SOBC Spotlight: Interview with Marina Milyavskaya, PhD

In this Spotlight feature we focus on Marina Milyavskaya, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Carleton University. Dr. Milyavskaya’s research focuses on factors that predict successful goal attainment. These factors include trait differences between people as well as situational differences that influence whether individuals succeed or fail to attain goals in particular contexts.

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SOBC Spotlight: Interview with Eric Loucks, PhD


    In this Spotlight feature we focus on Eric Loucks, PhD, Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at Brown University. His SOBC research investigates the effects of mindfulness training on blood pressure reduction by investigating aspects of self-regulation as targeted mechanisms of change. This work has the potential to inform our understanding of mechanisms underlying the successful reduction of hypertension risk.

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SOBC Symposium at the Association for Psychological Science

The Association for Psychological Science (APS) hosted a symposium and panel discussion titled “Behavior Change Across the Life-Span” on Saturday, May 26, at its annual meeting in San Francisco. Drs. Lis Nielsen and Jennifer Sumner co-chaired the event, which furthered SOBC’s mission by demonstrating the method’s relevance and value for scientists outside of the SOBC Research Network members. The symposium was motivated by the idea that the SOBC research mission is enhanced by investigating mechanisms of change during each of life’s phases. Collectively, these researchers consider how modifiable behaviors shape health outcomes across the entire human lifespan.

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Workshop on Implementation of Digital Health Interventions

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), in collaboration with Cancer Research U.K. (CRUK), will host a “Sandpit” workshop (i.e., ideas lab) on October 28-31, 2018, in Potomac, Maryland.



This intensive residential workshop will bring together a broad, multidisciplinary group of participants to generate new insights on the contextual factors (e.g., social, cultural, and organizational) that influence the implementation and uptake of digital health interventions for cancer prevention. The research ideas generated at the workshop will inform dissemination and implementation efforts, with the ultimate goal of increasing the reach, adoption, and maintained use of digital health tools. On the last day of the workshop, CRUK will invite up to four of the teams formed at the workshop to apply for CRUK seed grants to test the feasibility of their ideas.

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SOBC Spotlight: Interview with Amy Slep, PhD and Richard Heyman, PhD

In this Spotlight feature we focus of Amy Slep, PhD and Richard Heyman, PhD, Clinical Psychologists and Professors in the College of Dentistry at New York University. They co-direct the Family Translational Research Group. Their SOBC research examines patterns of coercive processes within parent-child and couple dyads. These coercive processes, if engaged frequently, are believed to lead to poor consequences for health behaviors such as tooth brushing, eating, and drinking.
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SOBC Spotlight: Interview with Dr. Johannes Haushofer

In this Spotlight feature we focus of Johannes Haushofer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs in the Department of Psychology at Princeton University. He founded the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Nairobi, Kenya, a research facility for behavioral economics studies. Dr. Haushofer’s SOBC research investigates how stress may influence health behaviors by disrupting aspects of self-regulation.

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Annual SOBC Steering Committee Meeting

The SOBC network convened on January 10-11, 2018, for the Third Annual Meeting of the SOBC Research Network Steering Committee and External Scientific Panel.


Many SOBC researchers have measured more than one aspect of self-regulation. Johannes Haushofer from Princeton University measured three aspects of self-regulation, including self-efficacy, executive function, and temporal discounting. For more information about Dr. Haushofer’s interesting and ambitious project and measures, see the spotlight interview in this same newsletter. Similarly, Jun Ma and Leanne Williams study self-regulation in three domains: regulation of self-reflection, cognition, and emotion. Within each domain, they measure dysregulation using several approaches. In the case of sad emotion, for example, they measure its dysregulation via passive sampling (e.g., the negative valence of text words), neuroimaging (e.g., co-activation of the brain network of the dorsal anterior cingulate, insula, and amygdala), and measurement of negative affect during affective evocative virtual reality tasks.

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Interview with Karina Davidson, PhD, MASc, on Approaches to Study Behavior Change


In this Spotlight feature we focus on Karina Davidson, PhD, MASc, the Principal Investigator on the grant for the SOBC Resource and Coordinating Center at Columbia University. Dr. Davidson has a wealth of varied experience and knowledge with respect to behavioral research and systems organization. She is Vice Dean of Organizational Effectiveness at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Chief Academic Officer at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Executive Director of the Center for Behavioral & Cardiovascular Health (CBCH), and Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. In this interview Dr. Davidson offers her expert perspective on differing approaches to studying how behaviors change.

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SOBC Spotlight: EHPS Interview with Dr. Jennifer Sumner

Dr. Jennifer Sumner, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and member of the Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Research Network Resource and Coordinating Center, recently returned from a roundtable event at the 31st meeting of the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS). The conference was held in beautiful Padova (Padua), Italy from August 29th to September 2nd. The roundtable was titled “Behaviour change: Investigating mechanisms of action” and was co-chaired by Dr. Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change (CBC) at University College London, and Dr. Rachel Carey, an Associate Consultant of the CBC.  read more »