Amanda Dillard

Amanda Dillard

Professor - Health/Social Psychology

  • B.A. Psychology, Ohio State University
  • M.S., Ph.D. Psychology, North Dakota State University

Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award 2014

Office: 2307 Au Sable Hall

Phone: (616) 331-2865

E-mail: [email protected]



Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award 2014


Health/Social Psychology

Courses Taught

PSY 101 - Introductory Psychology
PSY 367 - Health Psychology

Research Interests

Broadly I am interested in the roles of emotion and risk perception in motivating health behaviors and behavior change. My work often examines the interactions of emotion and risk perception in influencing behaviors. For example, how do perceptions of high (or low) risk of skin cancer influence one's response to a health message about tanning, and ultimately the decision to use tanning beds? Moreover, how do these risk perceptions interact with emotions like anxiety or regret to influence behavior?

Another interest is in developing messages that use first-person narratives to reduce defensive processing of health information. Although narratives may be a particularly effective means of communicating health information, little is known about what components are most effective and why. For example, will increasing identification with a character or promoting narrative transportation in a message best reduce defensiveness? 


Dillard, A. J., Ferrer, R. A., & Welch, J. D.* (2018). Associations between narrative transportation, risk perception, and behavior intentions following narrative messages about skin cancer. Psychology & Health, 33(5), 573-593.

Dillard, A. J., Scherer, L., Ubel, P. A., Stewart, A., & Fagerlin, A. (2017). Anxiety  
symptoms prior to a prostate cancer diagnosis: Implications for knowledge and treatment preferences. British Journal of Health Psychology, 22(1), 151-168.

Dillard, A. J., & Hisler, G.*. (2015). Enhancing the effects of a narrative message through experiential information processing: An experimental study. Psychology & Health, 30, 803-820.

Levy, H., Ubel, P. A., Dillard, A. J., Weir, D., & Fagerlin, A. (2014). Health numeracy: The importance of domain in assessing numeracy. Medical Decision Making, 34, 107-115.

Sweeny, K. & Dillard, A. J. (2014). The effect of expectation disconfirmation on appraisal, affect, and behavioral intentions: Implications for unrealistic optimism and bracing for bad news. Risk Analysis, 34, 711-720.

Dillard, A. J. & Main, J. L.*. (2013) Using a health message with a testimonial to motivate colon cancer screening: Associations with perceived identification and vividness. Health Education & Behavior, 40, 673-682. 


Page last modified November 1, 2022