (ICA), and election as an ICA Fellow. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2013 at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR.

Prof. Walther served as the division chair to the Academy of Management's Organizational Communication and Information Systems division, and the ICA's Communication and Technology division.

For more information, see

For bibliography on Google Scholar, see
Research Interests
Prof. Walther's research focuses on how people perceive one another via Internet applications and social media, how people manage their self-presentations, and how presentations and perceptions affect a variety of types of relationships. The work integrates dynamics from communication, psychology, and information science. Its foci include

(1) how Internet users' perceptions of their similarity to and relationship with others affect persuasion (for example, how social media comments from those who appear to be peers affect persuasion from otherwise authoritative sources, in online personal or medical advice);

(2) how individuals exploit the aspects of social media to improve their self-presentations (in online chats, Facebook, and dating sites), and how their self-presentations affect their self-perception and well-being;

(3) how online collaborations and international or intercultural virtual team members get to know one another, and the social, technical, temporal, and psychological factors that promote effective relationships, productivity, and the reduction of prejudice among group members with different backgrounds.

Prof. Walther's work attempts to develop, refine, and test novel theoretical ideas as well as to extend and adjust existing theoretical models from Communication and Social Psychology from as far back as the 1950s. Several of his publications have successfully employed pre-Internet theories to incorporate the characteristics of contemporary social media systems to predict and explain online behavior. At the same time, his work has produced several original theoretical models, including the social information processing theory of computer-mediated communication, the hyperpersonal model of communication, warranting theory, and the efficiency framework of media selection and effects. Prof. Walther employs experimental and survey research methods to test and evaluate these models.
Current Projects
Selected Publications
  • Valkenburg, P. M., Peter, J., & Walther, J. B. (2017). Media effects: Theory and research. Annual Review of Psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 67, 315-338.
  • Smith, S. W., Hitt, R, Park, H. S., Walther, J., Liang, Y., & Hseih, G. (2016). An effort to increase organ donor registration through intergroup competition and electronic word of mouth. Journal of Health Communication, 21, 376-386.
  • Walther, J. B., Kashian, N., Jang, J.-W., & Shin, S. Y. (2016). Overattribution of liking in computer-mediated communication: Partners infer the results of their own influence as their partners’ affection. Communication Research, 43, 372-390.
  • Yue Dai, Soo Yun Shin, Nicole Kashian, Jeong-woo Jang, Joseph B Walther. (2015). The Influence of Responses to Self-Disclosure on Liking in Computer-Mediated Communication. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, , in press.
  • Patti M. Valkenburg, Jochen Peter, Joseph B. Walther. (2015). Media Effects: Theory and Research. Annual Review of Psychology, 67.

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