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Shuo (Vivien) Zhou​, PhD

Assistant Professor

​​Vivien (Shuo) Zhou's research focuses on health communication and how digital technology, especially virtual reality and mobile phone applications, influences people’s cognitive and affective responses to health information, risk perception, health behaviors, and public support for health policies. Her work covers a variety of global health issues, including smoking, binge drinking, obesity, food desert, and food safety. Her research has been featured in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal.

Research Interests:

  • Health Communication
  • Narrative Persuasion
  • Using Virtual Reality to Promote Health
  • mHealth
  • Psychological Processes in Understanding Social Others and the Self
  • Ecological momentary assessment and just-in-time adaptive interventions

Current Research Projects:

  • Identifying Environmental Triggers of Smoking Behaviors in Low-income Communities to Improve Smoking Cessation Among Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Populations (funded by American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grants)
  • Using Virtual Reality to Promote Physical Activity and measure smoker's cue reactions
  • Personal narratives of foodborne illness to increase Mexican-American perceptions of foodborne illness and to increase compliance with safe home food preparation practices


  • Ph.D. in Communication, Cornell University, 2017
  • M.Phil. in Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2012
  • B.A. in Broadcast Journalism, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2010


  • Zhou, S., & Shapiro, M. A. (2017). Reducing resistance to narrative persuasion about binge drinking: the role of self-activation and habitual drinking behavior. Health Communication, 32(10), 1297-1309. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1219931
  • Zhou, S., Shapiro, M. A., & Wansink, B. (2017). The Audience Eats More if a Movie Character Keeps Eating: An Unconscious Mechanism for Media Influence on Eating Behaviors. Appetite, 108, 407-415. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.10.028 
  • Zhou, S., & Niederdeppe, J. (2017). The promises and pitfalls of personalization in narratives to promote social change. Communication Monographs, 84(3), 319-342. doi: 10.1080/03637751.2016.1246348
  • Aitamurto, T., Zhou, S., Sakshuwong, S., Saldivar, J., Sadeghi, Y., & Tran, A. (2018). Sense of Presence, Attitude Change, Perspective-Taking and Usability in First-Person Split-Sphere 360° Video. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM.

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