My research areas are in cross-cultural psychology, health psychology, and social psychology. My main area of research investigates the causes, consequences, and correlates of the optimistic bias (people thinking they are less at risk than their peers) -- that is, why people do risky things that they know they should not. In addition, I have research interests in health communication, gender, and public health. Currently, I'm conducting NIH-funded research in the U.S. and Denmark on moralization of smoking.
- Culture and Ethnicity
- Ethics and Morality
- Gender Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Judgment and Decision Making
- Persuasion, Social Influence
- Sexuality, Sexual Orientation
- Social Cognition
- Helweg-Larsen, M. (1999). (The lack of) optimistic biases in response to the 1994 Northridge earthquake: The role of personal experience. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 21, 119-129.
- Helweg-Larsen, M., & Collins, B. E. (1997). A social psychological perspective on the role of knowledge about AIDS in AIDS prevention. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 6, 23-26. [Reprinted in M. E. Davis (Ed.), Annual Editions: Social Psychology 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002 and in E. J. Coats & R. S. Feldman (Eds.), Classic and Contemporary Readings in Social Psychology 3/e, 2001].
- Helweg-Larsen, M., Tobias, M. R., & Cerban, B. M. (2010). Risk perception and moralization among smokers in the USA and Denmark: A qualitative approach. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 871-886.
- Helweg-Larsen, M., & Nielsen, G. A. (2009). Smoking cross-culturally: Risk perceptions among young adults in Denmark and the United States. Psychology & Health, 24, 81-93.
- Harding, H. H., & Helweg-Larsen, M. (2009). Perceived risk for future intimate partner violence among women in a domestic violence shelter. Journal of Family Violence, 2, 75-85.
- Helweg-Larsen, M., Harding, H. G., & Kleinman, K. E. (2008). Risk perceptions of dating violence among college women: The role of experience and depressive symptoms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 27, 551-571.
- Helweg-Larsen, M., & Stancioff, L. M. (2008). Acculturation matters: Risk perceptions of smoking among Bosnian refugees living in the United States. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 10, 423-428.
- Gurmankin, A. D., Helweg-Larsen, M., Armstrong, K., Kimmel, S. E., & Volpp, K. G. M. (2005). Comparing the standard rating scale and the magnifier scale for assessing risk perceptions. Medical Decision Making, 25, 560-570.
- Helweg-Larsen, M., Kjøller, M., & Thoning, H. (2003). Do age and social relations moderate the relationship between self-rated health and mortality among adult Danes? Social Science and Medicine, 57, 1237-1247.
- Shepperd, J. A., Helweg-Larsen, M., & Ortega, L. (2003). Are comparative risk judgments consistent across time and events? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1169-1180.
- Helweg-Larsen, M., Sadeghian, P., & Webb, M. S. (2002). The stigma of being pessimistically biased. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 21, 92-107.
- Klein, C. T. F., & Helweg-Larsen, M. (2002). Perceived control and the optimistic bias: A meta-analytic review. Psychology & Health, 17, 437-446.
- Helweg-Larsen, M., & Shepperd, J. A. (2001). Do moderators of the optimistic bias affect personal or target risk estimates? A review of the literature. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 74-95.
- Kjøller, M., & Helweg-Larsen, M. (2000). Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among adult Danes. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 78, 54-61.
- Gibbons, F. X., Helweg-Larsen, M., & Gerrard, M. (1995). Prevalence estimates and adolescent risk behavior: Cross-cultural differences in social influence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80, 107-121.
- Helweg-Larsen, M., & Collins, B. E. (1994). The UCLA multidimensional condom attitudes scale: Documenting the complex determinants of condom use in college students. Health Psychology, 13, 224-237.
- General Psychology
- Human Sexuality
- Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
- Psychology of Women
- Research Methods
- Research Methods in Cross-Cultural Psychology
- Research Methods Using the Internet
- Seminar in Cross-Cultural Psychology
- Senior Seminar: Risk and Society
- Social Psychology
- Social Psychology in Film
- Why Do People Believe Weird Things?
Department of Psychology
Carlisle, PA 17013
- Phone: (717) 245-1562
- Fax: (717) 245-1971