Academic Profile

Dr. Hye Kyung (Kay) Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI). She was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, where she completed her undergraduate education in Advertising and Public Relations. She received a Master’s degree in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Communication from Cornell University. Before joining Cornell, she worked as a research executive at TNS Korea, a market research agency.

Her overarching research goal is to apply communication and social psychological theories to understand the processing and effects of communicative interactions in health. She is particularly interested in the role of self-defense motives in health-decision making and the processing of personally relevant risk information in mediated contexts. Her research ultimately seeks to develop theory driven communication strategies that overcome resistance to health persuasion.

Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, Journal of Communication, Risk Analysis, and Media Psychology. She won several research awards, including Top Student Paper Award from the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) and Thesis Awards from the Institute for Public Relations and the International Communication Association (ICA).
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Asst Prof Kim Hye Kyung
Assistant Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

Dr. Kim’s research draws theoretical concepts from literatures in narrative persuasion, attitude function, and self-affirmation and examines how these theories can help enhance health communication decisions. Much of her research has explored the interplay of individual factors relevant to self-defense (e.g., identity and social concerns and autobiographic history) and message features (e.g., framing and narrative effects) in shaping people’s judgment and beliefs on public health issues as well as their personal health decisions. She have mostly utilized quantitative research methods to investigate study predictions in a variety of health topics, including obesity, cancer prevention, the influenza pandemic, mental health issues, and food safety.

Major Research Areas:

• Risk and Health Communication
• Communication Theory
• Quantitative Research Methods
• Media Effects and Narrative Persuasion
  • Preventing Obesity-Related Diseases From Young: Evaluating The Longitudinal Impact Of Multimedia Intervention In Promoting Self-Regulation Of Calorie Consumption In Children

  • Screening and accuracy nudging to combat misinformation on COVID-19: AI-based protype development and pilot intervention

  • Strengthening the sense of belonging to Singapore: Explicating Cognitive, Affective and Neural Pathways (EXCAN)

  • Toward A Comprehensive Theory Of Defensive Resistance In Health Communication

  • Vaccine communication and messaging: Addressing COVID- 19 vaccine hesitancy and promoting population acceptance
  • HK Kim, TK Lee. (2017). Conditional Effects of Gain–Loss-Framed Narratives among Current Smokers at Different Stages of ChangeDifferential Effects of Message Framing on Obesity Policy Support Between Democrats and Republicans. Health Communication, 32(12), 1481-1490.

  • Kim, H. K., & Lwin, M. O. (2017). Cultural effects on cancer prevention behaviors: Fatalistic cancer beliefs and risk optimism among Asians in Singapore. Health Communication, .

  • Kim, H. K., & Shapiro, M. A. (2016). When bad things happen to a protagonist like you: The role of self in resistance to negatively framed health narratives. Journal of Health Communication, 21(12), 1227-1235.

  • Kim Hye Kyung., & Niederdeppe, J. (2015). Effects of Self-Affirmation, Narratives, and Informational Messages in Reducing Unrealistic Optimism About Alcohol-Related Problems Among College Students. Human Communication Research, .

  • Kim Hye Kyung, Kim, S., & Niederdeppe, J. (2015). Scientific Uncertainty as a Moderator of the Relationship between Descriptive Norm and Intentions to Engage in Cancer Risk–Reducing Behaviors. Journal of Health Communication, 20(4), 387-395.