hit counter

Primary Investigator



John Updegraff (email) is a Professor of Social and Health Psychology.  He earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed an NIMH-funded postdoctoral position at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Updegraff's research appears in top-tier journals and is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. In his spare time, John subjects others to his singing, guitar-playing, and rapping. To learn about his more respectable accomplishments, refer to his Curriculum Vita

Graduate Students



Scout McCully is a 5th year experimental graduate student in the social-health program. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and spent three years working as a project manager and business analyst at a web software company before coming to KSU. Scout’s research interests center around the adoption and maintenance of health behaviors. She is particularly interested in the factors which influence behavior change and maintenance in physical activity and nutrition. Scout’s name comes from Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She enjoys cooking vegan food, knitting, and finding fun new ways to be active, from hot yoga to spinning to kickboxing.


Chris Steinman is a 4th year experimental graduate student in the social-health program. He completed his undergraduate work at Kent State University. He’s interested in integrating existential perspectives with dual-process models to explain health decisions and behavior.  Specifically, he’s interested in how uncertainty, perceived control, and terror management are represented at both implicit and explicit levels of awareness, and how these levels may affect health.

Lab Alumni



Brian Don, Ph.D., is assistant professor at California Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, California. His research focuses on the interrelation of three general foci: a) social relationships, b) psychological well-being, and c) physical health.


Amber Emanuel, Ph.D., is faculty in the Department of Health Education & Behavior at the University of Florida. Amber's work focuses on the role of the self in emotions and health behavior, including the use of self-affirmations to promote health behavior change, self-regulation, and adherence.


Kristel Gallagher, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Social and Health Psychology at Thiel College. Her research interests include message framing, health-related persuasion and health behavior change. She is particularly interested in improving people's adherence to exercise, and has studied how framing the various distinct outcomes of exercise influences exercise behavior.


Cristina Godinho, Ph.D. is our international correspondent and research associate at UCL -University College London.  Cristina earned her PhD. in Health Psychology at ISCTE-Lisbon University in Portugal, with interests in the effects of health message framing and stage of change on the promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption for cancer prevention.
  • Christina Hill, Ph.D. - Psychologist, Eastern State Hospital, Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Faith Luyster, Ph.D. - Research Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh