Current Projects

6. Media Use During Social Distancing

Collaborator/s: Kaitlin Fitzgerald [PI], Zhiying (Zoey) Yue, & Dr. Melanie Green

This research examines how much and with what effect people are turning to entertainment and social media to fill their time/feel connection with others while social distancing from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current status: Data analysis; MS in preparation.

5. Social Identification, Psychological Distance, Compassionate Goals, and Willingness to Help during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Collaborator/s: Zhiying (Zoey) Yue [PI], Dr. Janet Yang, Dr. David Lee, & Zhuling (Veronica) Liu

As the spread of the coronavirus is undermining the lives of many, a key question involves: what are the psychological antecedents that propel people to help those in need? Guided by research on social identity theory, psychological distance, and compassionate goals, we examine two factors that can help individuals identify themselves with those in need, which in turn facilitate their willingness to help.

Current status: MS under review/revision.

4. Information Seeking and Sharing during the Coronavirus Outbreak: An Application of the Risk Information Seeking and Processing Model

Collaborator/s: Zhuling (Veronica) Liu [PI], Dr. Janet Yang, Dr. David Lee, & Zhiying (Zoey) Yue

This study applies the risk information seeking and processing model to examine the US public’s information seeking and sharing behaviors during the coronavirus outbreak. Further, we investigate how these communication behaviors affect Americans’ willingness to provide aid to China before community spread became prevalent in the United States.

Current status: Paper presented at the 102rd AEJMC 2020 (Virtual).

*3. Fast and Frugal: Information Processing Related to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Collaborators: Dr. Janet Yang, Dr. David Lee, Zhiying (Zoey) Yue, & Zhuling (Veronica) Liu; *denotes first-author led paper

This research focuses on three factors that influence how individuals cognitively process information related to the coronavirus outbreak. Guided by dual-process theories of information processing, we establish how the two different information processing modes (i.e., system 1: heuristic processing; system 2: systematic processing) are influenced by individuals’ attribution of responsibility, discrete negative emotions, and risk perception (Chaiken, Liberman, & Eagly, 1989; Eagly & Chaiken, 1993; Kahneman, 2011).

Current status: MS under review.

*2. The Fingers Never Sleep: Distinguishing Uses and Gratifications of Habitual versus Purposeful Instagram Use

Collaborator/s: Dr. Melanie C. Green, Dr. David Lee, Zhiying (Zoey) Yue, & Zhuling (Veronica) Liu; *denotes first-author led paper

Guided by the uses and gratifications theory (U&GT) (Katz, Blumler, & Gurevitch, 1973), this research examines two distinct usage patterns on Instagram: (1) habitual use, and (2) purposeful use. The first objective of the current research is to investigate how the two types of use impact digital well-being. A second objective is to establish how three specific reasons for use (social connection, fear of missing out, social competition) are related to habitual and purposeful usages that influence individual gratifications (Balakrishnan & Griffiths, 2018; Gan, 2016; Przybylski et al., 2013). Distinguishing between the two usages offer insight to distinct ways users use Instagram and the respective gratifications they derive from it.

Current status: Abstract submitted to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology 2021.

*1. Coming together or growing apart online: The pitfalls of non-connection and likelihood of attrition on social technologies

Collaborator/s: Dr. Melanie C. Green; *denotes first-author led paper

This work is a replication study following our previous study on loneliness and social comparison of SNSs users. We continue examining the effects found in our previous study with a broader adult sample. In exploring further, we focus on the motivations (e.g., mobility gratification, information seeking, voyeurism) behind why users use SNSs.

Current status: MS in preparation.