Department of Communication Studies
Nicholas A. Palomares (Ph.D.; University of California, Santa Barbara; 2005) joined the Moody College of Communication in the Fall of 2021 as a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies after being a Professor of Communication at the University of California, Davis for 17 years. Dr. Palomares is a genderfluid/nonbinary (pronouns: they/she/he/Nik), first generation, and Latinx quantitative social scientist whose research aims to discover the communication pathways between social media use and psychological wellbeing. Dr. Palomares seeks to understand how different interpretation of messages can adversely affect folks’ mental health in a variety of social setting and contexts, such as when getting bullied online or in more traditional modes of communication adulthood; in conversations among friends, coworkers, family members, or dating romantic couples; when receiving political messages from party leaders; when assessing online fact-checking verdicts of potential misinformation; when gender identity influences communication patterns in online and face-to-face interactions; when playing online games with friends or strangers; when reading news stories about campus sexual assault among straight and queer students; and when folks interact in other social media settings. Dr. Nik approaches their research from a social cognition and message processing perspective with a theoretical emphasis on the goals communicators pursue, how they pursue them, and how other people understand those goals. Dr. Nik's work focuses on the fundamental processes of communication that transcend contexts, means, and modes of social interaction with much of her work having significant implications for social justice issues regarding mental health, queer rights, racism and prejudice, and other meaningful problems society faces.
Dr. Nik leads the Goal Understanding & Communication Lab in the Department of Communication Studies at Texas. Dr. Nik teaches courses on empirical research methods, gender and communication, theory construction in communication science, interpersonal communication, and cyberbullying. Dr. Nik’s research has appeared in top journals, such as Human Communication Research, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Communication Monographs, Communication Research, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, International Journal of Communication, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, JMIR Infodemiology; and in edited volumes, such as The Handbook of Communication Science and Biology, The Handbook of Intergroup Communication, and The SAGE Handbook of Interpersonal Communication. Dr. Nik has served as the Chair of the Communication and Social Cognition Division of the National Communication Association (NCA) and as an Associate Editor for Human Communication Research. Dr. Palomares is incoming Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Language and Social Psychology starting in December 2023.
In Nik's free time, they enjoy going to concerts, gardening, creative writing, and chilling on the porch with her dog, cat, and teenage daughter while listening to vinyl (especially on an auspicious Austin afternoon).
The role of a bystander in targets’ perceptions of teasing among friends — http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/17868
Understanding users’ response to conflicting AI and crowdsourced fact-checking — http://doi.org/10.1093/hcr/hqac010
Constituents’ inferences of local governments’ goals moderate the relationship between political party and belief in COVID-19 misinformation — http://doi.org/10.2196/29246
Linguistic accommodation enhances compliance to charity donation — http://doi.org/10.1093/jcmc/zmab001
Severity of bullying messages predicts increased levels of targets’ depression and general anxiety as a function of targets’ inferences of a bully’s goals — http://doi.org/10.1177%2F0265407520983439
Victims' goal understanding, uncertainty reduction, & perceptions in cyberbullying — http://doi.org/10.1093/jcmc/zmaa005
Google scholar — https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=kLb9nnUAAAAJ