Wei Peng Ph.D.

Wei Peng


  • Media & Information
(517) 432-8235


Dr. Wei Peng (Ph.D. in Communication, University of Southern California, 2006) is a Professor in the Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the psychological and social mechanisms of behavior change and their application in the design of interactive media for health and wellness promotion. Her recent projects focus on using digital games and mobile apps for health promotion, health education, and social change. Her broader research area is the social and psychological effects of information and communication technology. She received funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop and evaluate an exergame for physical activity promotion among young adults. She is currently funded by the National Science Foundation to research how to use sensor-enabled and gamified technology to influence family routines for child obesity prevention. She has served or is currently serving as a member of the editorial board of Journal of Communication, Health Communication, Games for Health Journal, and BMC Public Health. She has published over 50 articles in journals such as Journal of Communication, Health Communication, Journal of Medical Internet Research, BMC Public Health, Health Psychology, Journal of Health Communication, Computers in Human Behavior, CyberPsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, New Media & Society, Media Psychology, Health Education & Behavior, Telemedicine and e-Health, Games for Health Journal, Computers & Education, Mobile & Media Communication, and Journal of Physical Activity and Health. She is currently seeking motivated students who can work on projects related to conversational agent and persuasive technology. 

Updated CV 

Google Scholar 


Research and Teaching

  • Media Effects/Media Psychology
  • Psychological impacts of interactive media (mediators and moderators)
  • Utilizing technologies for health communication (persuasive technology)
  • Behavior change enabled by conversational agent and AI
  • Mobile apps for disease self-management and health promotion
  • Credibility and misinformation 
  • Active video games (exergames) for physical activity promotion
Thematic Research Areas

Game Design and Development
Health & Risk, Environment & Science Communication
Human Centered Technology Design
Media Psychology

Research Centers and Labs

Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab
Health and Risk Communication Center

Recent Awards:
  1. Top 3 Papers Award, Intercultural Communication Division, Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Washington DC, 2019
  2. Michigan State University Teacher-Scholar Award, 2013-2014
  3. Top 4 Papers Award, Game Studies SIG, Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Phoenix, AZ, 2012.
  4. Michigan Children’s Trust & MSU Children’s Central Innovation Award, 2009.
  5. Top 3 Papers Award, Games Studies SIG, Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Montreal, Canada, 2008
  6. Top 3 Papers Award, Human Communication and Technology Division, Annual Conference of the National Communication Association (NCA), Chicago, 2007
Recent Publications

Peng, W., Li, L., Kononova, A., Cotten, S., Kamp, K., & Bowen, M. (2021). Habit formation in wearable activity tracker use among older adults: Qualitative study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 9(1), https://mhealth.jmir.org/2021/1/e22488/ 

Rheu, M., Shin, J., Peng, W., Huh-Yoo, J. (2020). Systematic review: Trust-building factors and implications for conversational agent design. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 37(1), 81-96.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10447318.2020.1807710

Rheu, M., Jang, Y., & Peng, W. (2020). Enhancing healthy behaviors through virtual self: A systematic review of health interventions using avatars. Games for Health, 9(2), 85-94. doi: 10.1089/g4h.2018.0134.

Li, L., Peng, W., Kononova, A., Bowen, M, & Cotten, S. (2020). Factors associated with older adults’ long-term use of wearable activity trackers. Telemedicine and e-Health, 26(6), doi: 10.1089/tmj.2019.0052  

Li, L., & Peng, W. (2020). Does health information technology promote healthy behaviors? The mediating role of self-regulation. Health Communication. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2019.1663468

Sah, Y. J., & Peng, W. (2019). How does interactivity in a video game render people susceptible? A mediating role of concrete-level action identity in immersive media. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 13(4), article 4. http://dx.doi.org/10.5817/CP2019-4-4

Bi, C., Xing, G.,  Hao, T., Huh, J., Peng, W., Ma, M., & Chang, X. (2019). FamilyLog: Monitoring Family Mealtime Activities by Mobile Devices. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. PP. 1-1. 10.1109/TMC.2019.2916357. 

Li, L., & Peng, W. (2019). Transitioning through social media:International students' SNS use, perceived social support, and acculturative stress. Computers in Human Behavior, 98, 69-70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.03.011

Kononova, A., Li, L., Kamp, K., Bowen, M., Rikard, R. V., Cotten, S., & Peng, W. (2019). The Use of Wearable Activity Trackers Among Older Adults: A Focus Group Study of Tracker Perceptions, Motivators, And Barriers in Different Stages of Behavior Change. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 7(4):e9832. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.9832.   



Contact Information

404 Wilson Rd. Room 429
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University