Pilot Projects


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.


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.


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 Fernandez + 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.