College Directory

Kun Xu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in Emerging Media - Department of Media Production, Management, and Technology

Office: 3065 Weimer Phone: 352-392-0435 Email:


Kun Xu’s research areas broadly focus on human-computer interaction, human-robot interaction, computer-mediated communication, and psychological processing of emerging technologies. His work investigates how individuals perceive, interact with, and respond to a range of AI technologies, including social robots, computer agents, and virtual assistants. He also examines how people use virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) technologies to make sense of spaces and maintain social relationships. Using a variety of methodological approaches, including lab experiments, computational methods, and visual analyses, his research seeks to understand the role of (tele)presence in people’s technology use experience and the mutual shaping between humans and machines.

His works have been published in journals such as Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, New Media & Society, Human-Machine Communication, ​​​​International Journal of Communication, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, International Journal of Social Robotics, International Communication Gazette, Computers in Human Behavior, and Telematics & Informatics.

Kun was a cameraman and a news editor at Thomson Reuters and Shanghai Media Group. More information is available at

Areas of Expertise

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Communication Technology, Emerging Media (gaming, VR, etc.), Human-Machine Communication, Media Psychology and Media Effects


Ph.D., Temple University



Refereed Journal Articles

Kim , J., Merrill , K., Jin, X., Collins , C., & Xu, K. (2023). Trust, perceived usefulness, and intentions to adopt robotic health advisors for physical and relational health issues. The Social Science Journal. DOI: 10.1080/03623319.2023.2289241

Kim, J., Merrill , K., Xu, K., & Collins, C. (2023). My health advisor is a robot: Understanding intentions to adopt a robotic health advisor. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2023.2239559

Liu , W., Xu, K., & Yao, M. (2023). Can you tell me about yourself? The impacts of chatbot names and communication contexts on users’ willingness to self-disclose information in human-machine conversations. Communication Research Reports, 40, 122-133. Retrieved from,chatbot%20names%20was%20not%20significant.

Xu, K. (2023). A mini imitation game: How individuals model social robots via behavioral outcomes and social roles. Telematics & Informatics, 78. DOI: 10.1016/j.tele.2023.101950

Xu, K., Chen , M., & You , L. (2023). The Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Credible and Socially Present Robot: Two Meta-Analyses of the Power of Social Cues in Human–Robot Interaction. International Journal of Social Robotics. DOI: 10.1007/s12369-022-00961-3

Kim , J., Merrill , K., Xu, K., & Kelly , S. (2022). Perceived credibility of an AI instructor in online education: The role of social presence and voice features. Computers in Human Behavior, 136. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2022.107383

Xu, K., Chen, X., & Huang, L. (2022). Deep mind in social responses to technologies: A new approach to explaining the Computers are Social Actors phenomena. Computers in Human Behavior, 134, 107321. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2022.107321

Kim , J., Merrill , K., Xu, K., & Sellnow , D. (2022). Embracing AI-based machine teacher in higher-education: Examining social presence in online education. Human-Machine Communication.

Kim , J., Xu, K., & Merrill , K. (2022). Man vs machine: Human responses to an AI newscaster and the role of social presence. The Social Science Journal. DOI: 10.1080/03623319.2022.2027163

Xu, K., Chan-Olmsted, S., & Liu, F. (2022). Smart speakers require smart management: Two routes from user gratifications to privacy settings. International Journal of Communication, 16. Retrieved from

Kim, J., Kelly , M., Xu, K., & Sellnow , D. (2021). I like my relational machine teacher: An AI instructor’s communication styles and social presence in online education. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2021.1908671

Lombard, M., & Xu, K. (2021). Social responses to media technologies in the 21st century: The Media are Social Actors paradigm. Human-Machine Communication, 2, 29-55. Retrieved from

Xu, K. (2020). Language, modality, and mobile media use experiences: Social responses to smartphones in a task-oriented context. Telematics & Informatics, 48. DOI: 10.1016/j.tele.2020.101344

Kim, J., Merrill, K., Xu, K., & Sellnow, D. (2020). My teacher is a machine: Understanding students’ perception of AI teaching assistants in online education. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 36, 1902-1911. DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2020.1801227

Xu, K., Liu , F., Mou, Y., Wu, Y., Zeng, J., & Schafer , M. (2020). Using machine learning to learn machines: A cross-cultural study of users’ responses to machine-generated art works. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. DOI: 10.1080/08838151.2020.1835136

Liao, T., & Xu, K. (2020). A process approach to understanding multiple open source innovation contests: Assessing the contest structures, execution, and participant responses in the Android Developer Challenges. Information and Organization, 30(2). Retrieved from

Wu, Y., Mou, Y., Li, Z., & Xu, K. (2020). Investigating American and Chinese Subjects’ explicit and implicit perceptions of AI-Generated artistic work. Computers in Human Behavior, 104. Retrieved from

Liao, T., Yang, H., Lee, S., Xu, K., & Bennett , S. (2020). Augmented criminality: How people process in-situ augmented reality crime information in relation to space/place. Mobile Media and Communication. DOI: 10.1177/2050157919899696

Steiner, E., & Xu, K. (2020). Binge-watching motivates change: Uses and gratifications of streaming video viewers challenge traditional TV research. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 26(1), 82-101. Retrieved from

Xu, K., & Liao, T. (2020). Explicating cues: A typology for understanding emerging media technologies. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 25(1), 32-43. DOI: 10.1093/jcmc/zmz023

Xu, K. (2019). First encounter with robot Alpha: How individual differences interact with vocal and kinetic cues in users’ social responses. New Media & Society, 21(11-12), 2522-2547. Retrieved from

Mou, Y., Shi, C., Shen, T., & Xu, K. (2019). A Systematic Review of the Personality of Robot: Mapping Its Conceptualization, Operationalization, Contextualization and Effects. International Journal of Human--Computer Interaction, 36, 591-605. Retrieved from

Xu, K. (2018). Location Speaks: Using GIS Approach to Understand an Anti-pornography Campaign in Mainland China. China Media Research, 14(2), 29-44.

Mou, Y., Xu, K., & Xia, K. (2018). Unpacking the black box: Examining the (de) Gender categorization effect in human-machine communication. Computers in Human Behavior, 90, 380-387. Retrieved from

Xu, K. (2018). Painting Chinese mythology: Varying touches on the magazine covers of Time, The Economist, Der Spiegel, and China Today. International Communication Gazette, 80(2), 135-157. Retrieved from

Xu, K., & Lombard, M. (2017). Persuasive computing: Feeling peer pressure from multiple computer agents. Computers in Human Behavior, 74, 152-162. Retrieved from

Mou, Y., & Xu, K. (2017). The media inequality: Comparing the initial human-human and human-AI social interactions. Computers in Human Behavior, 72, 432-440. Retrieved from

Xu, K., Lin, M., & Haridakis, P. (2015). Being Addicted to Chinese Twitter: Exploring the Roles of Users' Expected Outcomes and Deficient Self-regulation in Social Network Service Addiction. China Media Research, 11(2).



Human-robot interaction, human-computer interaction, virtual/augmented reality, media psychology, lab experiments, statistical modeling, computational methods