In honor of the upcoming Graduate Appreciation Week, the Graduate News Forum will be highlighting the recipients of the 2010 Graduate Alumni Research Awards throughout the week. Applications for the 2011 Graduate Alumni Research Awards are due on May 5th.
Determining How Affective Forecasting Influences Health Decision-Making
Many behaviors that can harm us are fun or exciting, whereas many behaviors that keep us healthy are discomforting or frightening. My dissertation explores how affective forecasting, the process of anticipating the emotional consequences of future events, influences college students’ health decisions. I studied this question with both a laboratory experiment and a field experiment conducted with the assistance of Casey Gardiner, ’11. I also examined two different health contexts: a risk behavior (binge drinking) and a preventive behavior (flu vaccination). I truly appreciate the financial support of the Alumni Research Award, which provided incentives for my study participants.
Learn more about the Graduate Alumni Research Awards here.
By Ross O’Hara
Photograph: Ross O’Hara and his undergraduate research assistant, Casey Gardiner ’11, conduct field research.