Integrating Social Psychology and Health in Research


The InSPHIRe lab is a joint effort between Drs. Jason Rose and Andrew Geers aiming to inform health research, behavior, and outcomes using social psychological principles. Some of the common themes in our research include the placebo effect, risk perception, patient choice, and social comparison. We are located at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, USA. For more information about the lab and our research, please see the links above. Also check out the UT Department of Psychology for other research and department news.



Undergraduate Student Honored with Research Award!

Loren Taylor, an InSPHIRe undergraduate lab member, was recently announced as a recipient of the 2022 Fall Academic Year Research Program award from the University of Toledo Office of Undergraduate Research!

Loren Taylor’s research titled “Cultural Factors Alter Dental Fear Development” aims to understand the mechanisms behind dental fear development across cultures to assess differences.

Congratulations Loren and good luck with your research!

Do you have dental anxiety?

Dr. Andrew Geers discusses dental anxiety and etymology with reporter, Shira Feder, of The Paper Gown.

“We find that having a really negative, painful dental experience early in your history seems to be important for development of dental fear and phobia,” says Andrew Geers, an experimental psychologist and professor at the University of Toledo who researches dental phobias. When children have bad experiences at the dentist’s office, they may later put off scheduling appointments, cancel their appointments and have more cavities.”

Take a look for the full article at the following link:


COVID-19 Vaccination Publication Getting Media Attention!

A recent publication by InSPHIRe lab members Dr. Geers, Kelly Clemens, and Emily Jason has been generating a lot of media attention. The study described in the paper entitled Psychosocial Factors Predict COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects (Geers et al., in press) found that COVID-19 vaccine side effect expectations (e.g., pain at the injection site, fever, chills, headache, joint pain) predicted side effects in participants three months later. These findings demonstrate the well-documented nocebo effect (i.e., the opposite of the placebo effect), in which negative expectations of treatment result in more negative treatment-related outcomes. Congratulations on the publication! Check out some of the various media coverage below:

U.S. News and World Reports:

NBC 24:

University of Toledo News:

WTOL News:

InSPHIRe Lab Member Named University Fellow!

Emily Jason, a first-year doctoral student working with Dr. Andrew Geers, is the recipient of the University of Toledo’s University Fellowship! This competitive fellowship is for new PhD students who have exceptional academic records and is the highest award the College of Graduate Studies offers. To read more about Emily’s work, please visit our graduate student page.

Congratulations Emily!

New InSPHIRe Lab Research Grant Announcement!

Dr. Andrew Geers recently received a 3-year RO1 research grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The aim of the grant is to identify psychological mechanisms that prevent the development of anxiety and fear in dental care contexts. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Laura Seligman (co-PI) at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley. Congratulations Dr. Geers!

Three Undergraduate InSPHIRe Lab Members Win Awards to Fund their Research!

Recently, three undergraduate InSPHIRe members–Maggie Bennekamper, Jerrin George, and Abigail Ruble–had their research projects chosen for the University of Toledo’s 2021 Spring Annual Year Research Program. These awards, offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research and its Advisory Committee, will help fund their research during the Spring 2021 semester. Maggie’s project is titled Social Feedback Alters Perceptions about Anxiety Treating OLPs, Jerrin’s project is titled The Impact of Social Media-Based Social Comparisons on Well-being and Health-Related Motivations, and Abigail’s project is titled Side Effect Information Preferences in Relation to the Nocebo Effect. Congratulations to all three of you and best of luck carrying out your projects!