Susan Persky

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The current study examined how assessments of copresence in an immersive virtual environment are influenced by variations in how much an embodied agent resembles a human being in appearance and behavior. We measured the extent to which virtual representations were both perceived and treated as if they were human via self-report, behavioral, and cognitive(More)
OBJECTIVE This study examined the independent effect of a patient's weight on medical students' attitudes, beliefs and interpersonal behavior toward the patient, in addition to the clinical recommendations they make for her care. DESIGN A total of 76 clinical-level medical students were randomly assigned to interact with a digital, virtual female patient(More)
BACKGROUND Common obesity-associated genetic variants may exert their effects through increasing eating or decreasing metabolism. Such differences might influence individual responses to obesity genetic test results. METHODS This was an experimental analogue study: 191 participants were asked to imagine they had received a genetic test result indicating(More)
BACKGROUND Health care providers will increasingly encounter information about the genetics of obesity as genetics research progresses. PURPOSE This study explores whether information about the genetics of obesity reduces medical student stigmatization of obese patients, and how it affects rates of health behavior-related referral. METHODS One hundred(More)
Social and behavioral research needs to get started now if scientists are to direct genomic discoveries to address pressing public health problems. Advancing social and behavioral science will require innovative and rigorous communication methodologies that move researchers beyond reliance on traditional tools and their inherent limitations. One such(More)
Presence in virtual learning environments (VLEs) has been associated with a number of outcome factors related to a user's ability and motivation to learn. The extant but relatively small body of research suggests that a high level of presence is related to better performance on learning outcomes in VLEs. Different configurations of form and content(More)
BACKGROUND Providing personalized genetic-risk feedback of a child's susceptibility to adult-onset health conditions is a topic of considerable debate. Family health history (FHH), specifically parental overweight/obesity status, is a useful assessment for evaluating a child's genetic and environmental risk of becoming obese. It is unclear whether such risk(More)
BACKGROUND Social media is a recent source of health information that could disseminate new scientific research, such as the genetics of smoking. OBJECTIVE The objectives were (1) to evaluate the availability of genetic information about smoking on different social media platforms (ie, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) and (2) to assess the type and the(More)
Hypothetical scenario methodology is commonly employed in the study of genetic susceptibility testing uptake estimation. The methodology, however, has not been rigorously assessed and sizeable gaps exist between estimated and actual uptake for tests that have recently become available. This quantitative review explores the effect of several theoretically(More)