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Susan Persky

Susan Persky

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Susan Persky is an Associate Investigator at the Social and Behavioral Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, at the National Institutes of Health. She provides scientific oversight and management of the Immersive Virtual Environment Testing Area at the NIH Clinical Center. Her research interests include: behavioral research methodology, understanding and use of genetic and genomic information among health care providers and community members, beliefs and communication about the genetics of body weight, disease and condition-related stigma and discrimination, health disparities, immersive virtual environments, and media effects.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Communication, Language
  • Evolution and Genetics
  • Health Psychology
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Research Methods, Assessment

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Journal Articles:

  • Persky S, Sanderson SC, Koehly LM. (In press). Online discussions about genetics and body weight: Implications for health behavior and internet-based education, Journal of Health Communication.
  • Wagner LK, Paquin R, Persky S. (In press). Genetics blogs as a public health tool: Assessing credibility and influence. Public Health Genomics.
  • McCall, C., Blascovich, J., Young, A., & Persky, S. (2009). Proxemic behaviors as predictors of aggression towards black (but not white) males in an immersive virtual environment. Social Influence, 4, 138-154.
  • Persky S, Eccleston, CP. (2011). Medical student bias and care recommendations for an obese versus non-obese virtual patient. International Journal of Obesity, 35, 728-735.
  • Persky S, Eccleston, CP. (2011). Impact of genetic causal information on medical students’ clinical encounters with an obese virtual patient: Health promotion and social stigma. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 41, 363-372.
  • Persky S. (2011). Employing immersive virtual environments for innovative experiments in health care communication. Patient Education and Counseling, 82, 313-317.
  • Sanderson, SC, Persky, S, and Michie, S. (2010). Psychological and behavioral responses to genetic test results indicating increased risk of obesity: Does the causal pathway from gene to obesity matter? Public Health Genomics, 13, 34-47.
  • Kaphingst, K. A., Persky, S., McCall, C., Lachance, C., Beall, A., & Blascovich, J. (2009). Using metaphors to convey genomic concepts in virtual reality. Journal of Health Communication, 14, 384-399.
  • Kaphingst, K. A., Persky, S., McCall, C., Lachance, C., Beall, A. C., & Blascovich, J. (2009). Testing the effects of educational strategies on comprehension of a genomic concept using virtual reality technology. Patient Education and Counseling, 77, 224-230.
  • Persky, S., Kaphingst, K. A., McCall, C., Lachance, C., Beall, A. C., & Blascovich, J. (2009). Presence relates to distinct outcomes in two virtual environments employing different learning modalities. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 12, 263-268
  • Persky, S, and McBride, CM. (2009). Immersive virtual environment technology: A promising tool for future social and behavioral genomics research and practice. Health Communication, 24, 677-682.
  • Persky, S., & Blascovich, J. (2008). Immersive virtual video game play and presence: Influences on aggressive feelings and behavior. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 17, 57-72.
  • Persky, S., & Blascovich, J. (2007). Immersive virtual environments versus traditional platforms: Effects of violent and nonviolent video game play. Media Psychology, 10, 135-156.
  • Persky, S., Kaphingst, K. A., Condit, C. M., & McBride, C. M. (2007). Assessing hypothetical scenario methodology in genetic susceptibility testing analog studies: A quantitative review. Genetics in Medicine, 9, 272-738.
  • Bailenson, J. N., Swinth, K. R., Hoyt, C. L., Persky, S., Dimov, A. E., & Blascovich, J. (2005). The independent and interactive effects of embodied agent appearance and behavioral on self report, cognitive, and behavioral markers or copresence in immersive virtual environments. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 14, 379-393.

Susan Persky
National Human Genome Research Institute
31 Center Drive, Room B1B36
Bethesda, MD 20892
United States

  • Phone: (301) 443-0098

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