As a communication science researcher, Dr. Jiyoun Kim has been concerned with the dynamics of public engagement in emerging interactive media with a special emphasis on contested issues. Her personal interest in risk, health, and science communication was spurred by her research experiences in the societal implications of nanotechnology group in the NSF-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC). Currently, she is interested in how social media influences public attitudes, interest and engagement toward controversial issues. Dr. Kim has published in the areas of big data, emerging channels of communication, risk-crisis communication, information processing, and public opinion on scientific issues. Her research has been presented at several conferences and appeared in numerous academic journals including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Risk Analysis, Energy Policy, and Journal of Nanoparticle Research.
Current research project: Dr. Kim’s recent research focuses on public engagement at the stage of information contribution (e.g., dissemination and endorsement) in online settings. She has examined how online social cues stimulated individuals’ cognitive processing and issue engagement intention.
The Meaning of Numbers: Effect of Social Media Engagement Metrics in Risk Communication
Findings suggest that high engagement metrics show more considerable influences on willingness to read the full news story, bandwagon perception, and perceived newsworthiness than low engagement metrics.
Using the health risks of nuclear plant accident as a context of enquiry, this study focuses on how peoples’ reactions to a piece of online news are affected by social media engagement metrics associated with the story. Based on the bandwagon heuristic, it assumes that online news with a high social media engagement metrics – high-sharing, -liking, and -commenting, show direct and mediated effects on respondents’ online news consumption and news sharing behavioral intention. Findings suggest that high engagement metrics show more considerable influences on willingness to read the full news story, bandwagon perception, and perceived newsworthiness than low engagement metrics. Also, news readership, bandwagon perception, and perceived newsworthiness served as mediators of the relationship between social media engagement metrics and news-sharing behavioral intention while there is no significant direct association found at the statistical level. The findings, however, indicate that social media engagement metrics affect when conditions are low-risk. The discussion highlights the theoretical implications of this research.
Decisions to choose genetically modified foods: how do people's perceptions of science and scientists affect their choices?
This study explores the effects of food science perception on food decisions in the controversial case of genetically modified (GM) foods.
This study explores the effects of food science perception on food decisions in the controversial case of genetically modified (GM) foods. We examine (1) how scientific consensus and scientific deference affect the public perception of GM foods; and (2) how perception and healthy eating interest influence people's actual food consumption decisions. We categorized our samples into four groups based on different risk/benefit perceptions of GM food: tradeoff, relaxed, skeptical, and uninterested in the process of further data analysis.
Predictors of Online News-Sharing Intention in the U.S and South Korea: An Application of the Theory of Reasoned Action
This study demonstrates what motivates media users to participate in the process of sharing online news in two cultures: South Korea and the United States (U.S.).
In its use of interactive media technology, the public takes on an important role in disseminating news, especially when sharing it through social networking sites. This study demonstrates what motivates media users to participate in the process of sharing online news in two cultures: South Korea and the United States (U.S.). Employing the theory of reasoned action, this study empirically displays how the intention to share online news is influenced by attitudes and subjective norms. Particularly, this study measures both attitudes toward and subjective norms about (1) the specific news article and (2) social media participation. Our findings reveal more substantial effects that attitudes have on behavioral intention than subjective norms in the U.S. group. The discussion highlights the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.