Affective Science

Recent strategic planning efforts have highlighted the importance of research that elucidates the role of affect, and specifically emotion, in cancer control. Such research may have important theoretical and clinical implications for the reduction of cancer risk and the improvement in cancer outcomes.

Scientific evidence from a variety of domains suggest that affect may be a critical determinant of information processing, sensory perceptions, judgment and decision-making, cancer prevention and health promotion behaviors, and cancer outcomes. However, additional research is needed on the nature of affective phenomena, including the associations among affect and other processes/outcomes, as well as to identify underlying biological and psychological mechanisms. It is critical for us to gain a better understanding of the nature and utility of psychological experiences like stress, emotion, emotion regulation, and resilience.

Selected Reading:
Ferrer, R., Klein, W., Lerner, J. S., Reyna, V. F., & Keltner, D. (in press). Emotions and Health Decision-Making: Extending the Appraisal Tendency Framework to Improve Health and Healthcare exit disclaimer. In C. Roberto & I. Kawachi (Eds.), Behavioral economics and public health. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Funding Opportunity

This Funding Opportunity (PAR-14-067) will support research to generate new fundamental knowledge of affective processes. Successful basic affective science projects must have downstream consequences for single and multiple event decisions and behaviors in cancer prevention and control. However, projects do not necessarily need to examine these decisions and behaviors directly, as long as future cancer implications are clearly defined. Scientists within disciplines not traditionally focused on cancer research are encouraged to apply. Such disciplines might include (but are not limited to): affective and cognitive science, decision science, consumer science, and neuroscience. Cooperative Agreement Awards (U01) support a discrete, specified, circumscribed research project to be performed by the named investigator(s) in cooperation with NCI staff.

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Cooperative Agreement Awards (U01).

Specific Aims

The Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch (BBPSB) seeks to fund innovative affective science research that has potential downstream benefits for cancer prevention and control. Basic biobehavioral and psychological science related to cancer-related outcomes may include the following areas of examination:

  • Affective states as they relate to judgments and decisions relevant to cancer (e.g., cancer risk behaviors such as poor energy balance and tobacco use; informed consent; clinical cancer care; response to placebo conditions in cancer clinical trials; cancer communication)
  • Affective responses to social experiences and potential influences on biological processes associated with cancer progression and outcome
  • Affect in cancer survivorship experiences and trajectories
  • Affective phenomena (e.g., emotion, stress, mood) and mechanisms by which these may influence cancer outcomes
  • Associations among affect and cognition, social cognition, expectancy, hedonics, sensation, and perception
Last Updated
July 01, 2021