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Benjamin E. Custer

About Benjamin E. Custer

Benjamin E. Custer is a doctoral candidate in communication with a minor in social psychology at the University of Arizona. He has been selected as a Fulbright scholar in the 2020/21 cohort, where he will serve as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Bulgaria. He is presently working on his dissertation, which examines the appeal of the "bad boy" persona across genders and sexual orientations to determine whether the prevalent stereotype of bad boys excelling in the mate selection process holds any truth.

Areas of Study

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Mass communication
  • Social psychology
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Communication technologies

Selected Publications

Custer, B. (2014). STEM from the humanities: How visual arts, empathy and storytelling fuel innovation (Master’s thesis, Stanford University). Peninsula Press, A Project of the Stanford Graduate Program in Journalism. Later featured on SFGate.

Floyd, K., & Custer, B. E. (in press). Affection exchange theory. In J. Nussbaum (Ed.), Oxford research encyclopedia of communication. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Floyd, K., Matheny, R., Dinsmore, D. R., Custer, B. E., & Woo, N. T. (2019). “If you disagree, unfriend me now”: Exploring the phenomenon of invited unfriending. American Journal of Applied Psychology, 7, 20-29. doi: 10.12691/ajap-7-1-3

Hesse, C., Floyd, K., Rains, S. A., Mikkelson, A. C., Pauley, P. M., Woo, N. T., Custer, B. E., & Duncan, K. (2020). Affectionate communication and health: A meta-analysis. Communication Monographs. Under revise and resubmit.

Lapierre, M. A., & Custer, B. E. (in press). Testing relationships between smartphone engagement, romantic partner communication, and relationship satisfaction. Mobile Media & Communication.

Lapierre, M. A., Zhao, P., & Custer, B. E. (2019). Short-term longitudinal relationships between smartphone use/dependency and psychological well-being among late adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 65(5), 607-612. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.06.001

Benjamin E. Custer's picture

Contact Information

Benjamin E. Custer
Graduate Teaching Associate
Telephone: (520) 626-0750
Fax: (520) 621-5504
Office: Communication 110
Office Hours: T/R 12:00-1:00 pm; & by appt.


  • M.A. (2014) Communication, Stanford University
  • B.S. (2011) Mass Communications, Texas A&M University-Texarkana

Courses Taught

  • Intro. to Communication Theory
  • Intro. to Interpersonal Communication
  • Intro. to Public Speaking
  • Intro. to Small Group Communication
  • Survey of Mass Communication
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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