Broadly concerned with health and risk communication, Nan's research investigates 1) the design of persuasive messages to influence health beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors and 2) the role of traditional and emerging media in promoting (and hindering) public health. Nan’s research addresses the basic processes of human judgment and decision making related to health risks and the implications of these processes for effective health and risk communication. Nan’s work prioritizes several health domains including vaccination, cancer control, food safety and nutrition, and climate change. 


Theoretical/cross-cutting themes examined in current research include:


  • Message framing (gain vs. loss, present vs. future, etc.) 

  • Narrative persuasion

  • Self-affirmation and risk communication

  • Evolutionary psychology and communication

  • Affect and risk communication

  • Visual communication of risks

  • Health misinformation

  • Health promotion via emerging media technology (e.g., social media, mobile devices, virtual reality)


Health topics examined in current research include:


  • Vaccination (e.g., HPV, pandemic flu)

  • Graphic cigarette warning labels; cigarette smoking among under-served populations

  • Food safety and nutrition (e.g., food recall risk communication, nutrition labels) 

  • Climate change; energy-efficient travel behaviors


For a list of peer-reviewed publications, click here.


For a list of research grants, click here.