John A. Updegraff

John A. Updegraff

Department of Psychology
Professor & Graduate Coordinator
Office Location:
Room 321 Kent Hall
Contact Information
Personal Website:


Research Area:

Does Dr. Updegraff plan to recruit a doctoral student for the next incoming class?

Research Interests:

I am a social psychologist and health psychologist, and my work is aimed at understanding how social psychological principles can explain and improve:

  • Health behavior - why do some people succeed at improving their health behaviors, but other people fail? What is the role of motivation, goal-setting, and self-regulation in this process?
  • Health communication - in particular, the role of message framing and message tailoring in promoting health behavior change.
  • How self-concept and motivations influence people's interpretations and reactions to everyday experiences.

Lab Site:

Self, Health & Emotion Lab

Courses Taught:

  • Health Psychology (undergraduate)
  • General Psychology (undergraduate)
  • Health Behavior and Health Behavior Change (graduate)
  • Social Psychology (graduate)
  • Social Psychological Perspectives on Well-Being (graduate)


Note: KSU student/postdoc authors in bold

Godinho, C.A., Updegraff, J. A., & Alvarez, M-J. (in press). When is congruency helpful? Interactive effects of frame, motivational orientation and perceived message quality on fruit and vegetable consumption. Journal of Health Communication.

Berzins, T., Gere, J., Kelly, S. M., & Updegraff, J. A (in press).  Associations between social control, motivation, and exercise: how romantic partners influence exercise during young adulthood. Journal of Health Psychology.

Kelly, S. M., & Updegraff, J. A. (2017). Substituting activities mediates the effect of cognitive flexibility on physical activity: A daily diary study. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 40(4), 669-674.

Kim, H., Sherman, D. K., & Updegraff, J. A. (2016). Fear of Ebola: The Influence of Collectivism on Xenophobic Threat Responses. Psychological Science, 27(7), 935–944

Rife, S., Kerns, K., & Updegraff, J. A. (2016). Seeking support in response to social and achievement stressors: a multi-venue analysis. Personal Relationships, 23, 364–379.

Emanuel, A. S., Godinho, C. A., Steinman, C. T., & Updegraff, J. A. (2016). Education differences in cancer fatalism: The role of information-seeking experiences. Journal of Health Psychology. 

Brick, C., McCully, S. N., Updegraff, J. A., Ehret, P. J., Areguin, M. A., & Sherman, D. K. (2016). Impact of cultural exposure and message framing on oral health behavior: Exploring the role of message memory. Medical Decision Making, 36, 834-843. [preprint pdf]

Updegraff, J. A., Brick, C., Emanuel, A. S., Mintzer, R. E., & Sherman, D. K. (2015). Message framing for health: Moderation by perceived susceptibility and motivational orientation in a diverse sample of Americans. Health Psychology, 34, 20-29.

Steinman, C. T., & Updegraff, J. A. (2015). Delay and death-thought accessibility: A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 1682–1696.

McCully, S. N., Don, B. P., & Updegraff, J. A. (2013). Using the internet to help with diet, weight and physical activity: Results from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). Journal of Medical Internet Research. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2612

Emanuel, A. S., McCully, S. N., Gallagher, K. M., & Updegraff, J. A. (2012). Theory of planned behavior explains gender difference in fruit and vegetable consumption. Appetite, 59, 693-697.

Gallagher, K. M., & Updegraff, J. A. (2012). Health message framing effects on attitudes, intentions, and behavior: A meta-analytic review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 43, 101-116.

Hill, C. L., & Updegraff, J. A. (2012). Mindfulness and its relationship to emotional regulation. Emotion, 21, 81-90.

Updegraff, J. A., Emanuel, A. S., Gallagher, K. M. & Steinman, C. (2011). Framing flu prevention - An experimental field test of signs promoting hand hygiene during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic. Health Psychology, 30, 295-299.

Gallagher, K.M., Updegraff, J. A., Rothman, A. J., & Sims, L. (2011). Perceived susceptibility to breast cancer moderates the effect of gain- and loss-framed messages on use of screening mammography. Health Psychology, 30, 145-152.

Updegraff, J. A., Emanuel, A. S., Suh, E. M., & Gallagher, K. M. (2010). Sheltering the self from the storm: Self-construal abstractness and the stability of self-esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 97-108.

Emanuel, A. S., Updegraff, J. A., Kalmbach, D. A. & Ciesla, J. A. (2010). The role of mindfulness facets in affective forecasting. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 815-818.


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (2002)


Health Communication, Health Behavior