Gainesville, Fla – Dr. Cathy Li, assistant professor of public relations at San Jose State University, has been appointed as Chief Research Editor of the IPR Behavioral Insights Research Center (BIRC). Dr. Li is known for her research on how new media have changed the interactions between organizations and users, between technologies and users, and among network users themselves.

The BIRC, spearheaded by Dr. Terry Flynn, McMaster University, exists to determine the key factors that influence attitude/opinion formation and therefore the resultant actions and or decisions; and to develop and apply processes, methods, pathways that enable effective communication.

Insights garnered from the research conducted by the BIRC will be shared with the industry through blog postings on the IPR website, publication in the IPR Research Journal, publication in peer-reviewed academic journals and presentations at IPR conferences and events over the next year.

“Behavior sciences are at the core of human communication. By drawing insights from fields such as psychology and cognitive science and unveiling behavioral evidence from empirical research, BIRC will help broaden our understanding of the underlying factors that influence attitudes and drive behavior changes,” said Dr. Li. “I am very enthusiastic and deeply honored to take this role. I look forward to working with Dr. Terry Flynn and many other public relations scholars and professionals to build thought leadership on behavioral insights.”

Li’s research has been published in several top refereed journals such as Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Computers in Human Behavior, Internet Research, and Journal of Communication Management. She is also the author of several book chapters on new media and public relations measurement.

“The BIRC is eager to welcome Cathy aboard. Her passion about psychological variables and consumer behavioral outcomes will help communicators understand how people make decisions and act on them,” said Dr. Flynn.

About the IPR Behavioral Insights Research Center
The Behavioral Insights Research Center’s (BIRC) mission is to conduct research on the factors that influence attitude and behavioral change to enable effective communication. BIRC can help professionals understanding how and why people think and behave the way they do in this ever-changing business environment.

About the Institute for Public Relations
The Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit research foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. IPR focuses on research that matters to the profession, providing timely insights and applied intelligence that professionals can put to immediate use. All research is available free at and provides the basis for the organization’s professional conferences and events.


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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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