S. Shyam Sundar

S. Shyam

James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects,
Co-Director, Media Effects Research Laboratory


  • Digital Media Technologies

Focus Areas:

  • Customized and Personalized Media
  • Fake News
  • Interactive Media
  • Mobile Media
  • Online Credibility
  • Online Privacy
  • Psychological Effects of Digital Media Technologies
  • Social Media
  • Virtual Assistants


  • Editor of the first-ever "Handbook on the Psychology of Communication Technology" (Blackwell Wiley, 2015)
  • Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 2013-2017
  • Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Korea Science and Engineering Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Facebook, Inc., and Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services, among others
  • Identified as the most published author of Internet-related research in the field during the medium’s first decade

S. Shyam Sundar is the James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects and a co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State. His research investigates social and psychological effects of technological elements (e.g., interactivity, modality) in digital media, from websites and social media to smartphones and robots. His research portfolio includes extensive examination of online sources and fake news on a variety of platforms. He also studies human responses to machine sources such as chatbots, smart speakers, and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI).

Sundar is a Fellow of the International Communication Association and recipient of the Paul J. Deutschmann Award for Excellence in Research from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is a frequently cited source on technology who has testified before

In The Media

“I think in general, people with low self-esteem tend to be more concerned about their image on any media and they more carefully craft it in order to project their best identity,”-S. Shyam Sundar

"We are likely to be less deliberate in our tweets and online posts when composing them on our phones compared to our laptops,"-S. Shyam Sundar

Why Do Older People Love Facebook? Let’s Ask My Dad

from The New York Times May 14, 2016

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