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Kristel M. Gallagher

Kristel M. Gallagher

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How do we motivate people to live healthy lives and make healthy choices? This "million dollar" question is what guides my research, in addition to being a focal point for many top national health organizations. I am a social and health psychologist, which means I apply theories and principles from the field of social psychology to the promotion of healthy behaviors. In particular, I am interested in the promotion of behaviors related to obesity – physical activity and diet.

Some of the issues I have examined include:

(1) How our choice of "wording" in health messages influences persuasion (e.g., Should we tell people the benefits of performing a health behavior or the consequences of not performing it?)

(2) What kinds of exercise "outcomes" are most persuasive (e.g., Should we tell people how exercise will affect them physically and socially or emotionally and mentally?)

(3) How our motivation to be healthy changes over time (e.g., Should we send a unique message to older adults about the benefits of being healthy?)

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Health Psychology
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Persuasion, Social Influence

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Journal Articles:

  • Emanuel, A. S., McCully, S. N., Gallagher, K. M., & Updegraff, J. A. (2012). Theory of planned behavior explains gender difference in fruit and vegetable consumption. Appetite, 59(3), 693-697.
  • Gallagher, K. M., & Updegraff, J. A. (2012). Health message framing effects on attitudes, intentions, and behavior: A meta-analytic review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 43(1), 101-116.
  • Gallagher, K. M. & Updegraff, J. A. (2011). When “fit” leads to fit, and when “fit” leads to fat: How message framing and intrinsic v. extrinsic exercise outcomes interact in promoting physical activity. Psychology and Health, 26(7), 819-834.
  • Gallagher, K. M., Updegraff, J. A., Rothman, A., & Sims, L. (2011). Perceived susceptibility to breast cancer moderates the effect of gain- and loss-framed messages on use of screening mammography. Health Psychology, 30(2), 145-152.
  • Updegraff, J. A., Emanuel, A. S., Gallagher, K. M., & Steinman, C. (2011). Brief report: Framing flu prevention - An experimental field test of signs promoting hand hygiene during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic. Health Psychology, 30(3), 295-299.
  • Updegraff, J. A., Emanuel, A. S., Suh, E. M., & Gallagher, K. M. (2010). Sheltering the self from the storm: Self-construal abstractness and the stability of self-esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 97-108.

Courses Taught:

  • Applied Social Psychology (Service Learning)
  • Health Psychology
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Research Implementation and Analysis
  • Research Methods
  • Social Psychology

Kristel M. Gallagher
Department of Psychology
Thiel College
75 College Avenue
Greenville, Pennsylvania 16125
United States

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