Wenhao Dai Headshot

Wenhao Dai, Ph.D.

Wenhao Dai Headshot
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Annenberg Public Policy Center

Dai's research examines the formation, shifting, and social and health consequences of action and inaction goals. He is also interested in attitudes and behavioral priming.

Wenhao Dai's research studies how people form and shift social action and inaction goals, and how these goals impact their feelings, attitudes, and health-related outcomes. The main research questions he studies include: How does social action impact our feeling of closeness and attitudes towards others? Do people feel closer to those with whom they interact when they interact with a few or a lot of people? Can loneliness be the result of too many instead of too few social interactions? Is it easier to shift from action to inaction or inaction to action goals? Do action norms or inaction norms lead to more accuracy motivation?

He also does meta-analysis and experiments on social priming. His work examines: Is there a robust social priming effect when sufficiently considering different inclusion biases? Are behavioral and non-behavioral priming equally effective in changing behaviors? What factors moderate priming effect? What is the mechanism of behavioral and non-behavioral priming?


  • B.A., University of California Davis, 2016
  • M.A., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2018
  • Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2022

Selected Publications