Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof Shirley S. Ho

Research Director for Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

Prof Shirley S. Ho

Dr. Shirley Ho is Professor in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University. She is Research Director for Arts, Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences in the President's Office at NTU. Her primary research area focuses on cross-cultural public opinion dynamics related to science and technology, with potential health or environmental impacts. Her work emphasizes the roles of values, social media and other emerging modes of communication in shaping public attitudes toward science and technology. She currently leads three projects in this area. She is the principal investigator of the large-scale, interdisciplinary project, “PONdER: Public Opinion of Nuclear EneRgy,” funded by the National Research Foundation in Singapore, that seeks to examine how the general public in Southeast Asia form perceptions toward nuclear energy, so as to inform nuclear policy and research. Under the sustainable nanotechnology initiative by NTU and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, she is currently leading a sub-project that examines the social-psychological factors in shaping public attitudes toward nano-enabled food products in Singapore and the U.S. Findings from the research will help to inform policies regarding the new food technology.

Her secondary area of research focuses on extending public opinion theories to examine the impacts of social media and social-psychological factors on attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. The projects that she currently leads in this research area include “Digital Media Literacy: Cyber Wellness of Singapore Youths and Adults” (funded by the Media Development Authority) and “Cyberbullying and Parental Mediation Strategies: A Comparative Assessment of Children and Teenagers” (funded by the Ministry of Education), in addition to others.

She has given keynote talks, plenary speeches, and other invited talks on science communication, public opinion, and cyber risks at institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, University of Houston, the Science Centre Singapore, and many more. She has published papers in top-tier communication journals such as Communication Research, Journal of Health Communication, New Media & Society, Public Opinion Quarterly, Public Understanding of Science, and Science Communication, as well as journals in other disciplines such as Nature Nanotechnology and Energy Policy.

Dr. Ho is the recipient of the 2018 Hillier Krieghbaum Under-40 Award, given by AEJMC to honour a scholar annually who have shown outstanding achievement in research, teaching and service. She has twice won the AEJMC ComSHER Division’s coveted Top Published Article of the Year Award (2018 & 2013) on science and risk communication, and International Communication Association (ICA) CAM Division’s Best Published Article Award (2019), in addition to the numerous top faculty paper awards that she has won at AEJMC and ICA over the years. She is the recipient of the Women in Education Leadership Award at the 9th Asia’s Education Excellence Awards in Singapore. She won the 2019 AEJMC ComSHER's Teaching Award (Second Place) for innovative and effective pedagogy in the areas of science, health, environment, and risk.

She frequently offers graduate and undergraduate courses including "Quantitative Research Methods in Communication and Information", "Audience Research Methods," and "Public Opinion." She has been an advisor for a number of honors, masters, and PhD students. Under her guidance, her students have won numerous top research paper awards at international conferences.

She received a Ph.D. in mass communications and a M.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008 and 2005, respectively. She also received a B.A. in communication studies (first class honors) from NTU in 2002. Her personal homepage is
Research Interests
Media effects and public opinion in the context of science, health, and environmental issues
Impacts of new media and social-psychological factors on attitudinal and behavioral outcomes
Mass communication theory and quantitative research methods
Current Projects
  • A Baseline, Cross-Sectional and Intervention Study Investigating Individual, Cultural and Organisational Factors Influencing Ownership of Workplace Health and Safety Leading to a Mindset Change and Actions.
  • A Cross-Cultural Comparison And Examination of Factors influencing multiple stakeholders' risk perceptions, Knowledge, andAttitudes toward the issue of Global Climate change
  • Advancing the Cognitive Mediation Model: A Study on Singaporeans' Knowledge of Climate Change and Environmentally Conscious Behaviours
  • Advancing the Spiral of Silence Theory
  • Expanding on the Cognitive Mediation Model: Understanding the Motivations behind Learning about the H1N1
  • Factors Influencing Problematic Mobile Phone Use Among Youths In Singapore And Malaysia
  • Framing effects on risk perception and public support of emergent technologies
  • H1N1: A Study in Health Communication
  • Mass Media, Social Norms, and Public Pro-Environmental Attitudes and Behaviour
  • Microencapsulation of Nutritional Compounds with Okara Food Waste
  • PIONEERS: Public Opinion of Nuclear Energy and other Energy Sources
  • PONdER: Public Opinion of Nuclear Energy
  • Perceiving Online Public Opinion: A Study of Facebook Opinion Cues, Opinion Climate Congruency, and Source Credibility on Willingness to Speak Out
  • Science Communication on Social Media: Investigating the Roles of Spokesperson Credibility, Issue Controversy, and Discourse Civility on Public Perceptions of Science & Technology
  • Science literacy: Development of a comprehensive measurement instrument
  • Scientists as Public Intellectuals: Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST)
  • Social Media in Civic Engagement
  • Spokespersons for Science: Examining the Attitudinal and Behavioral Influences of Opinion Leaders on YouTube
  • The Knowledge Gap Theory and Public Understanding of Breast Cancer
  • The role of socialization agents in adolescents' responses to mobile marketing: A consumer socialization perspective
  • Toward A Sustainable Nation: Public Perception Of Renewable Energies
  • Toward A Sustainable Nation: Public Perception Of RenewableEnergies
  • Transforming Team-Based Learning to Humanities and Social Science courses
  • Understanding Singaporeans' attitudes toward homosexuality and perceptions of media portrayals of lesbians and gays: A longitudinal investigation
Selected Publications
  • Shirley S Ho, Benjamin H Detenber, Sonny Rosenthal & Edmund Lee Wei Jian. (2014). Seeking information about climate change: Effects of media use in an extended PRISM. Science Communication, 36(3), 270-295.
  • Shirley S Ho, Xianghong Peh, Veronica WL Soh. (2013). The cognitive mediation model: Factors influencing public knowledge of the H1N1 pandemic and intention to take precautionary behaviors. Journal of Health Communication, 18(7), 773-794.
  • Shirley S Ho, Vivian Hsueh-Hua Chen, Clarice C Sim. (2013). The spiral of silence: Examining how cultural predispositions, news attention, and opinion congruency relate to opinion expression. Asian Journal of Communication, 23(2), 113-134.
  • Edmund WJ Lee, Shirley S Ho, Josephine K Chow, Ying Ying Wu, Zixin Yang. (2013). Communication and knowledge as motivators: Understanding Singaporean women's perceived risks of breast cancer and intentions to engage in preventive measures. Journal of Risk Research, 16(7), 879-902.
  • Shirley S Ho. (2012). The knowledge gap hypothesis in Singapore: The roles of socioeconomic status, mass media, and interpersonal discussion on public knowledge of the H1N1 flu pandemic. Mass Communication and Society, 15(5), 695-717.

« Back to Category Write-up