Bio


Byron Reeves received a B.F.A. in graphic design from Southern Methodist University and his M.A. and a Ph.D. in communication from Michigan State University.

Prior to joining Stanford in 1985, he taught at the University of Wisconsin where he was director of graduate studies and associate chair of the Mass Communication Research Center.

He teaches courses in mass communication theory and research, with particular emphasis on psychological processing of interactive media. His research includes message processing, social cognition, and social and emotion responses to media, and has been published in books of collected studies as well as such journals as Human Communication Research, Journal of Social Issues, Journal of Broadcasting, and Journalism Quarterly. He is co-author of The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places (Cambridge University Press).

His research has been the basis for a number of new media products for companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, in the areas of voice interfaces, automated dialogue systems and conversational agents. He is currently working on the applications of multi-player game technology to learning and the conduct of serious work.

Academic Appointments


Honors & Awards


  • Maier Faculty Development Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984)
  • Paul C. Edwards Professorship, Stanford University (1992)
  • Fellow, International Communication Association (1997)
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, Michigan State University (2001)
  • Nelson Award, Distinguished Service to Mass Communication Education (2008)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Michigan State University, Communication (1976)
  • M.A., Michigan State University, Communication (1974)
  • B.F.A., Southern Methodist University, Journalism and Graphic Design (1972)

Research Interests


  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Technology and Education

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Fernanda Herrera
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Mu-Jung Cho, David Miller
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Mu-Jung Cho, David Miller
  • Postdoctoral Research Mentor
    Xiaoran Sun

All Publications


  • Computer agents versus avatars: Responses to interactive game characters controlled by a computer or other player INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN-COMPUTER STUDIES Lim, S., Reeves, B. 2010; 68 (1-2): 57-68
  • Government Uses for Games and Virtual Worlds: Optimizing Choices for Citizens and Government Workers in the Areas of Energy Efficiency, Educational Assessment, Worker Productivity, Health and Quality of Information Exchanges White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Reeves, B., Cunningham, J., Scarborough, J., Read, J. L. 2010
  • Being in the Game: Effects of Avatar Choice and Point of View on Psychophysiological Responses During Play MEDIA PSYCHOLOGY Lim, S., Reeves, B. 2009; 12 (4): 348-370
  • Being in the game: Effects of avatar choice and point of view on arousal responses during play Media Psychology Reeves, B., Lim, S., 2009; 12 (4): 348-370
  • Total Engagement: Using Games and Virtual Worlds to Change the Way People Work and Businesses Compete Reeves, B., Read, J. L. Harvard Business School Press. 2009
  • Leadership's online labs HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW Reeves, B., Malone, T. W., O'Driscoll, T. 2008; 86 (5): 58-?
  • Leaderships Living Lab: Implications of Multiplayer Games for the Enterprise Harvard Business Review Reeves, B., Malone, T., O'Driscoll, T. 2008
  • A marketplace for attention: Responses to a synthetic currency used to signal information importance in E-mail First Monday Reeves, B., Roy, S., Gorman, B., Morley, T. 2008; 13 (5)
  • The effect of user control on the cognitive and emotional processing of pictures MEDIA PSYCHOLOGY Wise, K., Reeves, B. 2007; 9 (3): 549-566
  • Foundations and opportunities for an interdisciplinary sciences of learning. The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences Bransford, J., Barron, B., Pea, R., Meltzoff, A., Kuhl, P., Bell, P., Stevens, D., Shwartz, D., Vye, N., Reeves, B., Roschelle, J., Sabelli, N. Cambridge University Press. 2006
  • The new videomalaise: Effects of televised incivility on political trust AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Mutz, D. C., Reeves, B. 2005; 99 (1): 1-15
  • Learning theories and education: Toward a decade of synergy Handbook of Educational Psychology Bransford, J., Vye, N., Stevens, R., Kuhl, P., Schwatz, D., Bell, P., Meltzoff, A., Barron, B., Pea, R., Reeves, B., Roschelle, J., Sabelli, N. 2005; 2
  • Perceptual bandwith COMMUNICATIONS OF THE ACM Reeves, B., Nass, C. 2000; 43 (3): 65-70
  • The effects of animated characters on anxiety, task performance and evaluations of user interfaces Proceedings of the CHI 2000 Conference Reeves, B. 2000
  • Social issues and the effects of high-bandwidth interactions Proceedings of the Internet2 Socio-Technical Summit Reeves, B. 2000: 81–89
  • The effects of screen size and message content on arousal and attention Media Psychology Reeves, B., Lang, A., Young, E., Tatar, D. 1999; 1: 49-67
  • Switching channels: The effects of television channels on the mental representations of television news JOURNAL OF BROADCASTING & ELECTRONIC MEDIA Leshner, G., Reeves, B., Nass, C. 1998; 42 (1): 21-33
  • Negative video as structure: Emotion, attention, capacity, and memory JOURNAL OF BROADCASTING & ELECTRONIC MEDIA Lang, A., NEWHAGEN, J., Reeves, B. 1996; 40 (4): 460-477
  • A bio-informational theory of emotion: Motion and image size effects on viewers JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION Detenber, B. H., Reeves, B. 1996; 46 (3): 66-84
  • Technology and roles: A tale of two TVs JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION Nass, C., Reeves, B., Leshner, G. 1996; 46 (2): 121-128
  • The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television and New Media Like Real People and Places Reeves, B., Nass, C. Cambridge University Press. 1996
  • Hemispheres of scholarship: Psychological and other approaches to studying communication The audience and its landscape Reeves, B. Westview Press. 1996: 265–280
  • CAN COMPUTER PERSONALITIES BE HUMAN PERSONALITIES INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN-COMPUTER STUDIES Nass, C., Moon, Y., Fogg, B. J., Reeves, B., Dryer, D. C. 1995; 43 (2): 223-239
  • Designing experiments that assess psychological responses to media messages Measuring psychological responses to media Reeves, B., Geiger, S. Lawrence Erlbaum. 1994
  • THE EFFECTS OF SCENE CHANGES AND SEMANTIC RELATEDNESS ON ATTENTION TO TELEVISION COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Geiger, S., Reeves, B. 1993; 20 (2): 155-175
  • WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM ... ATTENTION FOR TELEVISION SEQUENCES HUMAN COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Geiger, S., Reeves, B. 1993; 19 (3): 368-387
  • We interrupt this program: Attention for television sequences Human Communication Research Reeves, B., Geiger, S. 1993; 19: 368-387
  • THE EVENINGS BAD-NEWS - EFFECTS OF COMPELLING NEGATIVE TELEVISION-NEWS IMAGES ON MEMORY JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION Newhagen, J. E., Reeves, B. 1992; 42 (2): 25-41
  • ON HOW WE STUDY AND WHAT WE STUDY JOURNAL OF BROADCASTING & ELECTRONIC MEDIA Reeves, B. 1992; 36 (2): 235-238
  • On how we study and what we study Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media Reeves, B. 1992; 36: 235-238
  • This evening’s bad news: Effects of compelling negative television news images on memory Journal of Communication Newhagen, J., Reeves, B. 1992; 42
  • MEDIA STUDIES AND PSYCHOLOGY COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Reeves, B., Anderson, D. R. 1991; 18 (5): 597-600
  • NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE TELEVISION MESSAGES - EFFECTS OF MESSAGE TYPE AND CONTEXT ON ATTENTION AND MEMORY AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST Reeves, B. R., NEWHAGEN, J., Maibach, E., Basil, M., Kurz, K. 1991; 34 (6): 679-694
  • COMBINING, DISTINGUISHING, AND GENERATING THEORIES IN COMMUNICATION - A DOMAINS OF ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Nass, C. I., Reeves, B. 1991; 18 (2): 240-261
  • Positive and negative political advertising: Effectiveness of ads and perceptions of campaigns Television and political advertising: Psychological processes Basil, M., Schooler, C., Reeves, B. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1991: 245–262
  • Evaluation and memory for political candidates in televised commercials Television and political advertising: Psychological processes Geiger, S., Reeves, B. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1991: 125–144
  • Cognitive processing of media Special issue of Communication Research Reeves, B., Anderson, D. 1991; 18
  • Emotion and memory responses to negative political advertising Television and political advertising: Psychological processes Newhagen, J., Reeves, B. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1991: 197–220
  • Negative and positive television messages: Effects of message type and message context on attention and memory American Behavioral Scientist Reeves, B., Newhagen, J., Maibach, E., Basil, M., Kurz, K. 1991: 679-694
  • THEORIES ABOUT NEWS AND THEORIES ABOUT COGNITION - ARGUMENTS FOR A MORE RADICAL SEPARATION AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST Reeves, B. 1989; 33 (2): 191-198
  • EMOTIONAL TELEVISION SCENES AND HEMISPHERIC-SPECIALIZATION HUMAN COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Reeves, B., Lang, A., Thorson, E., Rothschild, M. 1989; 15 (4): 493-508
  • INFLUENCE OF STORY SCHEMA DEVELOPMENT ON CHILDRENS ATTENTION TO TELEVISION COMMUNICATION RESEARCH MEADOWCROFT, J. M., Reeves, B. 1989; 16 (3): 352-374
  • Influence of story schema development on children's attention to television Communication Research Reeves, B., Meadowcroft, J. 1989; 16: 352-374
  • HEMISPHERICALLY LATERALIZED EEG AS A RESPONSE TO TELEVISION COMMERCIALS JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH ROTHSCHILD, M. L., Hyun, Y. J., Reeves, B., Thorson, E., Goldstein, R. 1988; 15 (2): 185-198
  • CITATION NETWORKS OF COMMUNICATION JOURNALS, 1977-1985 - CLIQUES AND POSITIONS, CITATIONS MADE AND CITATIONS RECEIVED HUMAN COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Rice, R. E., Borgman, C. L., Reeves, B. 1988; 15 (2): 256-283
  • Communication and children: Development of language, communicative competence, and understanding of media Handbook of communication science Wartella, E., Reeves, B. Sage. 1987: 619–650
  • WATCHING TELEVISION - EXPERIMENTS ON THE VIEWING PROCESS COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Reeves, B., Thorson, E. 1986; 13 (3): 343-361
  • EEG ACTIVITY AND THE PROCESSING OF TELEVISION COMMERCIALS COMMUNICATION RESEARCH ROTHSCHILD, M. L., Thorson, E., Reeves, B., Hirsch, J. E., Goldstein, R. 1986; 13 (2): 182-220
  • Effects of Mass Communication Reeves, B., Hawkins, R. Science Research Associates, Inc.. 1986
  • Attention to local and global complexity in television messagesCommunication yearbook Communication yearbook 10 Thorson, E., Reeves, B., Schleuder, J. Sage. 1986
  • Attention to television: Psychological theories and chronometric measures Perspectives on media effects Reeves, B., Thorson, E., Schleuder, J. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1986
  • ATTENTION TO TELEVISION - INTRASTIMULUS EFFECTS OF MOVEMENT AND SCENE CHANGES ON ALPHA-VARIATION OVER TIME INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Reeves, B., Thorson, E., ROTHSCHILD, M. L., McDonald, D., Hirsch, J., Goldstein, R. 1985; 27 (3-4): 241-255

    Abstract

    Central and occipital EEG alpha were used as an on-line measure of momentary changes in covert attention during television viewing. Alpha was recorded during nine 30-second commercials shown embedded in a half-hour situation comedy. Two time series were constructed for data analysis. A stimulus series consisted of codes representing the presence or absence of scene changes or person and object movement for each half-second interval of the commercials. The alpha series consisted of median alpha scores for each half-second interval, aggregated across 26 subjects. The alpha series was regressed on the movement and scene change series, both of which produced significant increments in R, even after autocorrelational effects inherent in the alpha series were removed. As a validity check on the attentional interpretation of alpha, it was shown that mean alpha for each commercial was significantly (negatively) correlated with recall and recognition of commercial contents. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for further use of continuously-recorded alpha in research on factors that influence attention to television.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1985C649200008

    View details for PubMedID 4044133

  • Effects of program context on the processing of television commercials Proceedings of the American Academy of Advertising Schleuder, J., Lang, A., Rothschild, M. 1985
  • Memory effects of over-time measures of viewer liking and activity during programs and commercials Advances in consumer research Thorson, E., Reeves, B. Association for Consumer Research. 1985
  • HISTORICAL TRENDS IN RESEARCH ON CHILDREN AND THE MEDIA - 1900-1960 JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION WARTELLA, E., Reeves, B. 1985; 35 (2): 118-133
  • MESSAGE COMPLEXITY AND ATTENTION TO TELEVISION COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Thorson, E., Reeves, B., SCHLEUDER, J. 1985; 12 (4): 427-454
  • Trends in children’s television The future of children's television Wartella, E., Reeves, B. Boys Town. 1984: 15–28
  • A BIBLIOMETRIC EVALUATION OF CORE JOURNALS IN COMMUNICATION-RESEARCH HUMAN COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Reeves, B., Borgman, C. L. 1983; 10 (1): 119-136
  • 'Fraught with such great possibilities': The historical relationship of communication research to mass media regulation Proceedings of the tenth annual telecommunications policy research conference Reeves, B., Baughman, J. 1983: 19–52
  • Television's influence on children's encoding of person information Human Communication Research Reeves, B., Garramone, G. 1983; 10: 257-268
  • Recurring issues in research on children and media Education Technology Warella, E., Reeves, B. 1983; 23: 5-8
  • Now you see them, now you don't: Demonstrating effects of communication programs Public Relations Quarterly, Fall Reeves, B. 1983
  • Social cognition and mass communication Social cognition and communication Reeves, B., Chaffee, S., Tims, A. 1982: 287–326
  • Children's person perception: Generalization from television to real people Human Communication Research Reeves, B., Garramone, G. 1982; 8: 317-326
  • CHILDREN AND TELEVISION-NEWS JOURNALISM QUARTERLY Drew, D. G., REEVES, B. B. 1980; 57 (1): 45-?
  • The nature of mass media effects Television and social behavior: Beyond violence and children McLeod, J., Reeves, B. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1980: 17–54
  • LEARNING FROM A TELEVISION-NEWS STORY COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Drew, D., Reeves, B. 1980; 7 (1): 121-135
  • Children's impressions of television characters Proceedings of the sixth annual telecommunications policy research conference Reeves, B., Faber, R. 1979
  • The dimensional structure of children's perceptions of television characters: A replication Human Communication Research Reeves, B., Lometti, G. 1979; 5: 247-256
  • Children's understanding of television people Children communicating: Media and development of thought, speech and understanding Reeves, B. Safe. 1979: 115–156
  • Children's perceived reality of television and effects of TV on social behavior Journalism Quarterly Reeves, B. 1978; 55: 682-689
  • A multidimensional measure of children's identification with television characters Journal of Broadcasting Reeves, B., Miller, M. M. 1978; 22: 71-86
  • Investigating the assumptions of uses and gratifications research Communication Research Lometti, G., Reeves, B., Bybee, C. 1977; 4: 321-338
  • Children's perceptions of television characters Human Communication Research Reeves, B., Greenberg, B. 1977; 3: 113-117
  • Linking dramatic TV content to children's occupational sex role stereotypes Journal of Broadcasting Miller, M. M., Reeves, B. 1976; 20: 35-50
  • Children and the perceived reality of television Journal of Social Issues Greenberg, B., Reeves, B. 1976; 32: 86-97
  • Children's television and the economically disadvantaged child: Research findings and policy implications The federal role in children's television programming Greenberg, B., Reeves, B. Institute for Communication Research. 1975