I am an assistant professor in the Department of Communication in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University. I completed my Ph.D. in Communication at the University of California Santa Barbara, where I conducted research in the Media Neuroscience Lab, and served as a trainee in the NSF IGERT program in Network Science and Big Data.
My primary research interests lie at the intersection of digital technology, attention, and decision making. My current work in this area uses functional neuroimaging, behavioral measures, and computational modeling to explore how effort requirements, perceptual complexity, and motivational factors in digital contexts influence attention and goal pursuit. You can find a full list my recent publications and preprints here.
I also work to build theory and refine methods in media psychology and adjacent domains. As a part of these efforts, I’ve played a role in creating a few publicly available research tools, including a command-line tool for applying the Extended Moral Foundations Dictionary (eMFD), and an interface for the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT).
When I’m not working, I enjoy cooking, traveling, listening to music, writing code, and lifting heavy things from time to time. Please feel free to reach out to me via email at jtf[at]msu[dot]edu.