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“Leveraging Social Psychological Theory to Understand Engagement with Personalized Genomic Information”

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BRADFORD HILL SEMINAR

This talk will be chaired by Professor Theresa Marteau, Director, Behaviour and Health Research Unit.

Genomic sequencing provides the opportunity for individuals to learn a host of personalized information about their chances of experiencing a wide variety of health outcomes in the future. In addition to being available outside of the clinical setting, much genomic information can be ambiguous (which is less true of high penetrance genetic tests such as BRCA1 /2 for breast cancer). Social psychological theories and constructs may help explain people’s orientation toward such information. In this talk, I will discuss a study in which over 500 people had their genomes sequenced and also completed a questionnaire containing several social psychological constructs. We show that optimism, self-affirmation, ambiguity aversion, implicit theories, affective forecasts, information avoidance tendencies, and perceived norms all play a role in people’s decisions to receive, use, and share personalized genomic information. Implications will be discussed.

This talk is part of the Bradford Hill seminars at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health series.

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