Sixiao Vivian Liu

Sixiao (Vivian) Liu, Ph.D.

Sixiao Vivian Liu
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Health Communication & Equity Lab

Sixiao Liu’s research examines the effects of narrative persuasion and message framing in health and science communication. Her work focuses on issues such as e-cigarette use, vaccination, and ocean plastic pollution.

Liu’s research employs primarily survey and experimental methods to evaluate communication messaging designed to motivate public engagement in prosocial behaviors. Focusing on strategic communication, her research has examined the utility of narrative persuasion and message framing on a variety of public health and environmental health issues ranging from HPV vaccination, tobacco control, the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainable aquaculture and ocean plastic pollution. Her works have appeared in the peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Health Communication, Science Communication, Patient Education & Counseling, Social Science & Medicine, Risk Analysis, and Public Understanding of Science.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, her recent work integrates the construal level theory of psychological distance and narrative persuasion to examine the effects of messages in preventing two behaviors hazardous to people’s health and the environment, namely the use of e-cigarettes and disposable plastics.

As a junior researcher, Liu has been actively engaged in professional activities. She was selected as a member of the inaugural Inclusive SciComm and AEJMC ComSHER cohort, and has received top paper awards from AEJMC, ICA and NCA. She also reviewed for academic journals such as Mass Communication and Society, Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, and Environmental Communication

Liu received her Ph.D. and M.A. in communication from University of Buffalo in 2021 and 2017. She received another M.A. in Journalism, Media and Communication from Cardiff University, U.K. in 2015, and a B.A. in Portuguese from Tianjin Foreign Studies University in 2012.


  • B.A., Tianjin Foreign Studies University, 2012
  • M.A., Cardiff University, 2015
  • M.A., University at Buffalo, SUNY, 2017
  • Ph.D., University at Buffalo, SUNY, 2021

Selected Publications