College Directory

Yu-Hao Lee, Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Department of Media Production, Management, and Technology

Office: 3051 Weimer Phone: (352) 392-3951 Email: Connect:


Dr. Yu-Hao Lee studies the cognitive and emotional effects of immersive entertainment media such as video games, online streaming, and virtual reality. He also examines how to design immersive media experiences that promote better decision-making and prosocial behaviors.

He is passionate about seeking new ways to communicate complex stories and motivate prosocial behaviors. His research has examined the use of immersive technologies in various contexts, including using serious games to train intelligence analysts about cognitive biases and to improve law enforcement officers' deception detection skills. He has also examined using immersive technology to change attitudes toward climate change and refugees. As the research director of the Center for Public Interest Communications, he manages multiple projects with partners in the industry, foundations, and governments to generate research insights that promote public interest.

He has published over 60 articles in high-impact journals and several book chapters. His research has received top paper awards (ICA, AEJMC) and external grant support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Areas of Expertise

Communication Technology, Emerging Media (gaming, VR, etc.), Media Psychology and Media Effects, Social Advocacy and Social Change, Social Media


Ph.D., Media & Information Studies, Michigan State University, 2013
M.A., Journalism, National Taiwan University, 2005
B.A., Economics, National Taiwan University, 2003



Refereed Journal Articles

Lin, J., Lee, Y., Cook, C., & Yang, J. (Accepted). Helping others and improving myself: The effects of natural- and supernatural-based awe in virtual reality. Computers in Human Behaviors.

Liu, F., & Lee, Y. (Accepted). Virtually responsible? Attribution of responsibility toward human vs. virtual influencers and the mediating role of mind perception. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services.

Lee, Y., Yuan, C., & Bi, N. (2023). Investigating social presence in “In Real Life” streaming for community building. New Media & Society.

Lee, Y., & Yuan, C. (2023). I’m not a puppet, I’m a real boy! Gender presentations by virtual influencers and how they are received. Computers in Human Behavior.

Lee, Y., Chen, M., Guo, J., & Xu, Q. (2023). Moral Balancing in Video Games: The Moderating Role of Issue Congruency. Communication Research.

You, L., Hon, L., & Lee, Y. (Accepted). How value congruence and issue relevance affect consumer reactions toward Corporate Political Advocacy. Journal of Consumer Behaviour.

You, L., Hon, L., & Lee, Y. (2023). How Value Congruence and Issue Relevance Affect Consumer Reactions to Corporate Political Advocacy. International Journal of Business Communication.

Lee, Y., & Chen, M. (2023). Seeking a sense of control or escapism? The role of video games in coping with unemployment. Games & Culture.

Yuan, C. W., & Lee, Y. (2022). Examining Different Viewer Engagement Patterns for Social Capital on Streaming Communities. Social Science Computer Review, 08944393221131930.

Lee, Y., & Chen, M. (2022). Intergroup contact with a virtual refugee: Reducing prejudice through a cooperative game. Psychology of Popular Media.

Darville-Sanders, G., Anderson-Lewis, C., , M., Lee, Y., Maclnnes, J., Pigg, P., Mercado, R., & Gaddis, C. (2022). mHealth video gaming for human papillomavirus vaccination among college men—qualitative inquiry for development. Mhealth.

Yuan, C. W., & Lee, Y. (2022). Connecting and being connected: investigating friending practices across multiple social networking sites. Information Technology & People, 35(3), 1096-1115.

Kong, S., & Lee, Y. (2021). How Perceived Similarity Moderates Sympathy and Pride Appeal in Organ Donation Messages. Transplantation Proceedings, 53(7), 2105-2111. DOI: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2021.07.010

Pimentel, D., Kalyanaraman, S., Lee, Y., & Halan, S. (2021). Voices of the unsung: The role of social presence and interactivity in building empathy in 360 video. New Media & Society, 23(8), 2230-2254. DOI: 10.1177/1461444821993124

Lee, Y., & Littles, C. (2020). The more the merrier? The effects of system-aggregated group size information on user’s efficacy and intention to participate in collective actions. Internet Research.

Lee, Y., Yuan, C., & Wohn, D. (2020). How Video Streamers' Mental Health Disclosures Affect Viewers' Risk Perceptions. Health Communication.

Lee, Y., & Chen, M. (2020). Emotional Framing of News on Sexual Assault and Partisan User Engagement Behaviors. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly.

Lee, Y., & Yuan, C. (2020). The privacy calculus of "friending" across multiple social media platforms. Social Media + Society, 6(2).

Rios, J. S., Wohn, D. Y., & Lee, Y. (2019). Effect of Internet Literacy in Understanding Older Adults’ Social Capital and Expected Internet Support. Communication Research Reports, 36(2), 93-102.

You, L., & Lee, Y. (2019). The bystander effect in cyberbullying on social network sites: Anonymity, group size, and intervention intentions. Telematics & Informatics, 45, 101284.

Lee, Y. (2019). Older adults’ digital gameplay, social capital, social connectedness, and civic participation. Game Studies, 19(1).

Miller, C. H., Dunbar, N. E., Jensen, M. L., Massey, Z. B., Lee, Y., Nicholls, S. B., Anderson, C., Adams, A. S., Cecena, J. E., Thompson, W. M., & Others, . (2019). Training Law Enforcement Officers to Identify Reliable Deception Cues With a Serious Digital Game. International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL), 9(3), 1-22.

Lee, Y., Getz, B., & Xiao, M. (2019). Does that sound right? The effects of regulatory fit and nonfit headline frames on motivated information processing. Communication Monographs. DOI: 10.1080/03637751.2019.1575158

Darville, G., Anderson--Lewis, C., Stellefson, M., Lee, Y., MacInnes, J., Pigg, Jr, R. M., Gilbert, J. E., & Thomas, S. (2018). Customization of avatars in a HPV digital gaming intervention for college-age males: An experimental study. Simulation & Gaming, 49(5), 515-537.

Dunbar, N. E., Miller, C., Lee, Y., Jensen, M., Anderson, C., Adams, A., Elizondo, J., Thompson, W., Massey, Z., Massey, S., Ralston, R., Donovan, J., Roper, R., & Wilson, S. (2018). Reliable deception cues training in an interactive video game. Computers in Human Behavior, 85, 74-85.

Lee, Y., Xiao, M., & Xiao, R. (2018). The effects of avatars’ age on older adults’ self-disclosure and trust. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking, 21(3), 173-178.

Lee, Y., & Heeter, C. (2017). The effects of cognitive capacity and gaming expertise on attention and comprehension. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 33(5), 473-485.

Book Chapters

Lee, Y., Dunbar, N. E., Kornelson, K., Wilson, S. N., Ralston, R., Savic, M., Stewart, S., Lennox, E. A., Thompson, W., & Elizondo, J. (2022). A Digital Game for Undergraduate Calculus: Immersion, Calculation, and Conceptual Understanding. In Research Anthology on Developments in Gamification and Game-Based Learning (pp. 645-661). IGI Global.

Lee, Y., Dunbar, N., Miller, C., Bessarabova, E., Jensen, M., Wilson, S., Elizondo, J., Burgoon, J., & Valacich, J. (2021). Mitigating Bias and Improving Professional Decision-Making Through Digital Game Play. In Persuasive Gaming in Context (pp. 239-258). Amsterdam, the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press.

Lee, Y., Dunbar, N. E., Kornelson, K., Wilson, S. N., Ralston, R., Savic, M., Stewart, S., Lennox, E. A., Thompson, W., & Elizondo, J. (2019). A Digital Game for Undergraduate Calculus: Immersion, Calculation, and Conceptual Understanding. In Exploring the Cognitive, Social, Cultural, and Psychological Aspects of Gaming and Simulations (pp. 206-227). IGI Global.



Media Psychology (Emotional and Cognitive Effects), Digital Games, Virtual Reality, Online Communities