Maria D. Molina

Maria Molina

Assistant Professor

  • Advertising + Public Relations
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Maria D. Molina is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising & Public Relations. She received her PhD in Mass Communications from Penn State University.

Maria studies online persuasion in the context of digital health, fake news, and online privacy using a combination of experimental and computational approaches. Her research explores the social and psychological implications of sharing online, focusing on how technology shapes what we share on social media, and how we respond to Artificial Intelligence tools that curate user-generated content.

Research and Teaching

  • Sharing Online
  • Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction
  • AI-Human Interaction
  • Media Effects
  • Social Media
  • Digital Health 
  • Fake News
Thematic Research Areas

Computational Communication
Health & Risk, Environment & Science Communication
Human Centered Technology Design
Media Psychology

Research Centers and Labs

Health and Risk Communication Center

Related Work

Recent Publications

Sundar, S.S., Molina, M. D., Cho, E. (2021). Seeing is believing: Is video modality more powerful in spreading Fake News via online messaging apps? Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 1-19.

Molina, M. D., Sundar, S. S., Rony, M. M. U., Hassan, N., Le, T., & Lee, D. (2021). Does clickbait actually attract more clicks? Three clickbait studies you must read. Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘21), Paper 234.

Molina, M. D., Sundar, S. S. (2021). Effects of digital media technology on health communication. In T. Thompson & P. J. Schulz (Eds.). Health Communication Theory. Wiley.

Molina, M. D., Sundar, S. S., Le, T., & Lee, D. (2021). “Fake news” is not simply false information: A concept explication and taxonomy of online content. American Behavioral Scientist, 65(2), 180-212. doi:10.1177/0002764219878224




Contact Information


404 Wilson Rd, Room 330
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824