Douglas Yeung

Photo of Douglas Yeung
Behavioral and Social Scientist; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in psychology, Rutgers University; B.S. in management science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Douglas Yeung is a social psychologist at the RAND Corporation and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. His research has examined communication styles, behaviors, and mental health when using technology. His recent work has explored how policymakers can use insight from emerging technologies (e.g., social media, mobile devices) for well-being and civic policy-making. Yeung's other research involves online professional communities, and explores workforce attitudes, organizational knowledge-sharing, and how people discuss and seek career information. He has also conducted workforce diversity research, such as how minorities perceive career options and career development services.

Before coming to RAND, Yeung was a product analyst at Oracle, and also helped to create a mobile application that was a grand prize winner in Google's first Android Developer Challenge. He received a Ph.D. from Rutgers University - Newark, and a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Selected Publications

Douglas Yeung, Inez Khan, Nidhi Kalra, Osonde Osoba, Building Community Resilience: A Way Forward to Enhance National Health Security, RAND (PE-A862-1), 2021

Douglas Yeung, Rebecca Balebako, Carlos Ignacio Gutierrez Gaviria, Michael Chaykowsky, Face Recognition Technologies: Designing Systems that Protect Privacy and Prevent Bias, RAND Corporation (RR-4226), 2020

Douglas Yeung, "A Healthier Way for the Security Community to Partner with Tech Companies," Fletcher Security Review, 6(1), 2019

Douglas Yeung, "How Can Social Media Catalyze Policy Action and Social Change for Health and Wellbeing?" Journal of Medical Internet Research, 20(3), 2018

Douglas Yeung, Astrid Stuth Cevallos, Attitudes Toward Local and National Government Expressed over Chinese Social Media: A Case Study of Food Safety, RAND Corporation (RR-1308), 2016

Yeung, D. & Gifford, B., "Potential Recruits Seek Information Online for Military Enlistment Decision Making: A Research Note," Armed Forces and Society, 2011

Harber, K.D., Yeung, D.C., & Iacovelli, A., "Psychosocial Resources, Threat, and the Perception of Distance and Height: Support for the Resource and Perception Model," Emotion, 2011

Sara Beth Elson, Douglas Yeung, Parisa Roshan, S. R. Bohandy, and Alireza Nader, Using Social Media to Gauge Iranian Public Opinion and Mood After the 2009 Election, RAND (TR-1161), 2012


  • Student Maria Melendez sets up equipment to collect public wastewater samples from the University of Oklahoma campus to test for COVID-19 in Norman, Oklahoma, April 9, 2021, photo by Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman/USA Today Network via Reuters

    National Wastewater Tracking Could Help Us Stay Ahead of COVID-19—but Congress Cut the Funds

    For years, medical experts have used wastewater to track the spread of diseases. The National Wastewater Surveillance System has the potential to significantly change the way we fight COVID-19 as well as future pandemics, bacterial diseases, and viruses. But building up the robustness of a wastewater surveillance system will take financial support, and it's not clear Congress will provide it.

    Mar 24, 2022 San Francisco Chronicle

  • Hand holding figures in four different colors to represent different races and ethnicities, photo by Iuliia Anisimova/Getty Images

    The Health of Asian Americans Depends on Not Grouping Communities Under the Catch-All Term

    Health data have historically lumped all Asian American people together, obscuring distinct health disparities and leaving vulnerable communities neglected by researchers and policymakers. What would be needed to construct a fuller representation of Asian American communities and their well-being?

    Dec 13, 2021 NBC News THINK

  • Hand touching icon health care medical concept, photo by marchmeena29/Getty Images

    Tech Assets Might Help Make Public Health Data More Equity-Centered

    The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified broad societal inequities and trained a spotlight on the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. public health system. What would more equity-centered, tech-engaged public health data look like?

    Sep 9, 2021 Inside Sources

  • Men hold flowers during a vigil at a makeshift memorial outside the Gold Spa following the deadly shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, March 21, 2021, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Asian American Lives and Livelihoods Don't Just Deserve Our Qualified Support

    Racism against Asian Americans is deeply rooted in the history of the United States. Enduring stereotypes about and bias towards Asian Americans, as well as lack of concern about them, have had long-standing harm on Asian American lives and livelihoods. What can the Asian American community and its allies do?

    Mar 22, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • Twitter logo and binary cyber codes, November 26, 2019, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Insider Threat at Twitter Is a Risk to Everyone

    Three young hackers were charged in the hijacking of dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts. Their tactics point out how vulnerabilities at tech platforms can pose a risk to national security.

    Aug 7, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Profile with fingerprint on a red background, photo by malerapaso/Getty Images

    Bans on Facial Recognition Are Naive. Hold Law Enforcement Accountable for Its Abuse

    Broader police reform may be difficult to achieve. But in the long run, it will be more effective than any specific technology ban.

    Jun 17, 2020 The Hill

  • A worn-down prison block, photo by Tracy King/Adobe Stock

    Incarceration Rates: A Key Measure of Health in America

    There's widespread agreement that incarceration has adverse effects on health and health equity, not just for prisoners but also for families and communities. That's one important reason why incarceration in the United States needs to be reduced.

    Apr 3, 2020 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health blog

  • Cyborg head using artificial intelligence to create digital interface 3D rendering, image by sdecoret/Adobe Stock

    The Promise and Perils of AI: Q&A with Douglas Yeung

    Douglas Yeung, a social psychologist at RAND, discusses how any technology reflects the values, norms, and biases of its creators. Bias in artificial intelligence could have unintended consequences. He also warns that cyber attackers could deliberately introduce bias into AI systems.

    Feb 27, 2019

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2018

    Data Breaches Could Cause Users to Opt Out of Sharing Personal Data. Then What?

    As tech-based systems have become all but indispensable, many institutions might assume user data will be reliable, meaningful and, most of all, plentiful. But what if this data became unreliable, meaningless, or even scarce?

    Dec 28, 2018 United Press International

  • A robot's hand selecting a candidate photograph

    Intentional Bias Is Another Way Artificial Intelligence Could Hurt Us

    Conversations about unconscious bias in artificial intelligence often focus on algorithms unintentionally causing disproportionate harm to entire swaths of society. But the problem could run much deeper. Society should be on guard for the possibility that nefarious actors could deliberately introduce bias into AI systems.

    Oct 22, 2018 Scientific American

  • Person consulting a smart watch with GPS technology

    Using Wearable Fitness Devices to Monitor More Than Just Fitness

    Manufacturers could reinvigorate the market for personal health devices by incorporating measures of health and well-being beyond step counts. Wearables could gauge a neighborhood's air quality, safety, or its level of social connectedness.

    May 14, 2017 Scientific American

  • Group of women exercising and using their cell phones

    What 32 Million Tweets Tell Us About Health and the Twitterverse

    Health-related posts and conversations on Twitter shed light on the public's views on obesity, exercise and fitness, safe sex, alcohol, and mental health. Will such discussion increase in communities where health and wellness programs are put in place?

    Jan 26, 2017 The Health Care Blog

  • Metro Expo Line westbound train about to turn onto Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica

    Expo Line Could Enhance Wellbeing in Santa Monica

    On May 20, the long-awaited Metro Expo Line will begin service to Santa Monica. Viewing urban mobility as a key component of community wellbeing may be an instructive way to assess the impact of Expo and other infrastructure efforts.

    May 6, 2016 Santa Monica Daily Press

  • Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller gives a tour of the VW factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, October 21, 2015

    When Public Trust in Corporations Is Shaken

    The Volkswagen scandal comes at a time when the public's trust in both the automotive industry and tech companies is at risk. The level of public trust in an individual organization could end up burnishing — or infecting — an entire industry or new technology.

    Oct 28, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • U.S. soldiers take pictures of President Barack Obama at U.S. military base Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, South Korea, April 26, 2014

    Loose Clicks Sink Ships: When Social Media Meets Military Intelligence

    Social media updates can reveal military intelligence. But stopping a soldier from posting a geotagged tweet or Instagram photo presents challenges.

    Aug 14, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • The flags of China and Hong Kong are seen above tents outside Legislative Council Complex at an occupied area in Hong Kong November 11,2014

    The Mountains Are High and the Emperor Is Far Away

    Since September 22, tens of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Hong Kong, calling for universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election and the resignation of current Chief Executive Chun-ying Leung. When they took to Twitter to share their ideas and mobilize support, they revealed the profound disconnect that separates elements of Hong Kong society from their mainland counterparts.

    Nov 11, 2014 Foreign Policy

  • woman holding up cell phone

    The Insight of Twitter

    Exploring how people use social media has provided useful insight into public opinion. This insight may be particularly valuable in countries where freedom of expression may be limited, for whom social media may serve as an important outlet, writes Douglas Yeung.

    Oct 31, 2012 The RAND Blog