FEAR OF JUDGMENT IN PATIENT-PHYSICIAN INTERACTIONS

This work (with Benoît Monin) examines how a physician's own health habits shape anticipated devaluation in patient-provider interactions. We find that patients with stigmatized health issues (e.g., who are overweight or obese) fear devaluation from and avoid doctors who emphasize their dedication to fitness in their own lives, and feel more comfortable with doctors who have unhealthy habits exposed. Click here to access a published paper on this research. 

RESEARCH

Lauren C. Howe © All rights reserved.

Stanford University

Social Psychologist

UNCERTAINTY AND SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

I'm interested in the communication of uncertainty and its effects on trust in scientists and policy attitudes. With Jon Krosnick and other collaborators, I worked on a nationally representative survey examining the public's opinions on global warming and adaptation policies. My contribution to the survey involved examining whether varying the level of uncertainty included with estimates of sea level rise affected the public's attitudes toward adaptation policies.  For a longer description of the research and video of Jon and me presenting our findings at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., click here.

 Lauren C. Howe 

Below, you'll find a sampling of some of my current projects.

RECOVERY FROM REJECTION IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS

This line of research (with Carol Dweck) examines how implicit theories of personality impact responses to rejection in the context of intimate relationships. We find that people who respond to rejection by questioning their true selves - in other words, who see the rejection as revealing something about "who they really are" - are haunted more by the ghosts of their romantic past. In addition, we find that people with fixed mindsets (i.e., who believe that personality does not tend to change) are more likely to see rejection as self-definitional than people with growth mindsets (i.e., who believe that personality can change). Click here to access a published paper on this research and click here to hear my interview on KQED about this topic.

PATIENT-PHYSICIAN RELATIONSHIPS' IMPACT ON EXPECTATIONS ABOUT TREATMENT

This project (with Alia Crum) blends research on placebo/nocebo effects and patient-physician relationships, investigating how the quality of a patient-physician interaction (e.g., the perceived warmth and competence of a physician) influences whether a physician's positive or negative expectations about a course of treatment have an impact on patient health outcomes. We explore whether positive expectations have more potency in the context of a positive patient-physician relationship, and more provocatively, whether negative expectations might have a greater negative impact on health outcomes in the context of a positive patient-physician relationship. Click here to access a published paper on this research.