Jennifer Taber | Department of Psychological Sciences | Kent State University

Jennifer Taber

Jennifer Taber


Dr. Taber is accepting Graduate Students.


My research is focused on understanding and promoting health behaviors. My research goals include understanding why people may not hold accurate perceptions of their disease risk, when and why risk perceptions predict behavior, and how to intervene to increase the likelihood that providing risk information will lead to behavior change. Another research interest is reducing defensive responses to threat through strategies such as self-affirmation. I am also interested in identifying and targeting motives unrelated to health – in particular affective motives – that lead to attitudinal ambivalence and goal conflict and may interfere with health behaviors. Much of my work has been conducted in the context of genetic testing for disease risk, and I am interested in exploring how people think about genetic risk information and when and why genetic risk information is likely to lead to behavior change.


  • Taber, J.M. & Klein, W.M.P. (2016). The role of conviction in personal risk perceptions: What can we learn from research on attitude certainty? Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 10(4), 202-218.
  • Taber, J.M., Klein, W.M.P., Ferrer, R.A., Kent, E.E., & Harris, P.R. (2016). Optimism and spontaneous self-affirmation are associated with lower likelihood of cognitive impairment and greater positive affect among cancer survivors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 50 (2), 198-209 Full Text
  • Taber, J.M., Aspinwall, L.G., Stump, T.K., Kohlmann, W., Champine, M., & Leachman, S.A. (2015). Genetic testing enhances understanding of risk information and acceptance of prevention recommendations compared to family history-based counseling alone. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38, 740-753. Full Text
  • Taber, J.M., Klein, W.M.P., Ferrer, R.A., Han, P., Lewis, K.L., Biesecker, L.G., & Biesecker, B.B. (2015). Perceived ambiguity as a barrier to intentions to learn genome sequencing results. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38, 715-726. Full Text
  • Taber, J.M., & Aspinwall, L.G. (2015). Framing recommendations to promote prevention behaviors among people at high risk: A simulation study of responses to melanoma genetic test reporting. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 5, 771-782. Full Text
  • Taber, J.M., Klein, W.M.P., Ferrer, R.A., Lewis, K.L., Harris, P.R., Shepperd, J.A., & Biesecker, L.G. (2015). Information avoidance tendencies, threat management resources, and interest in genetic sequencing feedback. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49, 616-621. Full Text
  • Taber, J.M., Klein, W.M.P., Ferrer, R.A., Biesecker, B.B., Lewis, K.L., & Biesecker, L.G. (2015). Dispositional optimism and perceived risk interact to predict intentions to learn genome sequencing results. Health Psychology, 34(7), 718-728. Full Text
  • Taber, J.M., Leyva, B., & Persoskie, A. (2015). Why do people avoid doctors?: A qualitative study using national data. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 30(3), 290-297. Full Text
  • Aspinwall, L.G., Taber, J.M., Leaf, S.L., Kohlmann, W., & Leachman, S.A. (2014). Daily routine sun-protection improves 2 years following melanoma genetic test reporting. Genetics in Medicine, 16(11), 846-853.
  • Aspinwall, L.G., Taber, J.M., Kohlmann, W., Leaf, S.L., & Leachman, S.A. (2014). Perceived risk following melanoma genetic testing: A 2-year prospective study distinguishing subjective estimates from recall. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 23(3), 421-437Full Text
Job Department

Department of Psychological Sciences



Office Location

Room 309 Kent Hall