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Jiaying Liu

Associate Professor

Contact Info

Caldwell 628

Jiaying Liu (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia. She also serves as a Courtesy Faculty in the Department of Psychology. Her primary research interest lies at the intersection of health communication, social psychology, message effects, and computational social science methods. She is particularly interested in understanding the factors and the underlying processes that lead to risky health decision-making, and how communications could be optimally leveraged to promote desirable health behavior changes.

Her recent research projects include conducting longitudinal analysis on nationally representative survey data to identify factors that predispose youth and young adults to cigarette and e-cigarette use; implementing online and eye-tracking experiments to identify persuasive message features and inform campaign formative evaluation; combining crowdsourcing and machine-based content analysis to automatically annotate large media text corpora; and employing neuroimaging methods to examine the underlying mechanisms of successful and counterproductive communication. Dr. Liu is routinely involved in highly collaborative, interdisciplinary work.

Dr. Liu’s research has been published in major Communication, Public Health and Psychology journals including Journal of Communication, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Communication Methods and Measures, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and Psychological Bulletin. She currently serves on the editorial board of Health Communication as an associate editor.

She directs the Communication, Health, and Emerging Media Laboratory (CHARM Lab).

She currently serves as the Principle Investigator on K01 and R21 awards from the National Institutes of Health. 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Health communication
  • Persuasion and social influence
  • Message effects
  • Campaign formative research
  • Eye-tracking and neuroimaging methods
  • Social media automated content analysis
  • Tobacco control

Selected Publications:

Liu, J., Phua, J., Krugman, D., Xu, L., Nowak, G., & Popova, L. (2020). Do young adults attend to health warnings in the first IQOS advertisement in the U.S.? An eye-tracking approach. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntaa243

Liu, J., O’Donnell, M. B., & Falk, E. B. (2020). Deliberation and valence as dissociable components of counterarguing among smokers: Evidence from neuroimaging and quantitative linguistic analysis. Health Communication, Advance online publication. DOI:10.1080/10410236.2020.1712521

Liu, J., Lochbuehler, K., Yang, Q., Gibson, L. A., & Hornik, R. C. (2020). Breadth of media scanning leads to vaping among youth and young adults: Evidence of direct and indirect pathways from a national longitudinal survey. Journal of Health Communication. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2019.1709925

Liu, J., Siegel, L., Gibson, L. A., Kim, Y., Binns, S., Emery, S., & Hornik, R. C. (2019). Toward an aggregate, implicit, and dynamic model of norm formation: Capturing large-scale media representations of dynamic descriptive norms through automated and crowdsourced content analysis. Journal of Communication, 69(6), 563–588. DOI:10.1093/joc/jqz033

Liu, J., & Shi, R. (2018). How do online comments affect perceived descriptive norms of e-cigarette use? The role of quasi-statistical sense, valence perceptions, and exposure dosage. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. DOI:10.1093/jcmc/zmy021

Liu, J., Zhao, S., Chen, X., Falk, E., & Albarracín, D. (2017). The influence of peer behavior as a function of social cultural closeness: A meta-analysis of normative influence on adolescent smoking initiation and continuation. Psychological Bulletin. DOI: 10.1037/bul0000113

Liu, J., & Hornik, R. (2016). Measuring exposure opportunities: Using exogenous measures in assessing effects of media exposure on smoking outcomes. Communication Methods and Measures. DOI: 10.1080/19312458.2016.1150442

Of note:

Jiaying Liu and her student Volha Murashka's research on “Fitspiration” social media posts and psychological impact attracted press coverage.

Jiaying Liu was recently awarded NIH Career Award:

Jiaying Liu was recently featured on UGA's Research News for her work on youth vaping:

Jiaying Liu was recently awarded Faculty Excellence Award by the Department of Communication Studies’ graduate student association, and named UGA’s prestigious Lilly Teaching Fellow:


PI: Neuroimaging approaches to improve prediction of smoking initiation and nicotine use escalation among young adult electronic nicotine delivery systems users

K01 Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award in Tobacco Regulatory Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse & FDA Center for Tobacco Products (2020-2025)

PI: A neuroimaging approach to advance mechanistic understanding of tobacco use escalation risk among young adult African American vapers

R21 Award, National Institute on Drug Abuse (2022-2024)

Articles Featuring Jiaying Liu
Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - 1:28pm

Dr. Jiaying Liu has been awarded a Federal R21 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to support a neuroimaging project investigating tobacco use among young adults. The project seeks to identify neurobehavioral markers associated with tobacco use…

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 8:18am

The National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health recently granted a Career Award (K01) to Dr. Jiaying Liu in the Department of Communication Studies. Career Awards are given to researchers to allow time for intensive development and…

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 11:17am

Dr. Liu was recently featured on UGA's Office of Research for her work on youth vaping! See it here

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 9:40am

The UGA Department of Communication Studies wishes to congratulate Dr. Jiaying Liu, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, on her selection for UGA’s prestigious Lilly Teaching Fellows program!

Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 3:45pm

Assistant Professor Dr. Jiaying Liu, new to the department of Communication Studies this fall, recently published a robust new meta-analysis revealing that peer influence doubles the risk of adolescent smoking.

My Graduate Students

Yidi Wang

Graduate Student

Allison Worsdale

Graduate Student

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