Jacob Copple, Ph.D.

Social Science Researcher


I'm a user engagement expert.
Years of primary, mixed-methods research help me connect the dots and empower data-driven decision-making.

UX Research Portfolio

Interactivity Features in Health Campaigns

Interactive data visualization and narratives combined provide positive beliefs related to weight loss.

International Student Food Delivery App: Food2You

Building a user-focused phone app to relieve pain points of an existing WeChat network so international students can get meals delivered to campuses.

Science Communication Engagement Response Scale

Scale development for science communicators to improve public engagement through dialogue, empathy, and

Check out my published academic research too!

These are just abstracts of the full papers. There’s a lot of academic jargon in these, but they provide a good idea of my research experience and capabilities. 

I’m also happy to send the full papers to anyone at anytime. Just message me on LinkedIn. No one should ever pay greedy publishers for scientific research.

Harnessing the persuasive potential of data: The combinatory effects of data visualization and interactive narratives on obesity perceptions and policy attitudes.

Data visualization has become a useful tool for website designers to effectively present complicated statistical information. In the context of health communication, however, the collective nature of aggregated data may hinder users from empathizing with individuals who suffer from a health issue. This study attempts to provide a solution to the limitation, by adding an interactive personal narrative to visualization of obesity data. Given the lack of empirical research that investigates why data visualization influences user engagement, the current study examines interactivity as an underlying mechanism. The level of interactivity in data visualization (low vs. high) was varied, along with the level of interactivity in a narrative of an obese character (low vs. high) in a 2 × 2 factorial-design experiment with 385 valid participants. Results showed that increased message interactivity for the narrative, presented with increased modality interactivity for data visualization, led to a greater empathic perception of obese individuals’ hardships and greater perceived severity of obesity, and less defensive responses to the website. As a result, high interactivity in data visualization showed significant indirect effects on participants’ attitudes toward policy change, only when presented with the highly interactive narrative.

Contribution of Training to Scientists’ Public Engagement Intentions: A Test of Indirect Relationships Using Parallel Multiple Mediation

This article investigates the impact science communication training has on engagement intentions through a parallel multiple mediation model. Theory of planned behavior variables for internal efficacy, response efficacy, norms, and attitudes are examined as potential mediators. Based on a survey of randomly selected scientists from universities in the Association of American Universities, results indicate indirect effects for internal efficacy and attitudes toward the audience and consistent direct effects found in earlier research. This research provides a more comprehensive examination of how communication training contributes to scientists’ public engagement activity.

Microbiologists’ public engagement views and behaviors

In this study, we present results from an extensive survey of US-based microbiologists (adults) to explore these scientists’ perceptions and behaviors related to communicating their research. Specifically, we explored the frequency with which microbiologists engage in public communication, how they evaluate their public communication experiences, and the factors associated with their willingness to engage in face-to-face and online public communication in the future. Data from a multi-wave online survey suggest that microbiologists (N = 903) are somewhat frequent communicators who derive great value from their outreach efforts. The results further suggest that social and psychological drivers of future intentions to engage with the public are consistent with the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). Specifically, microbiologists with more positive attitudes toward engagement were more willing to partake in direct and online communication activities. Similarly, microbiologists who believe they possess communication skills are more willing than their less efficacious colleagues to do either type of outreach. Our results also indicate that more-senior and more-active researchers are more willing to participate in direct and online engagement. Implications for communication training are discussed.

Entertainment Film and TV Portrayals of Climate Change and Their Societal Impacts

Although there is an abundance of social scientific research focused on public opinion and climate change, there remains much to learn about how individuals come to understand, feel, and behave relative to this issue. Efforts to understand these processes are commonly directed toward media depictions, because media represent a primary conduit through which people encounter information about climate change. The majority of research in this area has focused on news media portrayals of climate change. News media depictions, however, represent only a part of the media landscape, and a relatively small but growing body of work has focused on examining portrayals of climate change in entertainment media (i.e., films, television programs, etc.) and their implications. This article provides a comprehensive overview of this area of research, summarizing what is currently known about portrayals of climate change in entertainment media, the individual-level effects of these portrayals, and areas ripe for future research.

The Effects of Different Product Types in Sustainable PSAs

This study investigates how automobile tire and aluminum can product types in recycling and upcycling public service announcements (PSAs) influence an individual’s engagement intentions, attitudes towards PSA types, and attitudes towards sustainable behaviors. This is executed within this study by building on the theory of congruence to mediate the relationship between product type and PSA Type. The results suggest that students’(Millennials’ and Generation Zs’) PSA attitudes and behavioral engagement intentions are not influenced by any level of congruence between product types and recycling/upcycling PSA types. Furthermore, the results indicate that, when executing recycling/upcycling PSAs, organizations should use appropriate products within their PSAs but should not rely solely on correct product type within the PSA to sway consumers’ attitudes and engagement intentions. Future research should examine other product type/PSA type congruent pairings as well as different populations to see if any influential attitudes and sustainable behavioral intentions occur.

Regret and nonredemption of daily deals: Individual differences and contextual influences

The growth of online daily deal price promotions and the resulting consumer nonredemption of daily deal coupons is worthy of understanding from a psychological lens of nonconsumption. Whereas there is an emerging literature on daily deals and established literature on barriers to redemption, there exists a gap in where this scholarship intersects. This study provides a conceptual model explaining why consumers purchase daily deal coupons and do not redeem them. We explain consumers’ reasons for buying a daily deal upfront along with their reasons for not using it from theoretical lenses of reasons theory and social motivations theory. On testing the model empirically with qualitative and deepening insight via quantitative methods, the findings reveal that reasons for purchasing daily deals are rooted in individual consumer-level factors (i.e., price-consciousness, buying impulsiveness, and susceptibility to interpersonal normative influence). Further, reasons for nonredemption are explained by contextual elements of the daily deal (i.e., offer distinctiveness, the total number of daily deals sold, restrictions on using the deal, and low discount size). Our findings suggest that post-purchase regret ultimately explains a key reason deals go unused. Marketing implications are offered in the areas of characteristics of daily deal offers.