Yu-Hao Lee, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Media Production,
Management, and Technology

College of Journalism and Communications

2023 Awardee

Yu-Hao Lee’s research focuses on the cognitive and emotional effects of immersive and interactive media such as video games, virtual reality and online communities. He also studies how to design immersive media experiences that promote better decision-making and prosocial behaviors.

“I use a mixed-method approach to examine people’s experiences in immersive media by combining behavioral, self-report, and psychophysiological measures (e.g., heart rate, eye-tracking),” Lee said. “The mixed-method approach allows us to not only understand how people navigate and process information in these immersive environments, but also allows us to compare their subjective reports with their physiological responses and behaviors.”

His research has examined the use of immersive technologies in various contexts, including using serious games to train intelligence analysts about cognitive biases and to improve law enforcement officers’ deception detection skills. He has also examined using immersive technology to change people’s attitudes toward climate change and refugees.

“Overall, as more AI technology and human senses are incorporated into our media experiences in the metaverse, my research provides insights that can advance our understanding of how humans process these immersive media experiences and how people may behave, which provides insights to how communities could interact in the metaverse,” he said.

Lee is currently working on two research projects: The first examines cross-cultural norms and violations in the metaverse. The goal is to identify non-verbal signs of boundary violations and discomfort in cross-cultural interactions. The findings will provide suggestions to metaverse providers and government policymakers on how to detect harassment and other forms of violations at an early stage so that prevention features or interventions can be applied.

The second project is a multi-year, international collaboration to examine the potential for utilizing immersive virtual reality experiences to promote self-improvement and prosocial actions through eliciting self-transcendent emotions.

Lee has published 58 peer-reviewed articles and secured over $500,000 in external research grants. His work has been honored with 13 research awards and is published in top-tier journals including Communication Monographs, New Media & Society, and Computers in Human Behavior. His research has received news coverage in mainstream media, including USA Today, Huffington Post, Wired and New Scientist.

Lee earned his Ph.D. in Media & Information Studies from Michigan State University. He earned his B.A. in Economics and M.A. in Journalism from National Taiwan University.