InCHIP Lecture and Workshop: David Sherman 2/15/18

Join us for two special events on February 15th, 2018!

David Sherman, PhD
University of California, Santa Barbara
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lecture: 12:30-1:30 pm 

Watch Live! Click for Media Site Stream
RSVP for this Lecture
“Reducing Stress and Facilitating Adaptive Health Behaviors: A Self-Affirmation Perspective”
Experiences, events, and information that threaten a valued self-image can lead to defensiveness, stress, and underperformance. Self-affirmation theory proposes that individuals possess a flexible self-system such that they can respond to threats in one part of life by affirming self-worth in other domains. In social psychology research, this has been examined in studies where people affirm important values in the context of self-threatening events or information. I will review research on self-affirmation and health across a number of domains. Self-affirmation has been explored as a means to facilitate the acceptance of threatening health information, to reduce the physiological costs of stress for those experiencing chronic and naturalistic stressors, and as a potential coping strategy for people with disease. These studies utilize laboratory, on-line, and field methodologies across a range of populations. Discussion will center on the potential for affirmations to be integrated into existing efforts and with other psychological approaches to reduce stress and facilitate adaptive health behaviors.

Workshop: 2:30-3:30pm 
RSVP for the workshop
“Using Affirmation to Improve the Efficacy of Health Promotion Interventions”
In this workshop, I will review self-affirmation theory and discuss conditions where self-affirming activities, such as writing about values, can promote positive health outcomes. Key outcomes include increased acceptance of health-relevant information, more healthful intentions and behaviors, and stress reduction (for reviews see Cohen & Sherman, 2014; Epton & Harris, 2009, 2010; for meta-analyses see Sweeney & Moyer, 2015; Epton, Harris, Kane, van Koningsbruggen, & Sheeran, 2015). I will describe a variety of self-affirmation implementations that have been used in different lab and field settings. Self-affirmation studies have been conducted in contexts such as hospitals and medical clinics, on cigarette labels and as part of health brochures, via the internet, and while undergoing fMRI. Key issues to be addressed include how to determine whether affirmation is appropriate to incorporate as part of a health intervention program and how to tailor an affirmation for different research contexts and samples.

Lecture Co-Sponsored By:

  • UConn Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine

For directions and maps, see directions to InCHIP.  Accessibility: elevator available in the building lobby on the ground floor.

View the livestream of the lecture via the InCHIP website, or view it later in our archives.


About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.