Bei Yan

PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology


I am interested in group dynamics in groups collaborating through and with technology. In particular, I study how collective action and collective intelligence emerge through computer-mediated communication and interaction with artificial intelligence. I conduct online experiments and analyze large behavior data sets of online collaboration.

Keywords: collective intelligence, crowdsourcing, group dynamics, social influence, social networks, computational social science, human-computer interaction


Yan, B., Hollingshead, A.B., Alexander, K. S., Cruz, I., Shaikh, S. J. (in press). Communication in transactive memory systems: A review and multidimensional network perspective. Small Group Research.

Danowski, J. A., Yan, B. & Riopelle, K. Riopelle (2020). A Semantic network approach to measuring sentiment. Quality and Quantity. (Featured in National Institute of Health (NIH)’s Nature Public Health Emergency Collection)

Yan, B., Jian, L, Ren, R., Fulk, J., Sidnam-Mauch, E., & Monge, P.(2020). The paradox of having a community: The effects of communication network centralization and shared task experience on wisdom of crowds. Communication Research.

Ren, R., Yan, B., & Jian, L. (2019). Show me your expertise before teaming up: Sharing online profiles predicts success in open innovation. Internet Research.

Yan, B., Kim, Y. J., Hollingshead, A. B, & Brandon, D.P. (2019). Conceptualizing online groups as multidimensional networks. In A. Attrill-Smith, C. Fullwood, M. Keep, & D. J. Kuss (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Cyberpsychology, Oxford University Press.

Yan, B. and Jian, L. (2017). Beyond reciprocity: The bystander effect of knowledge response in online knowledge communities. Computers in Human Behavior, 76: 9- 18. Download PDF.

Ren, R. and Yan, B.* (2017). Crowd diversity and performance in Wikipedia: The mediating effects of task conflict and communication. CHI2017: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems, 6342-6351. New York: ACM Press. Download PDF.

* The authors contributed equally to the paper

Yan, B., & Mushti, R. (2012). Dan Breznitz & Michael Murphree, The Run of the Red Queen: Government, Innovation, Globalization, and Economic Growth in China. International Journal of Communication, 6(2012), 1446–1450. (Book Review)

Yan, B. (2010). China city marketing practice: The case of Chengdu. In Y., Liu (Ed.), China City Marketing Development Report 2009-2010: A Road to Harmony and Prosperity. Beijing, China: China Social Sciences Press.


Yan, B., Lewis, K., Figge, P., Hollingshead, A. B., & Kim, Y. J.. Embodied Intelligent Agents Disrupt the Development of Team Cognition. Revise and Resubmit at Organization Science.

Yan, B. Motivating collaborative knowledge production online: A collective action perspective.

Yan, B. & Hollingshead, A.B.. Impact of social factors in idea generation on crowdsourcing platforms: Competition, peer production and the moderating effect of social value orientation. Target Journal: Communication Monograph.

Yan, B., Verwaeren, B., Kim, Y. J., Hollingshead, A. B.. When experts and the crowd disagree: The consequences of having multiple information sources in online reviews. Target Journal: Computers in Human Behavior.

James A. Danowski & Yan, B.. A Semantic network approach to measuring sentiment: Looking inside the bag of words. Target Journal: Computational Communication Research.


I'm currently working on several research projects, including two federally supported projects involving collaboration among researchers from multiple academic institutions.

Research Project: Understanding Online Creative Collaboration over Multidimensional Networks.

  • NSF supported project directed by by Dr. Janet Fulk, Dr. Peter Monge, and Dr. Lian Jian at the University of Southern California, Dr. Noshir Contractor at Northwestern University, and Dr. Chris Riedl at Northeastern University.

  • Having worked as an research assistant for the project, I am currently leading a sub-project investigating the relationship among diversity, communication and the wisdom of the crowd in an online crowdsourcing community. The project involves analysis of more than 10 years of longitudinal behavioral data from the online community.

Research Project: Tasks and Transitions: An Investigation of Transactive Memory Systems in Teams Performing Multi-Task Activities

  • US ARMY Research grant supported project directed by Dr. Kyle Lewis from University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Dr. Andrea Hollingshead from University of Southern California (USC) , and Dr. Linda Argote and Dr. Anita Woolley from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • The project studies how different task types impact the emergence and transfer of transactive memory systems within teams. I am the research assistant facilitating the research efforts as USC.

  • The USC research group is also working on a qualitative review of studies examining the relationship between communication and transactive memory system.

Research Project: The Social Influence Process of Online Reviews

  • Project directed by Andrea Hollingshead, in collaboration with Dr. Young Ji Kim from University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and Dr. Bart Verwaeren at the University of Groningen.

  • I am leading a sub-project investigating how information seekers are influenced by online reviews when disparate opinions exist among different social groups (e.g. the crowd and the experts).