Jerry Jalette

  • Teaching Professor
  • Communication Studies
  • Phone: 401.874.2074
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Davis Hall, Rm 205


Jerry Jalette has always been a fan of pop culture, video games, and comedy – and he was drawn to the Communication major because it gave him an excuse to study those interests in school. Now those interests are the subjects of his teaching and research, and you’ll still find him talking about them outside of school.

2018 watchlist…

  • Watching: The Good Place, Suits, and Mindhunter
  • Listening: Kevin Smith, Bill Simmons, and Pod Save America podcasts
  • Playing: NBA2K18 and PUBG


Dr. Jalette is generally drawn to the research on entertainment and media psychology in the tradition of Dolf Zillmann and the many branches of his academic family tree. Most of his work has been with violent videogames, where he’s been investigating the personality factors that influence how often people play and the strength of any effects. Specifically, he’s been focusing on engagement – what gets people there, why some tend to get more engaged, and what that does to enjoyment and other outcomes.

Recently, he has been applying his training in research and analytics to communication in sport. He has been collaborating with a colleague to catalog celebratory touch and other nonverbal behaviors in basketball games to study the relationship between team chemistry and team performance. Early findings suggest that instances of touch tend to lead to a small boost in team performance for a short time. He also finds that he gives more high fives now.

He also has research interests in educational gaming and instructional technology, and recently he’s been piloting projects with using games and VR in his teaching.


  • Ph.D., Communication Science, Mass Communication, University of Connecticut, 2013
  • M.A., Communication Studies, Mass Communication, University of Rhode Island, 2006
  • B.A., Communication Studies, University of Rhode Island, 2004

Selected Publications

Krcmar, M., Farrar, K., Jalette, G., & McGloin, R. P. (June, 2014). Appetitive and defensive arousal in violent video games: Investigating attraction and effects. Media Psychology, 18(4), 527-550.

Young, M. F., Slota, S., Cutter, A., Jalette, G., Lai, B., Mullin, G., Simeoni, Z., Tran, M., & Yukhymenko, M. (2011). Our princess is in another castle: A review of trends in serious gaming for education. Review of Educational Research, 82(1), 61-89.

Fu, H., Mou, Y., Miller, M. J., & Jalette, G. (2011). Reconsidering political cynicism and political involvement: A test of antecedents. American Communication Journal, 13(2), 44-61.