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Research interests

My primary program of research concerns the application of social psychological theory to illness prevention and health promotion and is comprised of a synthesis of basic research on how people process and respond to health information with the development and evaluation of theory-based interventions to promote healthy behavior. In this work, my colleagues and I have addressed a broad range of issues including how people evaluate and process risk-relevant information, why and when different health communication strategies are most effective, specifying the decision processes that underlie the initiation and maintenance of behavior change, and delineating the mechanisms that underlie behavioral interventions. Our theoretical models have informed the design, implementation, and testing of interventions across a range of behavioral domains including smoking, diet, physical activity, and cancer screening. We have also begun to explore the implications of our models for predicting and promoting environmentally-friendly behaviors. I have served as Associate Editor of Health Psychology Review and as a co-editor of a special issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine on decision-making and eating behavior, a special issue of AIDS & Behavior on integrating theoretical models of behavior changes across levels of analysis, a special issue of Self & Identify on self- and identity-regulation and health, and a forthcoming special issue of Health Psychology on theoretical innovations in social and personality psychology and their implications for health. I have also helped lead the NCI/NIH-sponsored Advanced Training Institute on Health Behavior Theory since its inception in 2004 (http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/workshop/) and serve as co-chair of the NCI Cognitive, Affective, and Social Processes in Health Research Group (http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/brp/casphr/index.html).

Research Interest Keywords

  • message framing
  • health communication
  • health judgment and decision making
  • initiation and maintenance of behavior change
  • health behavior theory
  • mediation and moderation
  • interventions to promote healthy behavior

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