I investigate the influence of technology on individuals' health and well-being, focusing on the interaction between humans and technology. My primary research explores the variations in people's trust towards health-related artificial intelligence and identifies the factors that distinguish trust in artificial intelligence from trust in medical professionals. Additionally, my secondary research objective endeavors to understand the effects of smartphones on health, specifically examining their impact on sleep patterns and social connectedness. Through these investigations, I aim to deepen our understanding of the complex relationship between technology and human well-being, thereby informing the development of future interventions and strategies to promote healthier technology usage. 

I am in the fifth year of my Psychology Ph.D. program with a concentration in the Human Development and Public Policy Ph.D. program.  I hail from sunny Southern California and have extensive previous research experience in health and social psychology. After obtaining my Ph.D., my goal is to continue working in academia and use both my Psychology research and Public Policy expertise to study the current and future impacts of technology and how it may better complement our lives. I am looking for Post Doc positions this year. 


Smartphones Undermine Social Connectedness More in Men Than Women: A Mini Mega-Analysis

Matthew R. Leitao, Jason D. E. Proulx, Kostadin Kushlev

Technology, Mind, and Behavior, vol. 5(1: Spring 2024), 2024

Identification With Characters in Parasocial Relationships Predicts Sharing Their Personality Traits

Erica C. Rarity, Matthew R. Leitao, Abraham M. Rutchick

vol. 11(2), 2022, pp. 111-116

A week during COVID-19: Online social interactions are associated with greater connection and more stress

Maureen Tibbetts, Adam Epstein-Shuman, Matthew R. Leitao, Kostadin Kushlev

Computers in Human Behavor, 2021

Exploratory factor analysis and validity of the virtual reality symptom questionnaire and computer use survey.

Daniel A. del Cid, Daniel Larranaga, Matthew Leitao, Robert L. Mosher, Sara R. Berzenski, Vipal Gandhi, Stefanie A. Drew

Ergonomics, vol. 64(1), 2021 1, pp. 69-77

The Effects of Smartphones on Well-Being: Theoretical Integration and Research Agenda

Kostadin Kushlev, Matthew R Leitao

arXiv: Human-Computer Interaction, 2020 Apr 17


Health Algorithm

An investigation of the influence and impact of algorithmic recommendations on people's health beliefs, judgments, and behaviors.

Phone Use and Social Connection

A mega analytic evaluation of phone use during face-to-face social situations and it's impact on emotional wellbeing and social connectedness

Risk Creep

A study on the impact of social and experiential learning on risky behavior.

Autonomy's Impact of the Utilization of AI

Evaluation of the impact of autonomy on the williness to utilize external decision makers.

Life During Covid-19

A study which look into the effect of living in lock down during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Extra Links

Dissertation Defense

Welcome! Here are the links and information concerning my dissertation defense!


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