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Relationships & Technology Lab

The Relationships and Technology Lab conducts social scientific research on communication, technology use, and relationships. If you're an undergraduate student who is interested in getting involved as a research associate, please email your CV and a short statement of interest to Dr. Sharabi. If you're a prospective graduate student and would like to learn more about our Ph.D. program, you can find more information here.

Lab Director


Dr. Liesel Sharabi is an associate professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and Director of the Relationships and Technology Lab. Her research explores how technology is changing dating and romantic relationships. She has published dozens of papers on the topics of dating apps and social media, multimodal relationships, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR). She also been featured in media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, and NPR. More information can be found on her faculty page.  

Doctoral Students

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Paige Von Feldt is a second-year interpersonal and health communication doctoral student. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Kentucky, where she also minored in Sociology. As a communication scientist, she primarily uses quantitative methods to examine mental health, stigma, communication technologies, and their impact on well-being. She was recently awarded the Outstanding Thesis Award from the Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association. Currently, she is a funded research assistant on a study exploring the impacts of social touch in virtual reality. You can read her work in Social Sciences or the International Journal of Communication.  

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Mehek Dhillon is a first-year interpersonal and health communication doctoral student. She earned her B.S. in Communication from Arizona State University. As a communication scholar, Mehek plans to take a mixed-methods approach to study applications of technology in close relationships. Specifically, she is interested in how collective experiences and art in digital contexts impact community health and individual well-being. 

Yuqi Xiao is a first-year technology and interpersonal communication doctoral student. He earned his B.A. in Optical Information Science and Technology from Sichuan University and his M.A. in Communication from the University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. As a mixed-methods communication scholar, Yuqi's research centers on human-machine communication, technology and society, and the impact of technology on interpersonal relationships. His current research explores how Chinese parents use matchmaking software to intervene in their children`s relationships. You can read his work in Frontiers in Psychology

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Richard He (Qin He) is a first-year doctoral student in interpersonal communication. He received his B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as an M.A. in Psychology from New York University. Coming from a quantitative background, Richard is excited to utilize his skills in future research and further study various quantitative and qualitative research methods. His research interests revolve around romantic relationships. Specifically, he hopes to study topics related to dating, attraction, relationship compatibility, relationship well-being, cyclical relationships, etc.

Research Associates

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Sally Tan is an undergraduate junior at Barrett, the Honors College ASU, where she is pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology. As a first-generation college student, Sally brings a unique perspective to qualitative research. She is particularly passionate about building healthy communities on virtual platforms with a multicultural lens, drawing from her background in Eastern philosophy and the humanities. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school for Clinical Psychology.  

Ava Papadakos is an undergraduate student from Pittsford, New York. She is currently a sophomore at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication pursuing a degree in Communication. Ava is a member of Chi Omega at Arizona State University, a Panhellenic organization. After college she plans on traveling and expanding her network.

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Molly Scaccia is a first-generation, undergraduate student at Arizona State University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Communication and Media Studies at the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. She previously attended Paradise Valley Community College, where she was a Presidents’ Honors Scholarship and Foundation Scholarship recipient. She plans to further her education by attending graduate school for Communication.

Audrey Hammond is an undergraduate junior at Arizona State University, pursuing a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Film and Media Studies at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Her particular interest lies in exploring interpersonal relationships, especially within the realm of technology. Post graduation, she intends to advance her education by attending graduate school for Psychology.

Lab Alumni

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Hadley Allen

Savannah Ambrose

Janine Beer

Krysta Chotkowski

Jordan Coddington

Ainsley Coyle

Marco Dehnert

Lauren Dewan

McKenzie Diehl

Sara Downs

Aleksandra Froehlich

Zachary Hlatky

Merial Hutchison

Annamariah Hopkins

Merial Hutchison

Jake Mozden

Matt Mullin

Megan Niehoff

Delaney Overturf

Dominic Palisoc

Christiana Robey

Cassandra Ryder

Taryn Stahl

Ishanah Steele

Jennifer Tringale

Madison Wedge

Isabella Werner

Kaitlyn Whyte

Morgan Winner

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