Catalina Toma

Communication Science



6144 Vilas Hall

Professor Catalina Toma

Office Hours:

  • Tuesdays 10 am – 12 pm
  • Thursdays 10 – 11 am & 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Expertise and Activities

My research examines how people understand and relate to one another when interacting via communication technologies (e.g., online dating, social network sites, mobile computing). I focus on the impact of communication technologies on relational processes such as: impression management and impression formation, deception and trust, self-worth, self-esteem and psychological well-being, interpersonal attraction, and relationship development. I am also interested in how language is produced and interpreted in computer-mediated contexts, especially as it relates to self-presenters’ deceptiveness and perceived trustworthiness.

I am currently Associate Editor at Human Communication Research, the flagship journal of the International Communication Association, and at Computers in Human Behaviors. I am past Associate Editor at Journal of Media Psychology.


  • Ph.D. Cornell University, 2010
  • M.S. Cornell University, 2006
  • B.A. University of Bridgeport, 2004


  • Romnes Award for Research Excellence, 2022
  • Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, 2022
  • Honored Instructor, Chadbourne Residential College, 2020
  • Teaching Academy Faculty Fellow, 2018
  • Top Paper, National Communication Association, Health Communication Division, 2014
  • Honored Instructor, Chadbourne Residential College, 2013
  • Honored Instructor, Chadbourne Residential College, 2012
  • Honored Instructor, Chadbourne Residential College, 2011
  • Top Faculty Paper, International Communication Association, Communication & Technology Division, 2009
  • Honorable Mention, Computer-Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), 2008
  • Anson Rowe Award, Field of Communication, Cornell University, 2008
  • Top Paper, International Conference on Communities and Technologies, 2007
  • Top Student Paper, International Communication Association, Communication & Technology Division, 2007
  • Honorable Mention, Computer-Human Interaction (CHI), 2007


For a complete list of my publications, please see my Google Scholar page.

  • 2022. An experiment on the effects of self-disclosure on perceived partner responsiveness and intimacy in zero-acquaintance relationships. Communication Studies. 
  • 2022. International students’ psychological wellbeing and social media use at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic: A latent profile analysis. Computers in Human Behavior.
  • 2022. Online dating and psychosocial wellbeing: A social compensation perspective. Current Opinion in Psychology.
  • 2022. Understanding mechanisms of media use for the social sharing of emotion: The role of media affordances and habitual media use. Journal of Media Psychology.
  • 2021. Computer-Mediated Communication in Adults with and without Moderate-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Survey of Social Media Use. Journal of Medical Internet Research: Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies, 8(3): e26586.
  • 2021. The effects of online social connectedness on older adults’ depressive symptoms: Evidence from a two-wave cross-lagged panel study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(1) e21275.
  • 2021. Problematic Internet use, subjective mental well-being, and perceived parental supportiveness among adolescents: A moderation analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research – Mental Health, 8(9): e26203.
  • 2020. When do online audiences amplify the benefits of self-disclosure? The role of audience similarity and interactivity. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media,64, 277-297.
  • 2020. How does social media use relate to adolescents’ internalizing symptoms?:  Conclusions from a systematic narrative review. Adolescent Research Review, 5, 381 – 404.
  • 2019. “Depression as a predictor of Facebook surveillance and envy: Evidence from a cross-lagged panel study in Germany.” Journal of Media Psychology.
  • 2018. “What do you say before you relapse? How language use within a peer-to-peer online discussion forum predicts risky drinking among those in recovery.” Health Communication, 22, 1184-1193.
  • 2018. “Lies in the eye of the beholder: The intensifying effect of media on self-other asymmetries regarding deception.” Communication Research.
  • 2017. “Breakup-related sharing over interpersonal media: Patterns and effects on psychological well-being.” Journal of Media Psychology, 29, 166-172.
  • 2016. “There are plenty of fish in the sea: Effects of choice overload and reversibility on online daters’ satisfaction with selected partners.” Media Psychology, forthcoming.
  • 2016. “Mobile media matters: Hyperpersonal idealization and relationship satisfaction among geographically close dating couples.” Proceedings of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW).
  • 2015. “The couple who Facebooks together, stays together: Facebook self-presentation and relational longevity among college-aged dating couples.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking, 18, 367 – 372,
  • 2015. “When social media isn’t social: Friends’ responsiveness to narcissists on Facebook.” Personality and Individual Differences, 77, 209 – 214,
  • 2015. “How do Facebook users think they come across in their profiles?: A meta-perception approach to Facebook self-presentation.”Communication Research Reports, 32, 93-101,
  • 2015. “Tell-tale words: Linguistic cues used to infer the expertise of online medical advice.” Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 34, 25-45,
  • 2014. “Towards conceptual convergence: An examination of interpersonal adaptation.” Communication Quarterly, 62, 155-178.
  • 2014. “Counting on friends: Cues to perceived trustworthiness in Facebook profiles.” Proceedings of the International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM), 495-504,….
  • 2014. “Social sharing through interpersonal media: Patterns and effects on emotional well-being.” Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 530-541.
  • 2013. “Feeling better but doing worse: Effects of Facebook self-presentation on implicit self-esteem and cognitive task performance.” Media Psychology, 16, 199-220.
  • 2013. “Self-affirmation underlies Facebook use.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 321 – 331.
  • 2012. “What lies beneath: The linguistic traces of deception in online dating profiles.” Journal of Communication, 62, 78-97.
  • 2012. “Profile as promise: A framework for conceptualizing the veracity of self-presentation in online dating profiles.” New Media & Society, 14, 45-62.
  • 2010. “Looks and lies: The role of physical attractiveness in online dating self-presentation.” Communication Research, 37, 335-351.
  • 2010. “Perceptions of trustworthiness online: The role of visual and verbal information.” In proceedings of Computer-Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), 13-22.
  • 2009. “Putting your best face forward: The accuracy of online dating profile photographs.” Journal of Communication, 59, 367-386.
  • 2008. “Separating fact from fiction: Deceptive self-presentation in online dating profiles.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1023-1036.
  • 2008. “I know something you don’t: The use of asymmetric personal information for interpersonal advantage.” In proceedings of Computer-Supported Collaborative Work, 413-416.


  • 2022, forthcoming. Social media self-presentation and emotion: Evidence of selective self-presentation, self-affirmation, and social sharing processes. In R. Nabi & J. Myrick (Eds.) Our online emotional selves: The link between digital media and emotional experience, Oxford University Press.
  • 2020. Youth social media and well-being. In D. Ewoldsen, M. L. Mares, & E. Scarrrer (Eds.) The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology, John Wiley & Sons.
  • 2019. Lying online: Examining the production, detection, and popular beliefs surrounding interpersonal deception in technologically-mediated environments. In T. Docan-Morgan (Ed.) Palgrave Handbook of Deceptive Communication (pp. 583 – 601). Palgrave-Macmillan.
  • 2018. Connection, conflict, and communication technologies: How romantic couples use the media for relationship management. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.) A Networked Self: Love (pp. 78-101). Routledge.
  • 2016. “Online dating.” The International Encyclopedia or Interpersonal Communication, Charles Berger & Michael Roloff John Wiley & Sons.
  • 2014. “Political Phishing.” Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics, Harvey Sage Publications.
  • 2011. “A new twist on love’s labor: Self-presentation in online dating profiles.” Computer-mediated communication in personal relationships, Kevin B. Wright and Lynne M. Webb New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 41-55.
  • 2010. “Lying for love in the modern age: Deception in online dating.” Interplay of Truth and Deception: New Agendas in Communication, S. McGlone & M. L. Knapp New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 149-164.


  • CA 272 – Interpersonal Communication
  • CA 345 – Online Communication and Personal Relationships
  • CA 577 – Dynamics of Online Relationships
  • CA 970 – Seminar in Computer-Mediated Communication
  • ED PSYCH 711 — Social Media & Psychological Well-being