Kelsey Michelle Julian



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When it comes to personal health risks, some people will choose to avoid information that may be threatening to their beliefs, behaviors, or overall self-image. While many studies have been performed to discover methods that may help to reduce information avoidance, there has been little research regarding the personality characteristics of people who are more likely to engage in information avoidance. The present study will utilize a conceptually similar paradigm from previous research in which participants are led to believe that they will be able to find out whether they are at risk for an illness during their lab experience. Participants will complete personality questionnaires and then will be asked to provide a saliva sample in order to be tested for ostensibly real predisposition to alcoholism detectable in saliva. Participants will then decide if they would like to get their test results back or not. In addition to examining whether certain personality characteristics are associated with information avoidance, the saliva will be assayed for the stress hormone, cortisol, to examine whether physiological stress is associated with personality and information avoidance.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Erin Marie O'Mara

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Personality and Health Risk Information Avoidance