COVID-19 Research Series

 Online Hate, Racism, & Resilience

Since March 2020, explicit racial discrimination has emerged as yet another deleterious effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on American life. 


In this research series, we report on the results of several studies that examine the startling increase of incidents of online harassment against Asian Americans that has coincided with the pandemic.





Located in the heart of Detroit, Michigan, researchers from the SMART Labs at Wayne State University examine issues surrounding social media,  human communication, and close relationships. Broadly, we explore how people think about and use popular social media and artificial intelligence systems. We also examine the effects these technologies have on people's decisions, self-concept, and interaction with others.


Our lab has conducted several studies investigating how popular online dating websites and mobile apps are influencing the contemporary landscape of romantic relationships. In this line of work, we have explored how daters' personalities, sexualities, cultures, and religions affect their use of different dating sites and apps. Simultaneously, we have examined how dating technologies shape the decisions and directions of daters' relational futures.

At present, we are also investigating how autonomous algorithms impact decisions and behaviors made in the context of healthcare. Our current research projects examine how patients' thoughts and feelings about autonomous AI affect their acceptance of machine-made cancer diagnoses.

Our work is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Wayne State University Provost's Office.

Lab Members & Affiliates

Lab Graduates

Brandon Burbank (BA), William Cooper (MA), Elena Corriero (PhD), Elizabeth Diviney (BA), Allison Elam (MA), Jasmine Grotto (BA), Liyan Ibrahim (BA), Brittany Jefferson (MA), Benjamin Lennemann (BA), Daniel Nguyen (BA), Prathyusha Tadi (BS), Chad Van De Wiele (BA), Kunto Wibowo (PhD), Andrew Wirth (BA)



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