Social Psychology Network

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John Christensen

John Christensen

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  • SPN Mentor

My name is John Christensen and I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. I recently finished a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. I completed my PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Southern California where I was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program. I have participated in research training programs at the National Cancer Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Institute for Creative Technologies, and the RAND Corporation. I have also served as a research consultant for CHI Systems and the Air Force Research Laboratory. My research focuses on changing attitudes, emotions, and behavior through the use of interactive media. Along with colleagues at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, I built a virtual nightclub designed to prevent risky alcohol, drug, and sexual decisions among late adolescents (NIAID; Miller). Players encounter a series of challenging decision-points as they interact with artificially intelligent agents whose behavior is driven by computational models of health communication. In another line of work, I collaborated with Exeter Media to develop a web-based virtual grocery store that communicates the risks of an unhealthy diet while providing players with an opportunity to practice making healthier food purchase decisions. I also conduct research investigating message framing, message tailoring, LGBT health disparities, and the roles of emotion and individual difference constructs in persuasive communication.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Communication, Language
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Health Psychology
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Self and Identity
  • Sexuality, Sexual Orientation

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Journal Articles:

  • Hong, H., Neamati, N., Winslow, H., Christensen, J. L., Orr, A., Pommier, Y., & Milne, G. (1998). Identification of HIV-1 integrase inhibitors based on a four-point pharmacophore. Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy, 9(6), 461-472.
  • Neamati, N., Turpin, J., Winslow, H., Christensen, J. L., Williamson, K., & Orr, A. et al. (1999). Thiazolothiazepine inhibitors of HIV-1 integrase. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 42(17), 3334-3341.
  • Neamati, N., Hong, H., Owen, J., Sunder, S., Winslow, H., Christensen, J. L. et al. (1998). Salicylhydrazine-containing inhibitors of HIV-1: Implication for a selective chelation in the integrase active site. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 41(17), 3202-3209.

Other Publications:

  • Miller, L. C., Christensen, J. L., Godoy, C. G., Appleby, P. R., Corsbie-Massay, C., & Read, S. J. (2009). Reducing risky decision-making in the virtual and in the real-world: Serious games, intelligent agents, and a SOLVE approach. In U. Ritterfeld, M. Cody, & P. Vorderer (Eds.), Serious Games: Mechanisms and Effects. New York: Routledge.
  • Miller, L. C., Marsella, S., Dey, T., Appleby, P. R., Christensen, J. L., Klatt, J., Read, S. J. (2011). Socially Optimized Learning in Virtual Environments (SOLVE). In M. Si, D. Thue, E. Andre, J. Lester, J. Tanenbaum, & V. Zammitto (Eds.), Interactive Storytelling. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
  • Read, S. J., Miller, L. C., Kostygina, A., Chopra, G., Christensen, J. L., Corsbie-Massay, C., Zachary, W., LeMentec, J. C., Iordanov, V., & Rosoff, A. (2008). The Personality-Enabled Architecture for Cognition (PAC). In I. Horswill, E. Hudlicka, C. Lisetti, & J. D. Velasquez (Eds.), Emotion, Personality, and Social Behavior. Cambridge, MA: AAAI Press/MIT Press.
  • Miller, L. C., Appleby, P. R., Christensen, J. L., Godoy, C. G., Si, M., Corsbie-Massay, C., Read, S. J., Marsella, S., Anderson, A. N., & Klatt, J. (2012). Virtual interactive interventions for reducing risky sex: Adaptations, integrations, innovations. In S. M. Noar & N. G. Harrington (Eds.), eHealth applications: Promising strategies for behavior change. New York: Routledge.

Courses Taught:

  • Health Communication in the Digital Age
  • Introduction to Graduate Communication Research
  • Quantitative Research Methods

John Christensen
Department of Communication
University of Connecticut, Unit 1085
850 Bolton Street
Storrs, CT 06269
United States

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