Moller Motivation & Health Psychology Lab


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Leveraging Psychological Science to Advance Human Motivation Theory and Promote Health

Recently, the lab has focused primarily on understanding issues related to behavioral health interventions that leverage: (1) emerging technologies, and/or (II) financial incentives.

  1. Technology & Health

    Our focus on emerging technology is, in part, motivated by a recognition of the extent to which individuals’ social relationships and processes of accessing individualized health information are increasingly mediated through emerging technologies, including virtual environments, computer algorithms, and mobile devices. Our research in this area includes developing health interventions that leverage the possibilities of these technologies to provide individuals with opportunities to self-monitor their health behavior and to connect with peers for easily, including through social network-supported fitness programs that may be administered at a large scale.

    • Spring, B., Schneider, K., McFadden, H. G., Vaughn, J., Kozak, A. T., Smith, M., Moller, A. C., Epstein, L. H., DeMott, A., Hedeker, D., Siddique, J., Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (2012). Multiple behavior changes in diet and activity: A randomized controlled trial using mobile technology. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(10), 789-796. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.1044 (link)
    • Pellegrini, C. A., Duncan, J. M., Moller, A. C., Buscemi, J., Sularz, A., DeMott, A., Pictor, A., Pagoto, S., Siddique, J., & Spring, B. (2012). A Smartphone-Supported Weight Loss Program: Design of the ENGAGED Randomized Controlled Trial. BMC Public Health. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1041 (link)

    • Moller, A. C., Majewski, S., Standish, M., Agarwal, P., Podowski, A., Carson, R., Eyesus, B., Shah, A., & Schneider, K. L. (2014). Augmented fantasy sports: Rationale and feasibility of leveraging online fantasy sports to promote physical activity. Journal of Internet Medical Research Serious Games, 4, e13. doi:10.2196/games.3691 (link)

    • Poncela-Casasnovas, J., Spring, B., McClary, D., Moller, A. C., Mukogo, R., Pellegrini, C. A., Coons, M. J., Davidson, M, Mukherjee, S., Amaral, L. A. N. (2015). Social embeddedness in an online weight management program is linked to greater weight loss. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 12(104). doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.0686 (link)

  2. Financial Incentives and Health

    A second theme examines the contexts in which financial incentives, increasingly popular in the area of behavioral medicine, might motivate behavior change in ways that are consistent with autonomous motivation or in ways that could increase perceived coercion and undermine long-term maintenance.

    • Moller, A.C., McFadden, H. G., Hedeker, D., Spring, B. (2012). Financial motivation undermines maintenance in an intensive diet and activity intervention. Journal of Obesity, 2012, 1-8, doi:10.1155/2012/740519, PMC3323849 (link)
    • Moller, A. C., Buscemi, J., McFadden, H. G., Hedeker, D., & Spring, B. (2014). Financial motivation undermines potential enjoyment in an intensive diet & activity intervention. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 37, 819-827. PMID: 24142187, doi:10.1007/s10865-013-9542-5 (link)

    • Moller, A. C., & Deci, E. L. (2014). The psychology of getting paid: An integrated perspective (pp.189-211). In E. H. Bijleveld & H. Aarts (Eds.), The psychological science of money, New York, NY: Springer Press. (link)

  3. Team Science

    Another complimentary feature of this research program involves an orientation toward collaboration and cross-disciplinary team science. Compelling empirical evidence and personal experience suggests that, when done well, cross-disciplinary collaboration is more creative, more impactful, and more fun. More information and training tools for cross-disciplinary researchers can be found at teamscience.net, a website co-developed with Drs. Spring, Falk-Krzesinski, and the team at NogginLabs, Inc.

    • Hesse, B.W. (2011). COALESCE (CTSA Online Assistance for Leveraging the Science of Collaborative Effort). JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association 306, 1925-1926. This is a review of the TeamScience.net online training tool developed by Spring, B., Moller, A. C., and Falk-Krzesinski, H. J. (link)
    • Spring, B., Moller, A. C., Falk-Krzesinski, H. J., & Hall, K. L. (2012). An emerging science and praxis for research and practice teams (Editorial; Special Issue Guest Editors). Translational Behavioral Medicine, 2(4), 411-414. link