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National Cancer Institute
Jamie Arndt, PhD

Jamie Arndt, PhD

Research Interests
Jamie Arndt, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri.

Dr. Arndt’s research is broadly concerned with questions about fundamental aspects of the human condition. Following an existential tradition drawing from writers Otto Rank and Ernest Becker, much of his research reflects an interest in how awareness of the transience of existence affects diverse social behaviors and how the pursuit of meaning and culturally derived value protects the individual from underlying insecurity. As pertaining to health, Dr. Arndt’s research has focused on the psychological processes by which people protect themselves from both the conscious and unconscious awareness of death and the associated implications for health relevant decisions and behaviors. This analysis helps to integrate perspectives on both rationally and esteem-oriented factors and has been directed toward understanding behavior in such health domains as sun exposure, smoking, fitness, dieting and restrictive eating, screening exams, medical decisions, and cancer survivorship.  More recently, Dr. Arndt has been studying the conditions and processes under which metaphoric cognition can enhance and detract from productive health decisions. These and other efforts highlight Dr. Arndt’s continuing interest in moving basic psychological ideas to translational health domains.

Selected Publications
Arndt, J., Cook, A., Goldenberg, J.L, & Cox, C.R. (2007). Cancer and the threat of death: The cognitive dynamics of death thought suppression and its impact on behavioral health intentions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 12-29.

Goldenberg, J.L., & Arndt, J. (2008). The implications of death for health: A terror management health model for behavioral health promotion. Psychological Review, 115, 1032-1053.

Arndt, J., Cox., C.R., Goldenberg, J.L., Vess, M., Routledge, C., & Cohen, F. (2009). Blowing in the (social) wind: Implications of extrinsic esteem contingencies for terror management and health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 1191-1205.

Arndt, J., Vess, M., Cox, C.R., Goldenberg, J.L., & Lagle, S. (2009). The psychosocial effect of personal thoughts of mortality on cardiac risk assessment. Medical Decision Making, 29, 175-181.

Arndt, J., & Goldenberg, J.L.  (2011). When self-enhancement is in the driver’s seat: Using the terror management health model to understand health behavior.  In C. Sedikides and M. Alicke (Eds.), The Handbook of Self-enhancement and Self-protection (pp.380-398). Guilford Press.

Arndt., J., Vail III, K.E., Cox, C.R., Goldenberg, J.L., Piasecki, T., & Gibbons, F.X. (2013).  The interactive effect of mortality reminders and tobacco craving on smoking topography. Health Psychology, 32, 525-532.
Arndt, J., Das, E., Schagen, S.B., Reid-Arndt, S., Cameron, L.D., & Ahles, T.A. (2014). Broadening the cancer and cognition landscape: The role of self-regulatory challenges.  Psycho-Oncology, 23, 1-8.

McCabe, S.., Arndt, J., Goldenberg, J.L., Vess, M., Vail III, K.E., Gibbons, F.X., & Rogers, R.   (2015). The effect of visualizing healthy eaters and mortality reminders on nutritious grocery purchases: An integrative terror management and prototype willingness analysis. Health Psychology, 34, 279-282.

Selected Grants
Impact of mortality concerns on cancer risk behavior (NCI), PI, 2002-07.

Continuation: Impact of mortality concerns on cancer risk behavior (NCI), PI, 2009-14.

Cognitive and emotional processes of metaphoric cancer communications (NCI), co-PI, 2014-2018

Selected Affiliations
Dr. Arndt is past chair of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology Training Committee, has served or is serving on the editorial boards of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Health Psychology, and Self-and Identity, has served as a member of a Standing Study Section for grant review at NIH, was a member of the Health Cognition Group at the National Cancer Institute, and is a founding member of the Social and Personality Health Network.

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