Queenie Li + Yeinjae Lee + Weiting Tao + Ching-Hua Chuan: Xenophobia rhetoric and behaviors: A case of COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the globe, acts of xenophobia as well as violence and racism against people of East Asian descent/appearance have drastically surged both online and offline. This research examines the emergence and evolution of public discussion related to such xenophobia on social media. It will also test how such xenophobia affects the wellbeing of people of East Asian descent and how government communication may help mitigate its effects.

Kim Grinfeder + Konstantia Kontaxis + Christopher Mader: VR Advocacy and Climate Refugees
Newtok is a village in Alaska with a population of 354 Yupik native people. Melting of the permafrost is forcing the village to relocate to higher ground. In collaboration with Newtok elders, the team will create a VR documentary to be used in their climate advocacy efforts as well as to help preserve the history of the community for future Yupik generations.

Ching-Hua Chuan + Soyoon Kim + Soyeon Ahn + Juan Chattah: Modeling affective states for human-machine communication via consumer-grade EEG headbands
This study aims to establish the validity of consumer-grade electroencephalogram (EEG) signals as a measure of affective states–an essential component of the psychological mechanism underlying communication effects. The results will enable the interdisciplinary team to design and test an emotional health intervention incorporating the EEG technology in future research.


Barbara Millet + Cong Li: Fake News, Real Share: A Study of Detecting, Sharing, and Commenting of Fake News
This project aims to examine the factors that influence people’s judging, sharing, and commenting of fake news. They will be using a comprehensive theoretical model to explain what groups of people are more or less likely to share what kinds of news under what sorts of circumstances. It also investigates why people share or comment on a news article, be it fake or real.

Ching-Hua Chuan + Sunny Tsai + Nick Carcioppolo: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Chatbots across Different Communication Contexts
This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of chatbots and the role of emotions in human-bot interactions. Focusing on health communication, this study will shed much needed insights on the usefulness of chatbots in emotion-laden communication contexts, particularly for sensitive health issues. The findings will provide guidelines for capitalizing on the advantage of chatbots to enhance health communication outcomes.

Juliana Fernandes + Cameron Riopelle + Meryl Shriver-Rice: An Audience Study of Formal Variables in Digital Short-Form Environmental Media
The aim of this project is to develop a media typology that integrates aesthetic, narrative, and rhetorical models into a complex and nuanced media typology of environmental video content. This typology will be employed in several stages of an interdisciplinary reception study in order to bridge communication theories of reception with ecocriticism’s formal analysis of visual representation.

Michelle Seelig + Victoria Orrego Dunleavy + Jazmyne Simmons: Targeted HIV/STD Prevention Among Black and Hispanic Young Men Who Have Sex with Men
This research investigates how internet memes with humorous appeals can be used for HIV/STD prevention among young minority men who have sex with men (MSM). The study aims to understand how memes can be culturally tailored to address stigmatizing topics such as sex among MSM, HIV/STD testing, PrEP uptake and intimate partner communication. An online survey will be conducted to measure the perceived benefits and barriers to using memes for sexual health promotion among minority MSM.

Susan Morgan + Ching-Hua Chuan + Wei Peng: An Investigative Project of Formative Research and Decision Aid Web Development for Support to Enrollment in Precision Medicine
The purpose of this project is to develop and test a personalized decision-aid website as an effective communication tool to support decision-making for enrollment in the PM Cohort Program. Formative studies are included to develop messaging strategies for this website that can address the needs of Miami residents from diverse backgrounds.

Soyoon Kim + Michelle Seelig + Ching Hua Chuan + Sunny Tsai: Designing and Testing a Mobile App Intervention for Environmental Activism
This study aims to design and test a mobile app for forming pro-environmental behavioral habits. Through an iterative process, the mobile app will be designed to influence factors including positive outcome expectations, self- and collective-efficacy, issue relevance, and perceived constraints to drive pro-environmental behavioral change.


Lien Tran + Jill Sanko + Deborah Salani +Yui Matsuda: Dwell: An Interactive Tabletop Simulation Game Teaching How Poverty Impacts Health and Healthcare Access
The purpose of this pilot research project is to create and evaluate the impacts of a role-playing tabletop simulation game (called Dwell) as a healthcare education tool and particularly on attitudes toward poverty.

Juliana Fernandes + Nicky Lewis: Negative Political Information and Life Stages: Does the Future Look Brighter When You Get Older?
Through a series of studies that will investigate how negative political information affects individuals, the immediate and long term effects of exposure to negative and positive political information will be explored, including how one’s political identity might change over the course of the lifespan.

Margaret Cardillo + Caleb Everett: Strangers to Peace
Colombia seems on the brink of ending the bloody 50-year long war between the government and the jungle-based FARC guerillas. As talks between the two sides continue, 10,000 FARC fighters, many who know little but a life of jungle warfare, wonder if Colombia can forgive the carnage and allow them to re-enter civilian life. Strangers to Peace is a documentary film following three former fighters and their struggle to integrate back into Colombian Society.

Nick Carcioppolo + Michelle Seelig +JoNell Potter + Jazmyne Simmons: 90 Days
An investigation of a short entertainment education film to increase HIV status disclosure among sexual partners Status disclosure among intimate partners increases the likelihood of protective behaviors, which directly reduce transmission. This proposal contributes to disclosure research by using focus groups to evaluate 90 DAYS, a film about a developing romance and HIV status disclosure. Specifically, we explore how the film influences the concept of self-stigmatization, an important barrier to status disclosure, and evaluate its potential as an intervention to increase disclosure.

Cong Li + Michel Dupagne: 1-5 vs. 1-7 vs. 1-9 rating: Should attitude be measured with a “random” scale?
This research examines the practice of using arbitrary scale points when measuring attitudes in social sciences (e.g., 1-5, 1-7, and 1-9). Using simulated data, it is shown that different scale points may lead to opposite study findings. Three experiments will be conducted to determine when different scale points will produce consistent results and when they will not.

Wanhiu Tsai + Michelle Seelig + Ching-Hua Chuan + Weiting Tao: Solution Based Media Advocacy for Climate Change
This project will adopt a mixed-method approach to explore how information on climate change solutions is disseminated on social media, and evaluate whether actionable solutions may reduce perceived obstacles and empower publics to engage in communicative actions for combating climate change.


Jyotika Ramaprasad + Ed Talavera: Health Care Professionals and the Roma in Macedonia: A Positive Deviance Focused Video Intervention to Improve Interaction Efficacy
Based on results of prior formative research, this project will create a video intervention to foster more efficacious health care professional (HCP) – Roma interactions in Macedonia.

Joseph Treaster + Helena Solo-Gabriel + Enrique Pumar: Cuba Water: A study of the quality of drinking water in Cuba and of the condition of Cuba’s rivers, lakes and shorelines
Cuba Water is a study of the quality of drinking water and of the condition of rivers, lakes and shorelines in Cuba. Because of restrictions on research in Cuba, the research is being conducted in Miami through interviews with hundreds of people who have firsthand experience within the last year of the conditions of water on the island. So far, researchers working on Cuba Water have conducted more than 400 interviews.

Alberto Cairo + Fan Yang: Is an interactive “picture” worth more than a thousand words? Evaluating the message effectiveness of data visualization.
Researchers designed and created different versions of data visualizations to present scientific information on HPV risk and vaccine efficacy. In addition, a computer-mediated experiment with a national representative sample was conducted to explore the effectiveness of these data visualizations on enhancing comprehension as well as facilitating persuasion for HPV vaccination promotion and cervical cancer prevention.


Soyoon Kim + Clay Ewing : Design and Evaluation of an Innovative Digital Game to Reduce Indoor Tanning Behavior among Young Adults
This interdisciplinary project proposes an innovative digital game titled Dreamy to reduce the use of indoor tanning among young adults and to assess its effectiveness on psychological and behavioral determinants of indoor tanning behavior. This project and follow-up studies with a consistent framework will provide a theoretical basis that explains the persuasive effects of interactive entertainment-educational games and will offer practical guidance for the design of games to address important health issues.

Cong Li + Nicholas Carciopolo: Do our friends make us feel worse? Examining social comparison effects on Facebook
This project investigates the influence of Facebook on users’ emotions using social comparison theory as a guiding theoretical framework.

Sallie Hughes + Alberto Cairo: Mediating Resilience: ICTs, Media Use, and the Wellbeing Strategies of Immigrant Youth
This project seeks to understand how reception of media content and ICT connectivity influence younger immigrants whose networks of care and identity-anchoring cultures transcend US borders. This project advances research by conceptualizing resources for resilience as cross-border phenomena tapped through communications technologies as well as through media and social incorporation in the US.