Health psychology is devoted to understanding the impact of psychological factors on health and illness. Health psychologists share an interest in the following:

  • The promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention of physical and mental illness; 
  • Psychological aspects of the diagnosis and management of physical and mental illness;
  • Psychosocial, emotional, and behavioral consequences of physical and mental illness;
  • The improvement of the health-care system and formulation of health policy.


Students who elect the health psychology specialization in experimental psychology must complete all of the general requirements for the experimental psychology doctoral program. Program-specific requirements include courses or seminars of particular relevance to health psychology, and supervised research experience in an area of health psychology. Courses or seminars may simultaneously meet other requirements or research course requirements of the experimental program.


  • Christopher France, Ph.D. (McGill University, 1991)
    Professor - Research interests include psychophysiology of pain and cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, interventions to prevent blood donation syncope, stress and coping. Go to Laboratory.
  • Stephen Patterson, Ph.D. (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 1993)
    Associate Professor - Research interests include cardiovascular psychophysiology, psychological stress and hematology, rural health, racial and gender differences, behavioral epidemiology. Go to Laboratory 1 and Laboratory 2 and Laboratory 3.
  • Julie Suhr, Ph.D. (University of Iowa, 1994)
    Associate Professor - Research interests include neuropsychology of pain and other medical conditions, assessment and management of Alzheimer's disease, detection of malingering, effects of psychological state on neuropsychological performance. Go to Laboratory.
  • Peggy Zoccola, Ph.D.  (University of California, 2010)
    Assistant Professor - Research interests include rumination and worry, stress and coping, sleep, cortisol, and effects of interpersonal and cognitive processes on physiology and health. Go to Laboratory.

    Affiliated Faculty
  • Timothy Anderson, Ph.D. (Miami University, 1993)
    Associate Professor - Research interests include psychotherapy process and outcome research in the context of physical and mental illness, psychological assessment.
  • Bruce Carlson, Ph.D. (University of Michigan, 1984)
    Associate Professor - Research interests include the evaluation of diagnostic tests, generalized regression models.
  • Claudia Gonzalez-Vallejo, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina, 1992)
    Associate Professor - Research interests include applications of judgment and decision-making research to medical decision making and public policy.