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Research Area | 01
Engagement With Threatening Health Communication
To address health disparities and motivate behavior change, one common intervention is to target information to populations believed to be at high-risk for a health condition. However, I theorize that these efforts can backfire when they elicit social identity threat for recipients.
In my primary line of research, I use experimental methodology to test how members of minoritized groups respond to targeted health information when relevance of the information is signaled through their social identities (e.g., their race or weight status). Moreover, I examine how (a) the dimensions on which recipients are targeted (e.g., identities vs health goals), and (b) shifts in social and temporal contexts (e.g., the New Year’s holiday) influence responses to targeting. Thus, ongoing work identifies specific conditions under which the receipt of targeted health communication is more (versus less) threatening.
I am also using a mixed-methods approach to develop and test messaging interventions that are specifically designed to reduce social identity threat (e.g., feeling negatively judged) when receiving targeted health communication.
Research Area | 02
Examining Physician and Patient-level Factors that Influence Health Engagement and the Quality of Physician-Patient Encounters
In another area of research, I use experimental and survey methodologies to examine factors that enhance (versus undermine) health engagement and the quality of physician-patient encounters. For instance, I assess patient-level factors (e.g., perceived social norms, identity-based experiences) that influence health behavior engagement. In other work, I examine physician-level factors (e.g., implicit bias, perceptions of patients' beliefs) that have implications for the quality of physician-patient encounters and clinical decision-making.
In ongoing work, I investigate why racially-discordant interactions between non-Black physicians and Black patients are characterized by worse health outcomes, as well as strategies that physicians can use to improve the quality of these encounters.
Research Area | 03
Exploring Cues that Undermine Outcomes in Organizational Settings
In a third area of research, I investigate cues within organizational settings (e.g., being numerically underrepresented) that can undermine outcomes for minoritized groups (e.g., Black Americans, women in STEM). Moreover, I examine why organizations' targeted efforts to engage racially minoritized groups may backfire. These studies inform intervention development by offering insight into additional processes that may undermine belonging and drive minoritized groups out of organizational settings.
IU Racial Justice Fund
I am the recent recipient of an Indiana University Racial Justice Fund Award with Drs. Eva Pietri and India Johnson. In this work, we investigate the types of organizational messages that may be used to communicate solidarity with Black Americans. In particular, we focus on specific features of solidarity statements that enhance (or inadvertently undermine) feelings of identity-safety. In ongoing work, we are identifying additional features of organizational solidarity statements that evoke perceptions that these pro-diversity efforts are disingenuous.
To learn more or discuss ongoing projects, please email me>>
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