James Cummings

Assistant Professor, Emerging Media Studies

  • Office: 704 Commonwealth Ave, B04C
  • Email: cummingj@bu.edu
  • Phone: 617-358-0172

About James Cummings

James Cummings completed his doctoral studies in the Department of Communication at Stanford University. He conducts research in human-computer interaction and the psychological processing of media, with areas of focus including multitasking, emotion, motivation, and physiological responses. His most recent work examines patterns, predictors, and effects of task-switching and the technological factors influencing user presence, persuasion, and empathy in immersive media environments. He has formerly served as co-director of the Communication Research Center, the College of Communication’s hub for media research, and a research fellow within the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering and the Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy. He is also a Visiting Scholar within Stanford University’s Human Screenome Project.

Dr. Cummings’ research has been published in the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Communication Research, Media Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction, and New Media & Society, as well as proceedings of the ACM CHI Conference and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Occasional Papers series. His professional experience includes consultancy related to virtual reality, social gaming, UXR, and media-based behavior change interventions, as well as user experience research at Google X.


  • Ph.D., Communications with Minor in Psychology, Stanford University
  • M.A., Telecommunications, Indiana University
  • B.A., Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill