Jim Blascovich

Photo of Jim Blascovich
Psychological & Brain Sciences



Professor, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences; Director, Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior


Jim Blascovich, Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences, directs the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior. He is a past president of both the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc (Div. 8 of APA), and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. He is also a Member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, a Charter Fellow of the American Psychological Society, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He received the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize in 2007, was a awarded the Inaugural Australasian Social Psychology Society/Society of Personality and Social Psychology Teaching Fellowship in 2002, and the Erskine Fellowship in 2005 at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has served on several National Research Council panels and numerous editorial boards. His research has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation for more 25 years and has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Army Research Laboratory, and other agencies.

Jim's two major research interests are social motivation and social influence in technologically mediated environments. Relevant to the former, he has developed a biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat. He has validated patterns of cardiovascular responses as markers of challenge and threat, using them along with subjective and behavioral measures in empirical investigations guided by his theoretical model. He has applied his model to various social phenomena including intraindividual processes such as attitudes and dispositions as well as interindividual processes such as stigma, stereotypes, social comparison, and social facilitation. Jim also directs the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior with Jack Loomis, a perceptual scientist in the department. He uses immersive virtual environment technology to empirically investigate social influence processes within virtual environments including conformity, non-verbal communication, collaborative decision-making and leadership. This work is guided by his formal model of social influence within immersive virtual environments.


social influence; virtual environments and behavior; social neuroscience; motivation; psychophysiology; health psychology; media-based education


  • Studies of social processes with experimental games (dealing, for example, with bargaining and negotiation) within digital virtual environments
  • Investigation of effects of player facial expressions on economic games within immersive and non-immersive digital virtual environment technology 


Blascovich, J. & Bailenson, J. (2011). Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Words and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution. New York: Morrow. Foreign editions in Chinese and Latvian.

Bailenson, J., Beall, A.C., Loomis, J., Blascovich, J., & Turk, M.C. (2004). Transformed social interaction: Decoupling representation from behavior and form in collaborative virtual environments. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 13, 428-441.

Blascovich, J., Loomis, J., Beall, A., Swinth, K., Hoyt, C., & Bailenson, J. (2002). Immersive virtual environment technology as a research tool for social psychology. Psychological Inquiry, 13, 103-125.