Research: Sport, Entertainment Communication
Ph.D. University of Alabama, 2005
M.A. University of Alabama, 1999
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I have always been fascinated by the media--its impact on us, how we use and interact with it, the process and business of producing, distributing, and consuming it, and how that has changed (or stayed the same) over time. From the day I learned that was a college major, my career path has been set. My undergraduate major was video production, and before I was in higher education, I worked at a network-affiliated small-market television as an editor, videographer, news producer, and web content manager and producer.
When I'm not at work, I'm an unapologetic family man. My main hobbies are spending time with my wife and kids and playing guitar (very poorly).
My research explores how the structural and content features interact with audience characteristics to shape processing and response to media messages. My research largely falls under the umbrella of media psychology. Although much of this research has examined sports media and communication, I have mainly used that genre as a vehicle to explore theories of audience processing and response.
In addition, my work has used novel measurement approaches or technologies to examine how individuals attend to, process, or respond to messages. This work has used a variety of tools, including eye tracking, continuous response measurement (or dial testing), psychophysiology, or reaction time.
Lastly, my research has increasingly explored the role of communication and media messages in partnership with scholars working in a variety of disciplines and topics, including agricultural sciences, climate and the environment, and health and obesity.
- Content Analysis
- Eye Tracking
- Continuous Response
- Sport communication
- Cummins, R. G., Gong, Z., & Reichert, T. (in press). The impact of visual sexual appeals on attention allocation within advertisements: An eye-tracking study. International Journal of Advertising. doi: 10.1080/02650487.2020.1772656
- Cummins, R. G., Ortiz, M.E., & Rankin, A. (2019). ‘Elevator eyes' in sports broadcasting: Visual objectification of male and female sports reporters. Communication & Sport, 7, 789-810. doi: 10.1177/2167479518806168
- Cummins, R. G., Berke, C.K., Moe, A., Gong, Z. (2019). Sight versus sound: The differential impact of mediated spectator response in sport broadcasts. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 63, 111-129. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2019.1568806
- Cummins, R.G., & Cui, B. (2014). Reconceptualizing address in television programming: The effect of address and affective empathy on viewer experience of parasocial interaction. Journal of Communication, 64, 723-742.
- Cummins, R.G., & Wise, W.T., & Nutting, B.H. (2012). Excitation transfer between semantically related and temporally adjacent stimuli. Media Psy chology, 15, 420-442.
- Cummins, R.G., Stone, C.H., Gong, Z., & Cui, B. (2017). Visual attention to and understanding of graphic program advisories: An eye-tracking study. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 61, 703-722.
My departmental home is within the Department of Journalism & Creative Media Industries, where I have taught classes on electronic media and society, media theories, producing sports media, and video production and editing.
At the graduate level, I have taught courses primarily focused on research methods. In addition to general research methods, I have taught seminars on content analysis as well as a seminar focusing on communication research technologies where we reviewed the use of eye tracking, psychophysiology, and more. In addition, I have regularly taught data analysis as well as mass communication technology and society.
Leadership & Awards
- Director, Center for Communication Research
- Editorial Board Member, Communication & Sport (2015-present)
- Senior Scholar Research Award, AEJMC (2017)
- Outstanding Researcher Award, College of Media & Communication (2013)
- Texas Tech University Teaching Academy Fellow (2012)
- President' Excellence in Teaching Award (2010)
College of Media & Communication
AddressTexas Tech University, Box 43082, Lubbock, TX 79409