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Using virtual pets to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in children Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: A virtual pet in the form of a mid-sized dog was developed based on the framework of social cognitive theory and tested as a vehicle for promoting fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption in children. Three groups of children (N = 68) between the ages of 7-13 were studied: baseline (no treatment), computer only, and […]

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The Digital Patient Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: This chapter reviews the past and current trends of one particularly intriguing aspect of virtual worlds—virtual representations commonly known as avatars—in the context of health behavior change.  Despite the growing interest in the influence of virtual representations on health behaviors, there has been a surprising dearth of research exploring the use of virtual representations […]

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Exploring the Impact of the U.S. Measles Outbreak on Parental Awareness and Support for Vaccination Michael Cacciatore, Glen Nowak & Nathaniel J. Evans

Cacciatore, M. A., Nowak, G., & Evans, N. (Forthcoming). Exploring the impact of the US measles outbreak on parental awareness and support for vaccinations. Health Affairs. Abstract: Despite consensus among health officials that childhood immunizations are a safe and effective means of protecting people from disease, there remains parent vaccine hesitancy. This hesitancy has been linked to lack of confidence in recommendedvaccinations as well as vaccine delay and refusal. Using a pair of national surveys of parents of children 5 […]

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Using virtual pets to promote physical activity in children Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: A virtual pet was developed based on the framework of the youth physical activity promotion model and tested as a vehicle for promoting physical activity in children. Children in the treatment group interacted with the virtual pet for three days, setting physical activity goals and teaching tricks to the virtual pet when their goals […]

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Do Consumers Avoid Watching Over-the-Counter Drug Advertisements Emeritus and Retired Faculty

Abstract: Do consumers avoid viewing over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical advertisements? And, if so, why? The authors of the current study tested their proposed “Ad Avoidance Model” by surveying a nationally-representative sample of U.S. adults about their reactions to advertisements for OTC drugs (specifically analgesics). The researchers focused on how four advertising-reaction factors—two cognitive (perceived utility and skepticism) […]

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EAGER: Virtual STEM Buddies for Personalizing Learning Experiences in Free Choice Informal Learning Settings Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: We introduce the notion of a virtual STEM buddy (VSB), a visitor-tailored, virtually embodied agent that serves as both a co-learner and a mentor. Like a virtual museum guide, the VSB will be able to engage with child-visitors and their families through a social interface. However, unlike existing approaches, we propose for VSBs to […]

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