Janet Yang


Janet Yang.

Janet Yang


Janet Yang


Scholarly Interests

Risk Communication, Science Communication, Health Communication, Environmental Communication.


Professor Janet Yang studies how communication behaviors and decision-making processes are influenced by the way people perceive risk. She has conducted research in numerous environmental and health contexts, including climate change, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution, vaccination, and COVID-19.  She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and received numerous top paper awards at professional meetings. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, among others. She was awarded the 2020 Hillier Krieghbaum Under 40 Award by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the 2021 Chauncey Starr Distinguished Young Risk Analyst Award by the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). In 2024, she received the KCHC Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication Award. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Educational Background

  • PhD, Cornell University
  • MA, Marquette University
  • BA, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Recent Courses

  • COM 456: Risk Communication
  • COM 640: Risk Communication
  • COM 684: Science Communication

Current Research

  • Using survey experiment to explore the impact of conflicting information on risk perception about PFAS pollution, as well as downstream behaviors such as policy support and risk mitigation behavioral intention.
  • Using social behavioral science to identify effective strategies to promote plastic recycling, reuse, and reduce behaviors based on representative samples of New York State residents.
  • Using narrative to study value-based strategies to improve public trust in science and scientists.

Selected Publications

* Graduate students co-authors

Yang, J. Z. (2024). Comparative risk perception of the Monkeypox outbreak and the Monkeypox vaccine. Risk Analysis, 44(2), 295-303. https://doi.org/10.1111/risa.14154

Liu, Z., & Yang, J. Z. (2023). For my own sake: The role of personal relevance in information seeking. Science Communication, 45(6), 751-787. https://doi.org/10.1177/10755470231204315

Yang, J. Z., Dong, X.*, & Liu, Z.* (2022). Systematic processing of COVID-19 information: Relevant channel beliefs and perceived information gathering capacity as moderators. Science Communication, 44(1), 60-85. https://doi.org/10.1177/10755470211044781

Yang, J. Z., Kahlor, L., & Li, H. (2014). A United States-China comparison of risk information-seeking intentions. Communication Research, 41(7), 935-960. http://doi.org/10.1177/0093650213479795

Yang, J. Z., Aloe, A. M. & Feeley, T. H. (2014). Risk information seeking and processing model: A meta-analysis. Journal of Communication, 64(1), 20-41. http://doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12071