Indiana University

People | Graduate Students


Nicholas Matthews

Doctoral Candidate
The Media School

nilmatth 'at' indiana 'dot' edu

Nic's Website


I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Telecommunications department at Indiana University. My research centers on the processing and effects of video games. Additionally, I use games as an experimental tool for investigating various social scientific phenomena. Specifically, I am interested in violence and morality and I integrate evolutionary and social psychology into my research. My inquiry relies on experimental, content analytic, and survey methodologies.

Two foci drive my current research program. First, I am investigating how psychological distance and skill level affects perceptions of violent content and subsequent aggression when playing video games. Second, my dissertation aims to test which theory of moral psychology best explains moral decision making: Haidt's moral foundations theory or DeScioli and Kurzban's dynamic coordination theory.

Regarding teaching, I draw from two areas. First, my education in Telecommunications at the University of Georgia (BA, 2007) and my work experience as a journalist and ad designer centered on media creation. Thus, I am eager to teach classes that emphasize production, writing for media, advertising, and design. Second, my education in Mass Communications and research experience at Indiana University (MA, 2011) has prepared me to teach courses focusing on media psychology, communication theory and methods, and classes that rely upon my research expertise.

I am actively seeking an academic position for the 2015-2016 school year.