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Jorge Peña

 Davis, California, United States
Professor, Department of Communication, University of California, Davis.


Jorge Peña (Ph.D., Cornell University, 2007) is Professor of Communication at University of California, Davis. He specializes in computer-mediated communication and the effects of interactive media. He is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and was Chair of the Game Studies Division at NCA.

Scholarly beginnings

A research idea

Envisioning possible futures in the field of communication and media studies

Learn more about Prof. Peña’s journey

Selected readings

Peña, J., Craig, M., & Baumhardt, H. (2022). The effects of avatar customization and virtual human mind perception: A test using Milgram’s paradigm. New Media & Society.

Navarro, J. Peña, J. Cebolla, A., & Baños, R. (2020). Can avatar appearance influence physical activity? User-avatar similarity and Proteus effects on cardiac frequency and step counts. Health Communication  

Peña, J., & Hernandez, J. F. (2019). Game perspective-taking effects on willingness to help immigrants: A replication study with a Spanish sample. New Media & Society, 22, (6), 944-958DOI: 10.1177/1461444819874472 

Peña, J., Khan, S., & Alexopoulos, C. (2016). I am what I see: How avatar weight affects physical activity among male gamers. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication21, 195-209. 

Yoo, S.-C., Peña, J., & Drumwright, M. (2015). Virtual shopping and unconscious persuasion: The priming effects of avatar age and consumers’ age discrimination on purchasing and prosocial behaviors. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 62-71


Watch Prof. Peña present “Without Frontiers: The Effects of Video Games and Virtual Experiences on Outgroup Member Perceptions” at the Center for Latinx Digital Media

Listen to Prof. Peña’s insights about his professional journey in El Café Latinx podcast