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

Molina, F., Molina, M. D., & Molina, C. (2022). Motivating learning through digital apps: The importance of relatedness satisfaction. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 1-15.

Molina, M. D. & Sundar, S.S. (2022). When AI moderates online content: Effects of human collaboration and interactive transparency on user trust. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 27(4) 1-12.

Molina, M. D. & Sundar, S.S. (2022). Does distrust in humans predict greater trust in AI? Role of individual differences in user responses to content moderation.  New Media & Society, 1-19.

Molina, M. D., Wang, J., Sundar, S.S., Le, T., DiRusso, C. (2022). Reading, commenting and sharing of fake news: How online bandwagons and bots dictate user engagement. Communication Research, 1-28.





Contact Information


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