Intergenerational parent-to-child transfer of trustfulness

March 2022 | York Uniersity’s YFile featured my research on whether trustful children are the product of genetics, environmental influences or parental socialization, which was published on 28 February 2022 in the American Sociological Association’s journal Socius.

Ugly Anti-Masker Protests Plague Canadian Election

September 2021 | I spoke to Vice about the anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown protesters targeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign events.

Did the pandemic shake Chinese citizens’ trust in their government? We surveyed nearly 20,000 people to find out

May 2021| I published my research analysis of the Chinese government’s handling of the pandemic in the Washington Post. This analysis was also featured by CCTV, China Daily and the SCMP.

Chinese more trusting of government months into pandemic, survey finds

May 2021| I was quoted in the South China Morning Post in a 11 May story on Chinese citizens’ levels of trust at different levels of government since the COVID-19 outbreak. This story was also featured on the Big News Network.

As Asian Canadian scholars, we must #StopAsianHate by fighting all forms of racism

April 2021 | It was important for me to be a part of this initiative, which resulted in a impactful piece in The Conversation. We came together as a group of Asian Canadian scholars to discuss the structural roots of anti-Asian racism and the road ahead. The piece was republished in the National Post.

Research of Trusts

April 2021 | I recently appeared on Fairchild TV. I offered an update on his CIHR-funded research on the dynamics of trust before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch the interview here.

‘Emotional turmoil’: Managing mental health amid ongoing anti-Asian hate

March 2021 | I spoke with Madison Wong of Global News about the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) Toronto chapter’s report on attacks against Asians across Canada between 10 March 2020 and 28 February 2021 and the toll that these acts of violence, whether an individual has encountered it firsthand or not, can take a toll on their mental health. The 27 March 2021 story is available here.

Negative experiences before the age of 16 can damage trust

March 2021 | The CBC interviewed me earlier this week for a story about how families are talking about anti-Asian racism. I note how negatives experiences related to discrimination before the age of 16 can damage a child’s trust in others and potentially have long-term mental health impacts, especially for native-born Asian Canadians. The March 24 interview is available here

Spike in Anti-Asian Racism in Canada

March 2021 | I was interviewed by CTV on 22 March 2021 about the spike in anti-Asian racism in Canada (600–700% in major Canadian cities) as well as the role of racism and discrimination in the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia on 16 March 2021. 

Racism on the rise 

March 2021 | Sputnik Internacional quoted me in a story about hate crimes against Asians in North America and the need to increase public awareness of these incidences. A version of the story was published by Sputnik in Chinese

Radio interview on mental health impacts of anti-East Asian racism during pandemic

2 March 2021 | I was interviewed by Karen Young (CJRU 1280AM, Ryerson University) about my research on the mental health impacts of anti-East Asian racism during pandemic. Listen to the interview here. Young’s accompanying story focusing on my research project was also published on

Americans are losing faith in each other. But the situation isn’t beyond repair, researchers say

February 2021 | The Academic Times recently published a story based on a recent article that I co-authored—Experiences matter: A longitudinal study of individual-level sources of declining social trust in the United States. We posit that the erosion of social trust in the US isn’t necessarily culturally ingrained from childhood and could potentially be reversed.

When pandemics and discrimination collide: researchers track the impacts of COVID-19 on Chinese Canadians and learn from their community capacity

February 2021 | The Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences profiles our research findings that appear in Canadian Diversity. We attempt to measure the mental health toll on Chinese Canadians after months of pandemic-related stress and the added impacts of heightened discrimination.

Researchers identify social factors inoculating some communities against coronavirus

February 2021 | The Washington Post featured my co-authored, PLOS One-published research with Christos A. Makridis in a February 2021 article by Christopher Ingraham. He underscores that our research shows that the ongoing erosion of social trust in the United States created an ideal environment for a pandemic to flourish.

Delaware’s social capital and COVID-19

February 2021 | Delaware Business Now’s article, Delaware’s social capital and Covid-19, references my recent research with Christos A. Makridis. We found that high social capital often translated into a better response to the virus.

A bale of sea turtles

January 2021 | The Economist references the team’s large-scale survey in China in large-scale survey in reference to young respondents’ (under 30) trust levels of Americans as part of a special report on Chinese youth. 

The Post-Trump world: A new dawn takes shape

December 2020 | I was pleased to speak with Paul Fraumeni about trust in US politics and share my thoughts on the challenges in 2021 for President Elect Joe Biden: “Whether it’s between countries or individuals, trust is very easily broken. It can take years to restore trust. With Biden, it’s hard to say what he can accomplish now. Over the next four years, he has a lot of work to do.”

CTV interview on anti-Asian racism during the pandemic and the resulting mental health impacts

December 2020 | I was interviewed by CTV News about my CIHR-funded research, especially anti-Asian racism during the pandemic and the resulting mental health impacts.

7 missing pieces: why students prefer in-person over online classes

December 2020 | Fourteen of my undergraduate and graduate students from York University connected with each other through my research methods courses, and I was pleased to help bring them together as a virtual group to discuss what makes in-person classes unique and different from online-learning. University Affairs published the key themes from their discussion.

How the polls got it wrong — again

November 2020 | I was interviewed on CBC’s The National about how the polls in the US election and the bias that results from low polling rates. 

Whether it’s for Trump or Biden, Americans who trust others are more likely to vote

October 2020 | In a piece for The Conversation, I share my study of elections in relation to trust. The promise of democracy in part rests on citizens being able to trust equally and my research show that regionally across the United States, trust is lower in the South, and Southerners are less likely to vote. I also show that those who feel they have less power in society are less able to trust.  

The Tyee and Social Science Space reprinted the piece in November 2020 and York promoted me as an expert commentator on the topic of American voter behaviour. 

COVID-19 has dimmed Xi’s approval ratings abroad—but not in China

October 2020 | The Diplomat’s Sungmin Cho references our large-scale survey involving 19,816 people from 31 provinces of China earlier in 2020 in an October 2020 article. We found Chinese citizens’ overall satisfaction with government performance during the COVID-19.   

Chinese support for their government is stronger than ever

September 2020 | NPR’s Emily Feng interviewed me in September 2020 about how COVID-19 has impacted Chinese people’s support for different levels of government. Listen to the interviews here and here.

Gun violence has fuelled enduring trust issues for many Americans

September 2020 | My piece in The Conversation considered the social and psychological impacts of gun violence on Americans and American society. My recent research shows that such widespread gun violence, both fatal and non-fatal, has a detrimental effect on Americans’ trust in each other. That erosion of trust is often long-lasting and has a greater impact on Black Americans.

How trustful you are maybe a product of where you grew up 

September 2020 | Jerry Agar interviewed me about my research on trust and its benefit for well-being and health. Trust indicates a sense of life satisfaction. The Jerry Agar Show interview aired on Newstalk 1010 on 11 September 2020.

Leap of faith: The coronavirus exposes the importance of public trust 

Fall 2020 | My research over the past few months relating to COVID-19 and public trust was profiled by Deidre Kelly for the Fall 2020 issue of York University Magazine. This research is funded by CIHR.

“Stable and vibrant communities are not luxuries, but rather important priorities for managing emergencies. Investing in social capital and interpersonal relationships helps us not only to navigate the negative shocks of our present situation but to flourish even during a crisis. Our well-being, not to mention our public health interventions, depends on it.” 

 Women less likely to critique men’s research in academic journals

August 2020 | Rima Wilkes (UBC), Sylvia Fuller (UBC) and I co-authored a piece for The Conversation to summarize our results first published in our PLOS ONE article, The gender gap in commenting: Women are less likely than men to comment on (men’s) published research. Journal comments are responses to previously published articles. The gender disparity in the authorship of these comments both reflects and contributes to women’s opportunities in scientific research.

East Asian Canadians face a ‘disproportionate’ mental health impact of COVID, study says

June 2020 | I spoke with the Toronto Star’s Nicholas Keung about the result of our study that shows the disproportionate mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of targeted racist attacks, violence and discrimination on East Asian Canadians.  

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh tossed From parliament for calling another politician racist

June 2020 | When Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) see situations like this play out, I told Vice, their trust in political institutions crumbles, which is why time and time again they have reported low trust in police and governments across North America. This also carries over to lower voter turnout and political participation as well.

“The more Black, Indigenous, and people of colour see people like them getting reprimanded for calling out racism, the less likely they’ll participate in democracy.”

How Chinese citizens view their government’s coronavirus response?

June 2020 | Outside China, opinions about China’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic is divided between praise and blame. But How Chinese citizens view their government’s coronavirus response? I discuss this in my recent opinion piece in The Conversation.

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How Social Capital Helps Communities Weather the COVID-19 Storm

May 2020 | My co-author, Christos A. Makridis, shared our research in a 13 May 2020 piece in Public Discourse, The Journal of the Witherspoon Institute. In sum, our paper shows that the ties that bind are also the ties that allow for mitigating the virus and facilitating effective responses.

More Marriage, Less COVID: How Communities With More Marriage Are Weathering the Storm 

May 2020 | Christos A. Makridis talks about our shared research on social capital in the United States in piece published by the Institute of Family Studies. As Christos summarizes, our analysis shows there is a strong association between the strength of marriage in counties across the United States and their ability to slow the spread of the virus—strong and stable families seem to be more resistant to the pandemic now enveloping our nation. Read the blog piece here.

Fairchild TV interview

May 2020 | Fairchild TV interviewed me on 8 May 2020 about my COVID-19 research and my visit to Wuhan in 2019 before the outbreak.

New study finds higher social capital and trust leads to better COVID-19 response in some U.S. states

April 2020 | YFile, York University’s home for institutional news and events, people and trends, profiled my new co-authored paper, published in Contexts. In our research, we found that the American states that are responding more quickly and effectively to the COVID-19 crisis also seem to have higher levels of social capital built up and citizens who trust more in their governments and health agencies. 

CIHR funding to explore the dynamics of trust before, during and after the COVID-19 outbreak

March 2020 | I am pleased to announce that I was awarded C$176,256 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a research project on the Dynamics of Trust Before, During, and After the COVID-19 Outbreak. Learn more about the project here.

Project Team:
Principal Investigator: Cary Wu (York University, Canada)
Collaborators: Zhilei Shi (Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, China), Bo Chen (Wuhan University, China), Malcolm Fairbrother (Umeå University, Sweden), Giuseppe (Nick) Giordano (Lund University, Sweden), Jan Mewes (Lund University, Sweden), Hongna Miao (Nanjing University, China), and Rima Wilkes (University of British Columbia, Canada)

Project summary:Trust is essential to the containment of epidemics. Only if people are sufficiently trusting can governments and health officials organize and implement effective responses. Populations with little confidence in public officials and health agencies are less likely to comply with prevention and control measures. People also need to trust each other, if they are to work together to mitigate the impacts of an epidemic. We will therefore study the relationship between the COVID-19 outbreak and four kinds of trust: trust in government, trust in health agencies, social trust in generalized others, and outgroup trust. China and Canada will be the major sites of this research. We ask, first, how is trust (or its absence) shaping public responses to the COVID-19 outbreak? Here we focus on people’s compliance with control policies, their adoption of preventive behaviours, and their willingness to offer help to others. Second, how are the outbreak and governmental attempts to contain it influencing people’s trust, including (given the pandemic’s origins) trust in overseas Chinese and in Chinese immigrants in Canada? The project will entail the collection and analysis of survey data in Canada and China during the pre-crisis, in-crisis, and post-crisis phases of the outbreak.

I received support from York University Open Access Author Fund

March 2020 | The funding (US$1,590) will be used to pay the open access fee for our forthcoming article in PLOS ONE: The gender gap in commenting: Women are less likely than men to comment on (men’s) published research.

My recently published article on Trust Among Americans is featured in YFile

February 2020 | My study “Does Migration Affect Trust? Internal Migration and the Stability of Trust among Americans,” published in The Sociological Quarterly, examined whether people are trusting because that’s how they were raised from an early age or whether they constantly adjusted their trust throughout their life according to social experiences gained along the way.” Read more >

I received funding from the Canada‐China Initiatives Fund, York Centre For Asian Research

February 2020 | The funding ($10,774) will be used to organize an international York‐CASS workshop on Substantiable Urbanization in China and Canada: Comparative Perspectives.

I received funding from the Canada‐China Initiatives Fund, York Centre For Asian Research

February 2020 | The funding ($4,380) will support my research project on Chinese Urbanization in Global Urban Age: A Scenic Approach.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada profiles our research

January 2020 | Our research article on immigration and trust has been recognized and added by IRCC to their reading list. They send our research to their departments and researchers. Read More >

My interview with The Source, Forum of Diversity

April 2017 | My interview with The Source, Forum of Diversity on my research paper recently published in the Geoforum about international students’ post graduation plan is available now. Read More >

February 2017 | My research article on international students’ concept of ‘home’ is featured in University Herald. Read More >

February 2017 | My article “International students’ post-graduation migration plans and the search for home” is featured in the UBC News. Read More >

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