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National Cancer Institute
Behavioral Research - Cancer Control and Population Sciences


BRP Key Initiatives: CASPHR

The Cognitive, Affective, and Social Processes in Health Research (CASPHR) Workgroup

Group Origin and Mission Statement

Group Origin
A fundamental goal of the National Cancer Institute’s Behavioral Research Program (BRP) is to facilitate a better understanding of health behaviors and their underlying processes. The Cognitive, Affective, and Social Processes in Health Research (CASPHR) working group was convened in Fall 2009 to provide expert consultation on how theories of cognitive, affective, and social processes, in particular, can enhance research and practice throughout the cancer continuum.

CASPHR is composed of basic behavioral scientists with expertise in psychological mechanisms underlying (1) the adoption and maintenance of health-related behavior and (2) the processing of and responsiveness to health information. Mechanisms and processes of interest include intrapersonal constructs such as risk perception, social judgment, behavioral decision-making, self-regulation, attitudes, incidental and integral affect, emotion regulation, personality, efficacy, and mental representations; and interpersonal constructs and processes such as social norms, social identity, social influence, relationships, discrimination, and persuasion. Heavy emphasis is placed on taking theory-based approaches to behavior and message processing (particularly but not limited to the domain of cancer), with explicit focus on both moderators and mediators of effective communication and behavior change. The group is co-chaired by Alexander Rothman and William Klein. See the full list of members.

CASPHR Mission Statement
The Cognitive, Affective, and Social Processes in Health Research Workgroup is composed of a group of experts with the mission of advancing contributions that theories of cognitive, affective, and social processes can make to enhancing research and practice throughout the cancer continuum. CASPHR members work together to pursue the following goals:

  1. Collaborate with individuals both inside and outside of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on initiatives and publications targeting key problem domains.
  2. Contribute to developmental research projects, conduct and publish syntheses of high-yield areas, and participate in meetings contributing to the identification and development of new research priorities and initiatives.
  3. Participate in and report on activities associated with relevant NCI-sponsored workshops and grantee meetings, professional meetings, relevant workshops and meetings sponsored by National Academies and other Institutes, and briefings to policy officials, advisory committees, and research directors.
  4. Participate in the development and implementation of theory-driven analysis of data from secondary data sets to which NCI has access, as well as contribute to the development of NCI-sponsored surveys.

To request additional information about CASPHR, please contact

Last Updated: September 21, 2011

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