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 conversational agents or chatbots, 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 was the PI of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to develop and evaluate an exergame for physical activity promotion among young adults. As a Co-PI, she has worked on a National Science Foundation grant to study 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 60 articles in journals such as Journal of Communication, Information, Communication, & Society, New Media & Society, Media PsychologyHealth Communication, Journal of Medical Internet Research, BMC Public Health, Health Psychology, Journal of Health Communication, Computers in Human Behavior, CyberPsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Health Education & Behavior, Telemedicine and e-Health, Games for Health Journal, Computers & Education, Social Science Computer Review, Mobile & Media Communication, and Journal of Physical Activity and Health. She has also published in the leading venues of Human-Computer interaction, including PACM on Human-Computer Interaction (CSCW) and SIGCHI Conference (CHI)She is currently seeking motivated students who can work on projects related to AI and persuasive technology in the area of health misinformation.  

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., Lim, S., & Meng, J. (2022). Persuasive Strategies in Online Health Misinformation: A Systematic Review. Information, Communication, & Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2022.2085615

Sah, Y-J., & Peng, W. (2022). Context-dependent online social influence: Effect of majority and minority comments on posters and lurkers. Social Science Computer Review. https://doi.org/10.1177/08944393211070527

Shin, J., Peng, W., & Lee, H-R. (2022). More than Bedtime and the Bedroom: Sleep Management as a Collaborative Work for the Family. Proceedings of the SIGCHI 2022 Conference (CHI ’22), Article No. 234, Pages 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3517535 New Orleans, LA, USA

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/ 

Shin, J-Y., Rheu, M., Huh-Yoo, J., & Peng, W. (2021). Designing technologies to support parent-child relationships: A review of current findings and suggestions for future directions. PACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 5, (CSCW), article 441. https://doi.org/10.1145/3479585

Rheu, M.J., Peng, W., & Huang, K-T. (2021). Leveraging Upward Social Comparison in Social Media to Promote Healthy Parenting. Health Communication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2021.1943891

Kanthawala, S., Peng, W. (2021). Credibility in online health communities: Effects of moderator credentials and endorsement cues. Journalism and Media, 2, 379-397. doi: 10.3390/journalmedia2030023

Joo, E., Kononova, A., Kanthawala, S., Peng, W., & Cotten, S. (2021). Smartphone users’ persuasion knowledge in the context of consumer mobile health apps: Qualitative Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 9(4),e16518. doi: 10.2196/16518  

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

Contact Information

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