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How is our cognition changing due to mobile and social technologies?
How are our thoughts and emotions tied to time and space?


The
MSC Lab explores how our cognition is on-the-move.

Our research teams grapple with how cognition is changing due to communication technologies, with a central focus on mobile and social media habits. In the process, our work attempts to clarify how people stay connected and move between on/offline spaces in daily life, along with their implications for well-being.

Lab Philosophy

  • We adopt a slow science mentality that aims to set the agenda for future research in communication and social psychology by integrating emerging methods and interdisciplinary perspectives.

  • We prioritize ecological validity -- i.e., generalizability to real-world contexts -- by using experience sampling (ESM/EMA), mobile sensing, and naturalistic study stimuli (e.g., social media data and interfaces).

  • We examine the importance of mobility at-large, including mobile media, physical movement, and spatial and temporal perception -- plus how people move between online social environments.

Our
Team

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Joe Bayer, PhD

Lead City Explorer

Joe Bayer is an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University and Director of the Mobile Social Cognition Lab. His research grapples with how social cognition is changing due to communication technologies, with a central focus on mobile and social media habits. In the process, his work clarifies how people stay connected to others and move between on/offline spaces in daily life -- along with their implications for personal well-being.

Morgan Quinn Ross, MA

Lead Morning Runner

Morgan Quinn Ross is a PhD Candidate in the School of Communication. His research applies mobility and identity perspectives to understand the psychological connection between people and communication technologies. He specifically investigates how mobility affords (dis)connection in everyday life and how mobile media extend our identities. To do so, he uses a variety of traditional and computational methods, such as surveys, experiments, experience sampling, and passive sensing (with an emphasis on app and GPS logs).

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Lisa Rhee, PhD

Lead Dance Instructor

Lisa Rhee received her PhD in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University in 2023. Her doctoral research focused on understanding the real-world social and psychological effects of social media use while prioritizing ecological approaches. In particular, she conducted studies on the roles of user definitions and expectations tied to social media, with the goal of clarifying how individuals navigate the rapidly growing social media ecosystem. 

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Stephanie Torres-Pantoja

Mobile Researcher

Stephanie Torres-Pantoja is a PhD student in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. Her current research interests focus on the psychological processes in which people are navigating between online and offline social environments. Specifically, she is interested in how social identity (e.g., political identity) influences social learning and cognitive biases in various social environments.

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Razieh Pourafshari

Mobile Researcher

Razieh Pourafshari is a PhD student in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. Her research interests primarily focus on the temporal modeling of technology use, including a combined focus on short-term and long-term trajectories of app use. She is motivated to employ time series and sequence analyses to study how "timing" and "temporality" influence the formation of digital habits and their psychological implications in daily life.

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Yifei Lu

Mobile Researcher

Yifei Lu is a master's student in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. Her research interests lie in information processing, social cognition, and social decision-making, especially as they relate to mobile technologies and pro-sociality. She is also interested in how these processes depend on personality as well as temporal and spatial context. To bridge individual and behavioral level data, she plans to employ a range of empirical methods, including surveys, data mining, mobile sensing, and experience sampling. Her ultimate goal is to help create an environment that encourages pro-social interactions and outcomes while minimizing the side effects of constant connectivity.

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Lab Partners

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David Lee [University of Buffalo]

David Lee's research examines how everyday social interactions and relationships enable people to thrive. He is interested in a variety of social contexts (e.g., social support exchange, social media interactions, thinking about interacting with others), and its impact on outcomes ranging from self-regulation to mental and physical health. See his Google Scholar.
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