Issue: January 2012

The Methodology Center
Penn State Lion Shrine


Featured Article: Human Papillomavirus and Media Messages

Featured Article: Human Papillomavirus and Media Messages
In a new article in the Journal of Health Psychology, authors Rachel Smith and Roxanne Parrot use semantic network analysis to examine how people think about human papillomavirus (HPV). In this study, 309 undergraduate students were surveyed on their knowledge of HPV. Previous analyses of media coverage of HPV corresponded with the students' answers, which suggests their mental images may have been influenced by media exposure. Using semantic network analysis, the authors discovered that students view HPV as something primarily associated with women. The findings provide insights into gaps in the public's understanding of HPV, suggest the potential for stigmatization of people who are HPV positive, and indicate future challenges in vaccinating men.

Lead author Rachel Smith recently discussed her work on network analysis in a podcast.

Read more.
Download the podcast.


Workshop for Tobacco Researchers

Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT)
If you research smoking cessation, you may already be planning to attend the 2012 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco's (SRNT) annual meeting this March in Houston, Texas. Stephanie Lanza of the Methodology Center and Megan Piper of the University of Wisconsin have organized a pre-conference workshop on March 13 that is co-sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. The day-long session, "New Methods for Advancing Research on Tobacco Dependence," will focus on innovations in methodology (like the time-varying effect model) for ecological momentary assessments (EMA). Presenters include renowned tobacco researchers and researchers focused on new quantitative methods.

Register for the conference.
Read the abstract and list of presenters.


Pilot Project: Addressing Uncertainty in Tobacco Use Interventions

Constantino Lagoa
Constantino Lagoa, Ph.D.
Electrical Engineering, PSU
A "Methodology Center Collaborative Research Funding" project has been awarded to Constantino Lagoa, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Penn State. Dr. Lagoa will work with Methodology Center researchers Runze Li and Linda Collins to address issues of data uncertainty in behavioral intervention design. Dr. Lagoa will draw on his background in controller design and systems modeling to inform the design of tobacco-use-reduction interventions. His objective is to help researchers design interventions that are effective for a very high percentage of participants, not just the "average" person, because people exist across a range, not clustered around an average.

Read more.



Save the Date

Set aside June 21 and 22, 2012 for the Summer Institute on Innovative Research Methods. This year Donna Coffman will present the workshop, "Propensity Score Methods for Causal Inference" at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA.


SBM Seminars

Methodology Center researchers will be presenting seminars at the Society for Behavioral Medicine's (SBM) annual meeting in April. Register or read more here now now.


PROC LCA for 32-bit or 64-bit SAS

Last month we released a version of PROC LCA for latent class analysis that is compatible with 64-bit versions of SAS. Read more or download the software.

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