My current research focuses on behavioral decision-making (with an emphasis on impulsivity) as a trans-disease process in health risk behaviors. My research draws attention to self-regulatory and self-control pathways to behavior, modeling both their causes and consequences in order to better inform intervention efforts. Specifically, I am interested in how behavioral decision-making and other family, process and psychosocial factors interact to affect prevention and treatment outcomes for health behaviors. My primary research examines factors related to the initiation and maintenance of addictive behaviors (specifically in children and adolescents). My secondary research line extends the knowledge gained from addiction research to eating behavior, obesity, and subsequent diabetes risk. In both areas of research, I am also studying the neural mechanisms that underlie performance on laboratory behavioral tasks modeling impulsive behaviors in order to better inform prevention and treatment interventions.
In addition, I have an interest in information and communication technologies that might influence behavioral decision making, with a particular focus on the prediction, prevention, and treatment of addiction and eating behavior. Recent work explores novel applications of remote-health technology, ‘serious’ video games, and other computer-mediated technologies that can inform and influence behavioral decision making.
In addition to my own lines of research, students in my lab are examining the role of behavioral decision-making in the initiation and maintenance of other behaviors such as risky sexual behavior, disordered eating, video game and smart phone use, and recovery after chronic illness.
Our laboratory is the Health Behavior Research Group (HBRG). HBRG is a 4-room, state-of-the-art, community-based clinical research laboratory. HBRG is uniquely organized to support the full spectrum of clinical research, from human laboratory models to large-scale treatment-outcome studies. HBRG faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate research assistants are actively engaged in collaborative research projects with local schools, health agencies, and medical specialists.
Smallman, R., Ramos, A., Dickey, K., Dowd, S., Fields, S. (2018). If only I wasn’t so impulsive: Counterfactual thinking and delay discounting. Personality and Individual Differences, 135, 212-215.
Rassu, F., Linsenbardt, H., Fields, S., Meagher, M. (2018). Does Pain Impact Preference? The Effect of Tonic Laboratory Pain on Discounting of Delayed Rewards. The Journal of Pain,
Lange, K., Fields, S., Lench, H. & Lazerus, T. (2018). Prompts to Regulate Emotions Improve the Impact of Health Messages on Eating Intentions and Behavior. Motivation & Emotion, 42, 267-275.
Vermillion, S., Malak, R., Becker, B., Smallman, R., Sferra, M. & Fields, S. (2018). An investigation on using serious gaming to study human decision-making in engineering contexts. Design Science, 3,
Wienke Totura, C.M, Fields, S.A., Karver, M.S. (2018). The role of the therapeutic relationship in psychopharmacological treatment outcomes: A Meta-analytic review. Psychological Services, 69, 41-47.
Thamotharan, S., Hall, S., Ward, C. & Fields, S. (2017). Contextualizing gender and acculturative influences on sexual initiation of Asian Indian emerging adults. Sexuality & Culture, 1-11.
Hahn, H., You, D. S., Sferra, M., Hubbard, M., Thamotharan, S., &Fields, S. (2017). Is it too soon to meet? Examining differences in geosocial networking app use and sexual risk behavior of emerging adults. Sexuality & Culture, 1-21.
Thamotharan, S., Hahn, H., & Fields, S. (2017). Drug Use Status in Youth: The Role of Gender and Delay Discounting. Substance Use & Misuse, 52, 1338-1347.
Fields, S., Smallman, R., Hicks, J., Lange, K. & Thamotharan, S. (2017). Narrowing of attention following food cue exposure in obese emerging adults: Does impulsivity matter? Personality and Individual Differences, 108, 144-148.