Joe Walther has developed several original theories and numerous empirical studies on the interpersonal aspects of computer-mediated communication and social media. His work focuses on the impact of interpersonal and intergroup dynamics in the attitudes and behaviors people develop via mediated interaction, in personal relationships, groups, and intergroup conflict.
Joseph B. Walther holds the Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Technology and Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is a Distinguished Professor of Communication. He is also a 2023 Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Rebooting Social Media at Harvard University. He was formerly Director of the UCSB Center for Information Technology and Society, and a Fulbright Scholar. He is a Fellow of the International Communication Association, whose research and teaching focus on the impact of interpersonal and intergroup dynamics in the attitudes and behaviors people develop via mediated interaction, in personal relationships, groups, and inter-ethnic conflict. He developed the social information processing theory of mediated communication, the hyperpersonal model of online communication, warranting theory, among others, accompanied by numerous behavioral studies. He is currently extending his work into new explanations for online hate.
Reprints of many of his articles can be requested here.
PhD, Communication, University of Arizona, 1990