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Kim Hye Kyung
Assistant Professor
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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.

Research Statement

Her overarching research goal is to apply communication and social psychological theories to understand the processing and effects of communicative interactions in health. Her research ultimately seeks to develop theory driven communication strategies that overcome resistance to health persuasion.

Dr. Kim’s research draws theoretical concepts from literatures in communication and social psychology 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., autobiographic history, optimistic bias) 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.

Research One-liner

My research applies communication and social psychological theories to understand the processing and effects of communicative interactions in health.


Kim, H.K., & Lwin, M.O. (2020). Cultural determinants of cancer fatalism and cancer prevention behaviors. Health Communication: this study identifies underlying reasons for cancer fatalism that is prevalent amongst Singaporeans

Kim, H.K., & Lee, T.K. (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.: this work integrates message framing into narrative persuasion and illuminates boundary conditions for their interactive effects

Kim, H.K., & 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: this study examines the efficacy of narratives at overcoming resistance to persuasion and its persuasive mechanisms.

Latest Projects
  • Toward a Comprehensive Theory of Defensive Resistance in Health Communication
  • Developing Strategies To Promote Risk Reducing Behaviours During A Haze Crisis
  • Effects of Interactive Narratives and Cultural Congruency on Promoting Influenza Vaccination
  • Preventing obesity-related diseases from young: Evaluating the longitudinal impact of multimedia intervention in promoting self-regulation of calorie consumption in children
Advice to young researchers

To be a researcher who contributes to the scientific community as well as to the health communication practice beyond academia, I found it important to develop a clear program of research and to find good research collaborators who can complement my weaknesses.

Other affiliation(s)

Expert Areas
narrative persuasion, risk perception, Separate each keyword with a comma. Health communication

Research Interests
media effects, public health campaigns, Separate each keyword with a comma. Health and risk communication

Research Category
Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences
Research Sub-category
Communication Studies, Language & Communication, Philosophy
NISTH Assigned Topic Groupings
Tele-health, medicine, rehab & therapeutics
Affiliated Sustainable Development Goals
GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.
GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION – Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in.
GOAL 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES – There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
Last Updated
23 Apr 2020
Last Updated
13 Sep 2020