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 first generation, Latinx, and genderfluid (pronouns: she/he/they/Nik’s) quantitative social scientist whose research aims to shed light on how people understand messages and how those messages affect folks in a variety of social setting and contexts, such as in conversations among close friends, family members, or dating romantic couples; when receiving political messages from party leaders; when getting (cyber)bullied on social media or in more traditional modes of communication during adolescence and adulthood; 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 communication 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 examines these mechanisms employing a variety of quantitative social scientific methods, including—but not limited to—experimentation, surveys, content analyses, topic modeling, machine learning, and other traditional and more state-of-the-art methods.
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, and (cyber)bullying. 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. Nik’s research has received several awards from NCA and the International Communication Association (ICA), including recent top paper awards for work with his coauthors on the heuristic processing of AI and crowdsourced fact-checking of potential misinformation in news headlines online from the Communication and Technology Division of ICA and the Social Cognition and Communication Division of NCA.
In her free time, Dr. Nik enjoys going to concerts, gardening, creative writing, and chilling on their porch with his dog 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