Alexander Rothman, Ph.D.

Alexander Rothman, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.

Alexander Rothman, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Dr. Rothman’s primary program of research concerns the application of social psychological theory to illness prevention and health promotion and is comprised of a synthesis of basic research on how people process and respond to health information with the development and evaluation of theory-based interventions to promote healthy behavior. He has published a series of articles that examine how people evaluate and process risk-relevant information and has helped to identify the conditions under which people are receptive to information about personal vulnerability. He has also conducted and published several theory-based interventions that test the influence of different forms of persuasive health messages on the performance of a range of health behaviors such as screening mammography and sun screen utilization. In his most recent work, Dr. Rothman has focused on how the relation between people’s health beliefs and health behavior unfolds over time. In particular, he has begun to delineate the different decision processes that guide the initiation and maintenance of long-term self-regulatory behavior. In recognition of his work, Dr. Rothman received the 2002 Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association.

Selected Publications

Rothman, A.J., Sheeran, P., & Wood, W. (2009). Reflective and automatic processes in the initiation and maintenance of food choices. Annals of Behavioral Medicine (Special Issue), 38, S4-S17.

Fuglestad, P., Rothman, A.J., & Jeffery, R.W. (2008). Getting there and hanging on: The effect of regulatory focus on performance in smoking and weight loss interventions. Health Psychology, 27, S260-S270.

Hertel, A.W., Finch, E., Kelly, K., King, C., Lando, H., Linde, J., Jeffery, R.W., & Rothman, A.J. (2008). The impact of outcome expectations and satisfaction on the initiation and maintenance of smoking cessation: An experimental test. Health Psychology, 27, S197-S206.

Rothman, A.J., & Salovey, P. (2007). The reciprocal relation between principles and practice: Social psychology and health behavior. In A. Kruglanski and E.T. Higgins (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (2nd Edition; pp. 826-849). Guilford Press: New York, NY.

Baldwin, A.S., Rothman, A.J., Hertel, A.W., Linde, J.A., Jeffery, R.W.,Finch, E.A., & Lando, H. (2006). Specifying the Determinants of Behavior Change Initiation and Maintenance: An Examination of Self-Efficacy, Satisfaction, and Smoking Cessation. Health Psychology, 25, 626-634.

Rothman, A.J. (2004). Is there nothing more practical than a good theory?: Why Innovations and advances in health behavior change will arise if interventions are more theory-friendly. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 1, 11.

Rothman, A.J., Baldwin, A., & Hertel, A. (2004). Self-regulation and behavior change: Disentangling behavioral initiation and behavioral maintenance. In K. Vohs and R. Baumeister (Eds.), The handbook of self-regulation (pp. 130-148). Guilford Press: New York, NY.

Rothman, A.J., & Salovey, P. (1997). Shaping perceptions to motivate healthy behavior: The role of message framing. Psychological Bulletin, 121, 3-19.

Selected Grants

Theory-Based Interventions for Smoking and Obesity (NIH: NINDS), Co-PI 1999-2005

Longitudinal Care: Smoking Reduction to Aid Cessation (NCI), Co-I 2004-09

A Randomized Trial of Internet Access to Nicotine Patches (NIH: NHLBI), Co-I 2007-12

Prevention in Older Adults: Values of Older Adults related to Primary and Secondary Prevention, (AHRQ), Co-I, 2009-10

Selected Affiliations

Dr. Rothman served as Associate Editor of Health Psychology Review and is currently on the editorial board of Health Psychology Review, International Journal of Physical Activity and Behavioral Nutrition, and Social and Personality Psychology Compass. He has previously served on the editorial board for Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He served as a co-editor for a special issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine on decision-making and eating behavior and is a co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of AIDS & Behavior on integrating theoretical models of behavior changes across levels of analysis. He co-directs the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Advanced Training Institute on Health Behavior Theory and the NCI Theories Project and was a member of the NCI Health Cognition Working Group.

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